We are now terminating our affiliate relationship with Genting Affiliates and I want to make clear to everyone why this is happening.
On the 2nd of March 2018 we received the following email from Genting Affiliates:
As can be seen above this email notifies affiliates of changes that are being made to their contract with affiliates. They validate their right to make such changes via the following terms:
“3.2 We may amend, and reserve the right to amend, alter, and/or revise Our Agreement with You at any time, by posting revised Terms on the “Genting Affiliates” page of Genting’s Website(s). Any revised terms so posted shall be legally effective between us from the date of their upload.
3.3 Where reasonably practicable We will endeavour to inform You of significant changes to the Agreement by way of email or AMS notification. You nonetheless agree and confirm that it is and remains Your sole responsibility to periodically log into Your account and check the Agreement terms applicable. You further confirm that Your continued membership and participation in Our Affiliate Programme post revision shall constitute Your acceptance of any revised Agreement terms. Should You not wish to accept any revised Agreement terms then your sole remedy shall be a right to terminate your Agreement with us. If you wish to do this please contact our Affiliate team at [email protected]”
All affiliate programs carry such terms. They are extremely detrimental to the affiliate and effectively allow the program to change any aspect of the contract at any point they like. Affiliates enter into relationships with operators and provide service in advance of payment based on good faith that the operator will not make detrimental changes to the contract unless forced to do so.
To be clear, we are absolutely in support of operators who make changes that are required to meet their regulatory needs in what can only be described as a rapidly changing environment as long as these changes do not go beyond the bounds or what is actually required to ensure regulatory compliance. What we cannot and will not support is programs changing their affiliate agreements in a manner that is solely intended to increase the program’s profit at the expense of their affiliate partners.
In the email shown above Genting detail at length that they are making changes “in line with [their] continuing commitment [to] recent guidelines and guidance issued to our industry relevant to Affiliates.” That’s all well and good. If the changes being made were to ensure best practice of affiliates we would support the changes.
While some of the changes being made by Genting Affiliates are related to regulatory compliance the very first change on the list is the addition of Negative Carry Over to their affiliate contract. For those who are not familiar with affiliate contracts, there are two potential policies with regard to what happens when an affiliate’s referred players win, thus costing the operator money, over a month. The better programs will write off this negative balance for the affiliate at the end of the month, resetting to zero. Others will choose to carry negative balances forward until new referrals clear this balance. In this email Genting Affiliates have stated their intention to move from writing-off negative balances to carrying them forward. This move has nothing to do with the email’s stated intention – how the program manage negative balances has no impact what-so-ever or their ability to ensure their affiliate advertisements remain compliant with best practice. In our opinion this action is simply a greedy money grab that has been shoe horned in amongst an otherwise unrelated email to allow the program to short change affiliates that have already referred players.
It is also worth noting that the change was put into place on the 1st of March, before the program emailed out to notify affiliates of this change.
ThePOGG.com referred player to Genting Casino based on an agreement with the operator that did not include Negative Carry Over. The operator has now – after receiving traffic from us – changed their minds and decided that they are going to carry forward negative balances. They do this, already having our referrals, under a term that gives us no alternative other than to terminate our agreement altogether and forfeit any earnings that the players we have already sent may generate. Are choices are to accept a new term that will reduce the commission Genting Affiliates are required to pay or lose all commission by terminating the contract. This can only be viewed as aggressive financial hostage taking.
To this we say, “NO!” We delivered traffic in good faith to Genting Casino and we expected them to honour their agreement with us. With this move they have demonstrate that they cannot be trusted to honour the agreements they make. This means that any aspect of their contract could be changed at any time. We will not work with partners that engage in this type of activity. If we cannot trust you to treat us fairly why would we trust you to treat our players fairly?
What did Genting Affiliates have to say?
Before reaching the point of terminating our relationship with this operator and publishing this article we did try to discuss this issue with their affiliate team. To say that their response was disappointing would be a huge understatement. Below you can find our initial email communications with them about this issue:
To this we received the following response:
Not only does this response fail to offer any justification or reticence for this action, it actively attempts to redirect the conversation and place fault onto our service for ‘being a poor affiliate’.
As any program that works closely with this service will be well aware, we are likely the most proactive affiliate in the industry in helping operators manage undesirable referrals. We monitor our traffic on a daily basis and proactively report to operators when unnaturally high levels of referrals are occurring. Beyond this I personally invest large amounts of my time in helping operators construct bonus offers that will be attractive to genuine players while limiting the appeal to undesirable groups. At any point in time the Genting Affiliate team could have approached us to discuss the issues they had observed and we would have been happy to assist them to find alternative offers intended to limit their exposure. They didn’t.
However, they want to place the fault squarely at our door with the implied justification that they’re going to impose Negative Carry Over on us because we referred traffic they did not like. Fair enough, but as the saying goes what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Let’s take a little closer look at the performance of Genting Affiliates for this site.
How well do Genting Affiliates perform?
We published an article detailing the player value we saw with the various programs we worked with over 2017. This article can be found here – https://thepogg.com/affiliate-program-value-report-2017/.
Despite having conversion stats that were well above average on each of the conversion data points (i.e. they received more referrals than they should have based on the number of times players clicked through), Genting Affiliates delivered a player value that was 80-90% below our site average player value! That’s right, the same traffic that Genting Affiliates are whining about being “abusers” is doing 5-10x better for the other programs we work with. Yet did we contact Genting Affiliates to demand that they improved our deal to make up for this deficit? Did we downgrade Genting Casino’s rankings to supress the traffic they’d receive in future? In both cases, no we did not. Despite their horrible performance as a partner we left Genting Casino at the rating they deserved, knowing that in all likelihood future traffic sent to them would return significantly less to us than the other partners we worked with.
Putting aside the disingenuous and petulant manner that this program chose to respond to our challenge, the harsh reality is that we are not taking this action because of huge potential losses as a result of this change in agreement. We work with many other programs that have a policy of carrying negative balances forward and the volumes of traffic we have referred to Genting in the past have been small compared with our other partners. We are taking this action because we had an agreement with this group regarding how this site would be remunerated for the traffic we referred. In our opinion with this action Genting Affiliates have demonstrated beyond question that they cannot be trusted to honour an agreement.
We are also sending out a clear message to other affiliate programs – if you change your terms in this manner you will find no welcome with us.
Finally, programs could be significantly discouraged from behaving in this type of predatory manner if affiliates pulled together. We are currently trying to encourage the formation of a collective of likeminded affiliates to work together to stand against programs that choose to act out like this. We would encourage all affiliates to review the proposal we have put together to give power back to affiliates – you can find it here https://thepogg.com/affiliate-union/ – and consider how much more impact this article would have had if 50 or 100 affiliates had all posted similar statements…..
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