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Play Attack – A Heritage of Fake Games

Posted by THEPOGG on Dec 26, 2020

We are in the process of adding reviews for the brands run by the PlayAttack Affiliate program and despite having no unresolved player complaints we will be listing them as Blacklisted. We will be doing this because there are ties between this program and groups that have historically facilitated the distribution of fake versions of major software providers’ games. The degree of these associations is a point of contention and we felt it appropriate to lay out our concerns in full in the form of an article to ensure our readers are aware of the grounds upon which we have made this decision.

The brands PlayAttack currently represent are as follows:

Aplay Casino

Drift Casino

Frank Casino

Mr Bit Casino

SlotV Casino

To voice our concerns directly, there is a direct and acknowledged connections between PlayAttack and the now-defunct AzartCash affiliate program:

You can see the thread that these posts were taken from here – https://www.affiliateguarddog.com/community/threads/playattack-drift-casino-denies-a-12k-prize-because-a-streamer-was-objective-on-stream.12088/.

Highlighted in the above, the PlayAttack representative Serge acknowledges that they “bought their players databases” from the owners of AzartPlay. AzartPlay also ran the affiliate program AzartCash. To demonstrate this we’ve included a screenshot from Wayback Machine with the mouse over the ‘For Partners’ link. It can be seen at the bottom right of the screenshot that this link points to the AzartCash affiliate program:

The AzartCash affiliate program also represented both Drift Casino and Frank Casino that are both now promoted by PlayAttack.

Looking at the AzartPlay brand, it can be confirmed that this operator has been associated with the distribution of fake games. Multiple major portals in the industry have identified this connection:

https://lcb.org/casinos/azartplay-casino

https://www.casinolistings.com/casinos/rogue-warnings-blacklist

Given that AzartPlay is now APlay who is now run by PlayAttack, it would appear that this group has bought more than just the “player databases” from the previous owners, they’ve at least bought the domains/brands they were running as well.

Not that this actually matters. When a group buys an already established gambling operation there are certain benefits. They gain the benefits of an already established business with an active player base, profile, and visibility within the industry. The domains they get already have a link profile and history with Google. However, there are also drawbacks. The purchaser inherits responsibility for the actions of the previous owners. In this case, the previous owners appear to have built their business via activities that are non-compliant with intellectual property laws. Not only have the current owners of APlay funded an organisation that appears to have engaged in highly unethical activity, but the business that they subsequently obtained and are now financially benefitting from was grown on these dubious business practices.

The player databases whose ownership is claimed to have passed hands in this case were compiled based on marketing fake versions of real games to players. In doing so the product being sold has been misrepresented to the players that signed-up, the players duped into engaging with the operator under the mistaken belief that they were playing with reputable software providers. Had the players in question understood that what they were getting was fake, unlicensed and untested versions of the games being advertised it is strongly arguable that many of these players would never have signed-up with AzartPlay in the first instance. To then sell on this database is to sell on a database that should never have existed. The purchaser is buying a product that would not have been available to sell had the legal rights of copyright holders been observed.

In short, the businesses that PlayAttack represent have been developed via extremely unethical business practices and it is our opinion that – unless PlayAttack are willing to reimburse all losses from the players who were exposed to these fake games – that as the current owners of this database of players, they hold moral responsibility for the historic actions of these brands.

Was AzartCash’s Database Actually Sold?

The above assumes that there has been a sale at all. There is another possibility. Perhaps the statement that this was a simple purchase of an existing business by new owners is entirely factually accurate. But in this industry it has been relatively commonplace for operators who have developed a poor public image to make claims along the lines of ‘new owners have purchase the business’ to try and wipe the slate clean of any old dirt and ‘rebrand’ their business while nothing actually changes behind the scenes in terms of who is profiting and making the decisions for the business.

Beyond this, there are a couple of pieces of publicly available information that suggest not as much may have changed as the operator would like people to believe.

Take the name ‘PlayAttack’. I have personally reviewed over 700 affiliate programs and I am only aware of a single other gambling affiliate program that chose to use ‘attack’ in their branding – Gambling Attack. What is interesting about this branding choice is that Gambling Attack are one of 3 affiliate programs – Welcome Partners, Posh Friends and Gambling Attack – that we already had reason to believe were associated with the AzartCash program and all three of the properties that were represented by Gambling Attack – Ice Casino, Green Casino and Crystal Casino – have been historically identified as operating fake games.

So the assertion here would be that PlayAttack bought player databases, websites and brands from their previous owner, who appears to have been involved in the distribution of fake games, AND chose a brand with distinct similarities to another affiliate program that have been involved in promoting operators that have been distributing fake games.

Of course the choice of the ‘Attack’ branding could be nothing more than coincidence. But from our perspective it would certainly have to be viewed as a pretty unfortunate coincidence if coincidence it was.

And then we have the people representing PlayAttack, namely Serge:

https://www.affiliateguarddog.com/community/members/serge-playattack.10838/

Looking back at the old AzartCash site a very similar name is given for their Affiliate Manager:

And this person was also active on the affiliate community forums and ceased being active shortly before Serge started representing PlayAttack on Affiliate Guard Dog:

https://www.gpwa.org/member/serge-azartcash

That’s another rather odd coincidence. It’s far from impossible that the two ‘Serge’ accounts are entirely independent. Serge is likely a fairly common name and there’s no way to demonstrate that the person/persons operating these accounts were even named Serge. But I personally find it strange that the affiliate manager for both programs just so happen to share a name/pseudonym. Out of all the handles that could have been chosen that both these programs used a ‘Serge’ account would certainly seem to suggest that there’s a reasonable chance that whoever has been controlling these accounts may in fact be the same person. And if that’s the case, then this has not simply been the purchase of a player database as has been represented.

Between the ‘attack’ branding and the ‘Serge’ reps for both programs, there’s certainly some indications that there may have been a unified thought process that may have influenced the actions of these organisations.

Conclusion

Our conclusions on this particular group of operators are fairly straightforward. The best-case scenario is that PlayAttack is a totally new operation that only bought their player databases, brands, and URLs from the owners of AzartCash, everything else having been an unfortunate coincidence for them. However, even if this is the case, our position would be that this group inherits the history that is associated with this player database. We will not work with any operator who distributes, has ever distributed or who had directly benefitted from the distribution of fake games to players.

And, in our opinion, reasonable grounds exist to harbour some skepticism as to whether this best-case scenario is legitimately the case and whether PlayAttack is a genuinely new and original business, or whether infrastructure/personnel involved in the AzartCash, Gambling Attack, or other organisations who have been involved in the distribution of fake games have transferred over to PlayAttack and are still making decisions and representing this business.

We are certainly not suggesting that the properties currently represented by PlayAttack are distributing fake games. There are no indications of that. But there is enough evidence of connections between PlayAttack and businesses that have been identified as distributing fake games that we will not associate ourselves with this organisation and we would strongly recommend that players avoid these properties.

For further reading on the evolution and distribution of fake games we would recommend this article – https://www.onlinecasinoselite.org/post/the-universe-of-illegal-online-casinos.

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