The affiliate marketing-oriented dispute over who has control of Casino Affiliate Programs surfaced again this week when competitor and chief exposer Gambling Portal Webmasters Association published seperate interviews with the two principle characters involved in the troubled companies, CEO Warren Jolly and isolated founder and President Lou Fabiano.
Little that is new emerged from the interviews; the bitter accusations and counter-accusations that have appeared on various online gambling message boards were repeated but are at least now on record in complete first-person interviews.
Fabiano appears to place most of the blame for the CAP crisis on Jolly, whilst Jolly admits to some of the charges – including lying about the controversial CardSpike issue that ignited the CAP meltdown – but says that Fabiano was a full and consenting party to most of the decisions reached at Affiliate Media Inc.
Nevertheless, the interviews make for interesting reading in terms of historical background to the Jolly, Lahoti and Fabiano interaction and certainly raise intriguing questions of apparently lax corporate governance and deeply disputed areas of executive responsibility and authority.
Subjectively speaking, it is difficult to envisage a corporate structure where a 30 percent partner can seize de facto control, transfer assets and millions in cash and isolate a 40 percent partner, all without some checks and balances kicking in. A continent may have seperated Fabiano in Florida from Jolly and the main office in California, but this should not preclude practical business precautions against a company being allegedly "hi-jacked."
Neither Jolly or Fabiano come out of the process looking good as the deceptions and poisonous corporate differences are once again aired in an affair that appears destined for an acrimonious court appearance. In fact Fabiano confirmed that, telling the interviewer: "I've retained counsel and I'm waiting to receive direction on this… So there are criminal and civil actions being pursued vigorously."
Perhaps the full story will only emerge in court in a case that continues to attract the attention of the industry.
In the meantime, affiliates are indicating that business continues at CAP with Jolly calling the shots and promising a fairer and more transparent and ethical approach to business. That must surely be a damage control priority for any company in this invidious position.
The formation of the Gambling Affiliate Programs body does not appear – at least publicly – to have progressed any further than the announcement that 60 programs intended to "take back control" of their affairs, and in any event this new industry player has shown few moves that would endear it to the affiliates themselves.
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