In another public slanging match across several mainly affiliate-oriented message boards this week, an executive of the beleaguered Effective Media Group (EMG) claimed that a customer had not paid consulting fees due and had made off with the online casino, changing its name in the process!
Readers will recall in previous reports dealing with the Casino Affiliate Programs , Affiliate Media Inc organisations and principals, Louis Fabiano and Warren Jolly, that the two men were also leading execs at EMG, which was touted as a seperate consulting and management company. The companies were all repeatedly mentioned in a major conflict of interest furore earlier this year involving an online poker site called CardSpike and an online casino branded Absolute Slots.com. It is the latter operation which is at the centre of the current storm.
Affiliates were advised earlier this week that the owners of Absolute Slots.com, who appear to have hired EMG as consultants and managers, were in dispute over the domain Absolute Slots.com, and that as a result the owners were unilaterally changing the name of the casino to SlotPower.com. The move was in effect something of a coup d'etat, taking affiliates and players alike with it, according to a post by Mark Winter, identifying himself as ‘Interim Affiliate Director'. Winter promised a sales drive on the new brand in the near future.
That was followed by a post from, we understand, EMG which confirmed the dispute, but claimed it originated in a failure by the owners of Absolute Slots to pay "consulting fees and commissions [for services] we have rendered over the past six months." Various other comments were made that appeared to be emotional rather than considered, and we will not repeat them here. The gist of the message was that negotiations with Absolute Slots continued in the hope that the owners would "do the fair and honest thing."
That was followed by a broadside from the new SlotPower brand, which informed the affiliate community that "SlotPower.com has no business relationship with Casino Affiliate Programs, Effective Media, Card Spike, Warren Jolly or Louis Fabiano." It went on to threaten that "….continued libelous statements or the implication of non-payment to affiliates by the [present] domain name owner of AbsoluteSlots.com will result in swift legal action."
"SlotPower.com will honor all outstanding affiliate and player debt of AbsoluteSlots.com. All affiliates and players will be paid on time," the post continued. "We are planning on adding additional casino brands, new marketing materials, attractive bonuses."
To compensate for the work associated with the domain switch, SlotPower assured affiliates that it would be increasing its affiliate commission rate to current affiliates and will be offering new bonuses to those affiliates who start promoting SlotPower.com.
The response to that was a public attack on the allegedly Hungarian operators behind Absolute Slots – SlotPower, who were somewhat provocatively referred to as two Rogue operators named Marc and Robert who had allegedly been involved in the controversial Windows Casino before its sale over a year ago. It was alleged that compensation was due for various marketing and management activities but that without warning "Marc and Robert decided they could greatly increase their bottom line by stealing our players and affiliates and refusing to pay the agreed upon expenses.
"They simply locked us out of the system when we inquired when [we] would be paid our commissions and expenses due for March. We have been in minor discussions with Robert but the offers he has made to compensate us for our losses and lost players and affiliates have been a real joke.
"I hope the situation changes and if it does we will be the first to advise affiliates of the resolution, but at the moment their strategy seems to be to keep "repeating its business as usual" like a broken record under the assumption affiliates are too dense to see through this ruse."
The broadside concludes by urging affiliates to "…drop these rogues NOW and do NOT promote SlotPower. It's a shame Rival would allow an operator to behave like this and definitely a bad sign for the platform."
SlotPower's riposte was more threats.
"We will be sending a cease and desist order to Louis Fabiano if these defamatory claims persist," it said. "They are entirely false and are damaging to our business. If the accusations continue we will take legal action.
"For the record let it be known that all commissions and more have been paid to Louis Fabiano. We are still working to reach an agreement for the price of the domain AbsoluteSlots.com.
"We are doing our utmost to ensure a smooth transition to SlotPower.com and are keeping our affiliates informed every step of the way."
Where this public jousting will end is anyone's guess, but it looks like another day at the law courts could be in prospect.
CAP also took another hit this week when the This Is Vegas affiliate program decamped. Manager John Wright said that Rockbet and This Is Vegas would not be renewing its status as a CAP Certified partner; the move follows an earlier withdrawal by the Casino Rewards group