After weeks of whispers that a major development has been quietly taking place in the affiliate marketing world, an announcement this week introduced what looks likely to be a powerful new force in the affiliate program sector – Gambling Affiliate Programs.
In a news release published at http://sites.google.com/site/gamblingaffiliateprograms/ the new body was introduced, describing itself as a group of 65 of the online gaming industry's largest operators and gambling affiliate programs that have joined together to collaborate efforts to help ensure the online gaming industry will be managed and networked professionally and effectively going forward.
The reference to professional and network management in the future is being widely interpreted as a reference to the recent and very public ethical questions and corporate power struggles swirling around Casino Affiliate Programs, Affiliate Media Inc., and Effective Media Group. It is known that many programs were dismayed and embarrassed at the manner in which events involving those companies unfolded.
The news release notes that the cooperation of online gambling affiliate programs has always been a topic of interest, and in light of recent industry developments, including "…a fiasco involving one of the major networking and conferencing companies", it has now become critical that action is taken in a proactive manner.
A spokesman for the program said: "Our motive on this collaboration (sic) initiative is to simply ensure that operators, gaming affiliate programs and the affiliates themselves have a resource in place that best represents our needs and those of our affiliates and business partners.
"Accordingly, the goal is to support an entity that is aligned with our interests and will help cultivate our community in a fair and impartial manner including developing business relationships as well as optimizing networking opportunities."
He continued, "In reaching out to the rest of the community, we are actively seeking a solution that will be in the best interest for all parties involved. We are confident that by working collectively we will find a mutually beneficial solution."
Invitations were sent out to most, if not all, operators and gaming affiliate programs to join ‘In' the collaboration. Programs that have confirmed their participation to take back control and encourage a fair and regulated gambling industry are:
Betsafe Affiliate Program
Buzzluck Affiliate Program
EGO – EGamingOnline
The Bingo Affiliates
The move could represent a serious threat to the continued business prosperity of CAP/AMI and perhaps EMG, representing a new organisation through which affiliate programs and affiliates can exchange views, form a community and get together at conferences. The phrase "take back control and encourage a fair and regulated gambling industry" is especially noteworthy regarding GAP's intentions.
The certification of affiliate programs – a major source of criticism under the CAP/AMI regime – is not specifically referred to in the news release.
The organisation intends to be as transparent as possible, and will be posting updates at http://sites.google.com/site/gamblingaffiliateprograms/ as the "reunification of a currently scattered and fractured gaming industry" progresses.