William Hill Online COO Peter Marcus has had to explain himself following comments he made earlier this week urging operators to eschew the use of rakebacks.
Marcus had appealed to colleagues in the Internet poker sector to clamp down on the use of rakeback by affiliates and poker skins, calling on operators to “get together and be strict” on allowing affiliates and poker skins to offer rakeback as he criticised the rewards model for cannibalising poker traffic and failing to attract the new players he felt were needed to develop the market further.
This week, accused of hypocrisy because his company had been "actively involved in this means of player acquisition," Marcus admitted to EGR magazine that William Hill Online had used “a targeted promotion” to existing players in the first few weeks of the new iPoker software to help customers to migrate across from the CryptoLogic network.
Marcus said: “This was only available to selected existing players and for a very limited period of time. This is a clear and targeted retention bonus and was not aimed at, and nor did it, move players from other affiliates or operators”.
However, the executive stuck to his guns, observing that although his comments were not meant to devalue the contribution of affiliate marketers, there was a need for a separation of responsibilities between affiliates and operators.
“The role or retention and player life value is the responsibility of the operators, whilst the role of the affiliate is acquisition of players, he said.