The chief operating officer of UK online gambling group William Hill Online.com, Peter Marcus, has appealed to colleagues in the Internet poker sector to clamp down on the use of rakeback by affiliates and poker skins.
 
In an interview this week with the publication EGR, Marcus called on operatoirs to “get together and be strict” on allowing affiliates and poker skins to offer rakeback as he criticised a rewards model that incentivises players by offering to return a share of the operator's rake. Marcus characterised the practice as cannibalising poker traffic and failing to attract the new players he felt were needed to develop the market further.
 
Commenting that networks and licensees have to find ways of rewarding loyalty which don’t encourage the player to constantly switch venues, or which involve stealing each other’s customers, Marcus said: "It’s going to take time and be tough to get there, but the whole industry has to get together and be strict on this.”
 
Marcus claims that rakeback in its present form “has a limited shelf life” and that “licensees who just want to give rakeback and not spend money on marketing will find it’s not going to work, because someone coming up behind working on smaller margins will just steal their customers.”
 
“It’s the wrong way of building a sustainable industry – you do this by brand marketing, giving great customer service and rewarding customer loyalty,” he added.