Tuesday September 20, 2011 : But is it really the fault of the software provider?
The twoplustwo poker information site has been lighting up as members speculate on the causes for the continued absence of payments or communications from the reportedly troubled RakeReduction company.
The company's website remained closed this week, bearing a notification dated August 8 which appears to blame software provider Elite Affiliate Software, which withdrew its services on August 4th amid speculation that it had not been paid. However, prior to that there were reports of payment and communications problems circulating regarding the rake company.
Rakeupdate.com and RakeReduction.com remain "temporarily inaccessible" for now, presumably as the management search for alternative software.
Compounding the apparent animosity between the companies, RakeReduction alleges: "On Monday August 8th, Owner and Marketing Director Randy Layman of Elite Affiliate Software (EAS) accessed and issued an unauthorized email to the RakeUpdate.com client base.
“Mr. Layman used the EAS system to execute this email in the name of firstname.lastname@example.org and presented a salutation of "Thank you, Rakeupdate". Be advised that any emails or communication received regarding RakeUpdate/RakeReduction prior to todays update should be disregarded as a fraudulent representation of RakeUpdate/RakeReduction."
The advisory ends on the intriguing note: "Since its inception, in 2005, Rake Update (RakeUpdate.com) and Rake Reduction (RakeReduction.com) have never been owned or rebranded by the software company known as Elite Affiliate Software, FeltPoker.com or their Owner and Marketing Director Randy Layman."
Reporting on the situation recently, the independent online poker monitor Pokerscout noted that RakeReduction is one of the largest rakeback affiliates in the online poker industry, but its website has been down for six weeks.
Before the site went offline the company was making few, if any payments to players and their sub affiliates, it reveals, noting that in some cases there are unpaid claims going back to April 15 and Black Friday.
And Black Friday may be the cause of the company's tribulations, Pokerscout surmises; RakeReduction had just committed to the expense of its new EAS software and was heavily exposed to the loss of revenue from sites named in the federal indictments like Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.
"The margins for rakeback affiliates are very small. When you consider refer a friend and sub affiliate payments they can become razor thin," notes the well-reasoned Pokerscout article. "The combination of losing their three biggest rooms, not getting paid for play from the rooms and making payments from those rooms must have been a serious loss, one that is likely hard to overcome."
Pokerscout goes on to estimate that the numbers involved are likely to be substantial – perhaps in the hundreds of thousands of dollars – basing its calculations on the $155 000 reported to it so far by only 15 players.
The situation is being exacerbated by the apparent reluctance of the company to communicate and directly address the issue, although its representatives are apparently still visiting the growing twoplustwo thread on the debacle; and the software excuse is now running a little thin.
"It does not take much research to find out that they were not paying Elite Affiliate Software for their services," claims Pokerscout. "While there may be more to the story, when you do not pay your vendors for months, your vendors will stop providing their services to you. That is just common sense."
When InfoPowa went to press a response from RakeReduction was still awaited.