We don’t frequently get riled up about many things, and certainly aren’t into bashing any particular company, especially those that we have considered to be great clients of over 10 years. However, we have recently had our Full Tilt Poker & PokerStars affiliate program accounts canceled by Amaya Gaming, the owner of both Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker whom recently purchased these assets from the Rational Group. According to the affiliate manager Ryan Harper, our account was terminated in accordance with section 8.4 of the terms and conditions; I do not recall agreeing to or being made aware of these predatory terms:
8.4. We may terminate this Agreement at any time on 7 days’ written notice.
We feel that the decision of Amaya Gaming cancelling affiliate accounts is absolutely ludacris and we have a very large pool of players working under revenue share only, a pool that took 3 years to generate, since we last lost our player pool to the same regime after the Poker Black Friday events. We didn’t want to come out publicly about it for a few days because we weren’t sure if the incident was isolated or if many affiliates had been subject to such an event. It seems that is isn’t:
Amaya didn’t make an effort to give us a warning of such termination, nor did they make an effort to give us assistance in procuring more players. I would have had no problem working on CPA if that is what needed to happen, and we are more than capable of sending high value players. I think this situation alone is going to spur some adaptation in our business and turn up the heat on getting even more traffic, because its quite an unpleasant feeling letting somebody get the best of you by cheating the system.
Amaya Gaming Cancelling Affiliate Accounts Letter
I feel that the decision of Amaya Gaming to cancel affiliate accounts has very little to do with anything but straight up misuse of predatory terms and conditions. Ever since I began affiliating in like 2004, we all stuck together and thwarted off any predatory companies. Sites like CasinoMeister made their entire business plan based on negative reviews of crap companies that take advantage of people.
The fact of the matter here is that we referred Pokerstars and Full Tilt (“Amaya”) players, and we made an agreement with them to be paid for these players. At minimum, a commission buyout is in order for such traffic. I’m open to working with them still, but that option will quickly diminish based on how they react. They’ve done wonderful things in the wake of bearish situations in the iGaming industry, and have moved mountains to get Full Tilt Poker back in action as a brand. The way that Rational Gaming handled the situation after Black Friday was nothing short of angelic, and the poker community was blessed to get their hard earned money back into their pocket.
Sure, affiliates got the shaft, but that’s also business. When I bought my gas station I used the same moves, I’m buying the assets and not the entire company. It was a “real estate deal” where the land I bought happened to have a building, canopy, and gas tanks on it. The previous owner tried to charge me for the fuel left in the tanks and I told him its hazardous waste so write me a check and get it pumped out lol.
This last move however, was a bad one. Amaya is playing poker with us guys, and they’re making a strong play here. The play is advanced – they cut off the affiliates that are sending less than the amount of players it would take to justify the revenue share that they’re paying, simple as that. They are not accounting for the potential growth or future relationships with these affiliates, and they know that large affiliates, no matter the relationship with the exiled affiliates, will not go anywhere because they have a huge player pool and are only guaranteed the same fate if they stop promoting Pokerstars.
As I said, its predatory terms and conditions that controls the entire affiliate market for PokerStars right now.
Best wishes to everyone regarding this matter, and please leave a comment below or at the PokerAffliateListings forum if you have any helpful information.