Grand Prive Controversy Continues

23 February 2010

Recently, eCOGRA released its investigation of Grand Prive Affiliate’s Program closure. Their report stated that they were tasked by Grand Prive with investigating: the manner in which the program was terminated, determining the amount owed to claimants, determining a fair settlement for claimants, and to produce a full and transparent report for release to the public.

The release of this report, rather than calming and settling questions, has rather opened up a firestorm of continued issues.

There are reports and complaints of the legacy players from Referspot, an earlier version of the Grand Prive affiliate program, being left out of the investigation. This resulted in very small amounts to be paid back to affiliates.

As such there has been much discussion on the Internet blogs over this investigation and its findings.

This is a letter sent by eCOGRA to a member of Casinomesister, an on-line forum for webmasters and affiliates.

 The information you provided as well as the time taken to compile this information is much appreciated.

We have noted your concern raised as to the adequacy of the settlement amount recommended by the eCOGRA investigators.

We would like to emphasise that our mandate from Grand Prive was to review all records provided by the company in respect of the Grand Prive Affiliate Program software and related database. We were not requested to review any other affiliate program system or information, nor were we made aware of any other system or pertinent information.

We are confident that the settlement amounts have been correctly calculated based on our mandate and the affiliate and player data provided to us by Grand Prive at the time of the review. Regrettably we cannot legally perform any further investigation work into this matter unless mandated by Grand Prive management. Such a mandate has not to date been forthcoming.  See this here.

Here is response to the above letter.

“I have given proof that our marketing talents are worth a hell of a lot more then $7 bucks and this entire audit was a waste of everyone’s time Grand Prive is nothing but a bunch of scum bag cheats and everyone on the web knows this expect eCogra! I hope that you seriously reconsider letting these thieves continue to carry that seal of approval you have given them! Do not send that money to me because I will end up owing a wire fee why not take that amount and have yourself a cup of coffee on behalf of Streak Gaming.”  Find this here.

Webzcas, a moderator at Casinomeister, had this to say after posting a part of the response to Christine:

So a couple of things here to comment on:

Grand Prive instructed eCOGRA to carry out this audit.

Grand Prive provided the data and one can assume that eCOGRA did not ask for any additional data.

eCOGRA have closed this matter.

I am waiting to see what they come back to Michael and Dominique with. Until such time I am having a big problem biting my tongue. This can be found here.

ECOGRA apparently wasn’t given complete records by Grand Prive, and apparently this audit was more an examination of records as provided than a complete audit. It seems that eCOGRA was unable to obtain any further records from eCOGRA.

Another post to the Casinomeister site was by Dominique. Below is her post and she makes a very telling response at the very end.

 “Well, eCOGRA can only audit what it can see.

But the whole thing is silly, really.

Andrew was nice enough to offer to call me to explain, but I figure I should wait and see what the general reaction is and if anyone comes up with any constructive, useable suggestions.

There is no way eCOGRA can make GP show them anything.

The stats are offline, GP isn’t going to produce them, and everyone is up the creek without a paddle.

The original issue a few years back was that Referspot ceased to exist and was replaced by Grand Prive affiliates, a Microgaming driven database. There were numerous issues transferring players into the corresponding accounts, and I went to look at archived threads at CAP and saw posts by the affiliate manager at the time explaining that the statistics were not working yet because MICROGAMING was still working on the integration of the system.

So MICROGAMING has information on what happened and the size of the database containing Referspot legacy players. And quite possibly they have the details too.

So it is not only Grand Prive who failed to disclose accurate statistics to eCOGRA, it is also Microgaming.

In any case, this proves that GP considers itself above the law, and if nothing can be done about it, one can only wonder when another incident like this will occur. Apparently this industry does not feel it needs to conduct business in a law abiding fashion.

It also proves that Microgaming has no interest in assuring us that their licencees are acting ethically.

I must conclude that JTODD and APCW weekly were correct all along re. Grand Prive and Microgaming.

So, is it possible for affiliates to trust affiliate programs? Referspot never had any issues. And look how that ended.

It looks foolish anymore to give any considerable exposure to any particular program. The more players go to any one casino, the higher the risk of substantial losses.

So much for self policing of the industry. You can read full story here.

How much more trouble does this cause for an industry trying to put it’s best foot forward and get legalized and regulated by the federal government? People and organizations are fighting in and out of court in an effort to get online gambling legalized and regulated and then something like this occurs to shine the spotlight on the very part of the business nobody wants to admit exists. This is certainly fuel for the anti-gambling factor in congress.

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    Investigation Launched by Grand Prive Group

    eCOGRA was commissioned to investigate Affiliates Program closure. This was released today by eCOGRA: London, 7 December 2009 – The Grand Privé group has been following the often inaccurate information exchanges on the Internet regarding the closure of Grand Privé Affiliates with interest, mindful of its reputation as a responsible and respectable business.

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