An affiliate organisation has been formed that is prepared to take legal action against affiliate programmes that repeatedly fail to stick to deals agreed with affiliates over pay.
The Gambling Affiliates Union (GAU), formed just three days ago, already has more than 100 affiliate members despite not having received publicity except in discussions on the Gambling Portal Webmasters Assocation (GPWA) forum, and aims to have 1000 members within six months.
It is led by affiliates ‘Chalkie’, real name Paul White, an English affiliate focussed on the poker vertical and based in the UK's West Midlands, and ‘Mojo’, or Paula Bliss, an affiliate focussing on casino and based in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on America's east coast.
White said: “I get extremely annoyed at times about how affiliates are treated and how they get walked over by some affiliate programmes. That is really the principle behind this: to make sure that affiliates get a fair deal from affiliate programmes. United, we have a stronger voice.”
White continued that the GAU was intended as an arbitration service and did not intend to organise boycotts of affiliate programmes, but that it is willing to take legal action against affiliate programmes that repeatedly fail to pay affiliates or enter into negotiation.
White said: “We’re not here to police affiliates and make demands that nobody works with certain programmes, because that would be counter-productive by making it hard to talk to the affiliate programmes. But we are willing to take legal action to protect members if absolutely necessary. If a contract contains a clause that says that allows people to change that contract at any time, then it can’t be seen as legally binding and stand up in court.”
The GAU plans to recruit 50-60% of all gambling affiliates, including the ‘super affiliates’ that White defines as “the 10% of affiliates that make 905 of industry money.” White predicted that it would have 1000 members within six months, and said it plans to have 5000 members within 12 months.
“Once we have enough members we will have a little bit of power that we can put into action,” he said, adding that the organisation has the support of GPWA founder Michael Corfman and the Association of Players Casinos and Webmasters (ACPW) founders known in the industry only as ‘J.Todd’ and ‘Anthony’.
“The GPWA, APCW and Affiliate Guard Dog all have their part of play, and our role is simply to help artbitrate between affiliates and programmes,” White said.
The GAU emerged from the ashes of the Affiliate Union, a similar organisation that was cancelled ahead of launch due to infighting between its founder members, who include White and Bliss, as well as David Nikkelson, or ‘Aussie Dave’, Robin Kendrick (‘GamTrack’) and an affiliate named Peter whose surname is unconfirmed (Greek 39).
It will not take sponsorship, but will be funded via a monthly membership fee of US$3 a month. However the first 100 members have not been charged subscription fees, and the GAU will not charge subscription fees for the up to six months in which it might take to become established.