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02 April 2010

Casino Rip Fun And Games Licence Suspended, by Greg Tingle - 2nd April 2010

Ah, the fun and games continue in the igaming, gaming and affiliate sector. Not the sort of news we like to report on, as we prefer positive news stories when possible, but of late some questionable operators in and around the igaming and affiliate sector are making it too easy for us hard nosed journalists and media analysts.

Media Man and Gambling911 report

So, you asked for it, and you shall receive...

GameAccount Global Limited, primarily a skill games operator, has had its operating licence suspended by the UK’s Gambling Commission watchdog under section 118 of the Gambling Act of 2005.

GameAccount is the firm behind the CasinoRip.com (known to some insiders as "Casino Rip Off") online blackjack website and the Gambling Commission tells us that it's suspended their licence while it conducts a review.

"The suspension is an interim measure, the need for which will be kept under consideration during the review," read a statement from the Gambling Commission.

"The Commission will make no further comment until the review is complete."

According to section 120 of the Gambling Act of 2005, the Gambling Commission may suspend or revoke an operator’s licence if 'a licensed activity is being or has been carried on in a manner that is inconsistent with the licensing objectives'. In addition, a licence may be delayed or withdrawn if 'a condition of the licence has been breached' or if the licensee has ‘failed to cooperate with a review under section 116' or is ‘unsuitable to carry on the licensed activities'.

Suspension may also be invoked if a 'licensee has failed to comply with a requirement of regulations under section 101' or 'has failed to submit the licence to the Commission for amendment in accordance with section 105'.

Section 120 of the Gambling Act contains a provision when considering a licensee’s suitability that gives the Gambling Commission regard to 'the integrity of the licensee or of any person who exercises a function in connection with or is interested in the licensed activities'. The body may also consider 'the competence of the licensee or of any person who exercises a function in connection with the licensed activities to carry on the licensed activities in a manner consistent with pursuit of the licensing objectives' along with the 'financial and other circumstances of the licensee or of any person who exercises a function in connection with or is interested in the licensed activities and, in particular, the resources available for the purpose of carrying on the licensed activities'.

Punters and insiders, did you make heads or tails of that? That's what we thought. Basically, it looks like GameAccount - CasinoRip, may have been bad boys, and suspended their licence has been suspended by the UK’s Gambling Commission.

GameAccount's TV adverts have also got them some unwanted attention.

The ads stated that "everyone loves to play blackjack. But if you play against the casino, it’s the casino that always wins. At CasinoRIP.com, you play blackjack against other players so a real person always wins, guaranteed!". Following a complaint, the ASA said that GameAccount had not shown that the house consistently won in most hands of casino blackjack and concluded that the ad misleadingly implied that the service offered greater rewards over traditional casinos than were actually available.

Media Man and Gambling911 can however report some more positives in the igaming sector, including in the affiliate sector, as hard as that may be to believe...

PartyGaming's PartyPartners, Virgin Games Affiliates, BetUS Partners, Rewards Affiliates (Captain Cooks Casino etc), PokerStars Partners and PKR Affiliates all continue to impress internet, gaming and publishing entrepreneurs, and Bodog looks to have made some recent improvements also. Mainstream agencies DGM (Betfair, Virgin Mobile etc) and LinkShare (SecondLife.com and Microsoft) continue to impress and pay well.

PartyPartners.com by PartyGaming is a real stand out. Recently they added the World Poker Tour brand to their affiliate offering via WPT Casino and WPT Poker, which is awesome news.

American operators and readers, please note that World Poker Tour also offer an online poker site (and affiliate program) for you. It's entitled ClubWPT. We've found that that commissions for affiliates are not quite as lucrative as they are for PartyPartners and AffClub, but at least because its the World Poker Tour brand, owned and operated by PartyGaming, you can trust them, plus they are seriously cashed up, listed on the London Stock Exchange, and opened for business in 1997, which is like a lifetime in this line of business.

Virgin Games affiliate program has impressed Media Man and co for a number of years however our experience has been that the month to month commissions can greatly fluctuate. We all know the power of the Virgin brand, however because Virgin does not accept players in many parts of the world this has no doubt effected the earnings capacity of many affiliates. Web publishers and gaming entrepreneurs around the global are hopeing the day will come where Virgin will accept American and Australian players, and perhaps their AWOMO (A World Of My Own) initiative will facilitate that, once Virgin get the right investors on board, and fine tune an affiliate program for their virtual worlds offering.

Canada has been looking like fertile territory for new media entrepreneurs, web publishers and the like of late. Canada is of course iGaming's King Of The World, Calvin Ayre original home, before jumping on a plane off to Antigua aka "Parts Unknown". Bodog's servers are understood to be hosted at Morris Mohawk, headquartered in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in Quebec, Canada - part of the seven communities that make up the Mohawk Nation, but that's anther story. Anyway, Canada was looking so good to the Media Man and friends that they have now successfully infiltrated via way of http://www.mediamancanada.com , and make sure you check out the profiles of Canadian greats, Ayre, Bret "Hitman" Hart, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Trish Status. Yeah, we have a Bodog profile also, but we prefer PartyGaming and Virgin for the time being... sorry Calvin and Bodog Bekky, but nothing stays the same forever, so watch this space!

Webmasters, if your not already participating in Google advertising and affiliate programs, it may be time to take a closer look. Google are obviously one of the world's most stable technology firm. There's Google Affiliate Network, AdSence, YouTube options and more.

Some igaming and gaming entrepreneurs prefer to set up their own in house affiliate programs, but often they are more trouble that they are worth.

Gold stars to PartyGaming, Virgin Games, PKR, DGM and Rewards Affiliates.

Until next time, have fun playing "Spot The Rouge Online Casino" and we wish you well and huge success in all of your affiliate program endeavors (even if the odds are against it).

Quote Of The Day: "Internet is like electricity" (James Packer, Australian and Asia Pacific Casino Owner - Entrepreneur)

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry verticals, gaming and igaming included.

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