Be the Dealer: Rogue Affiliate Program
In 2011, CAP published a list of the 10 Worst Gambling Affiliate Programs to help our readers avoid some of the less-reliable partners. As a follow-up to that piece we’re taking a closer look at some of those programs, like Bwin, Money Plays, Grand Prive, Red Hot Revenue and Best Casino Partners, and why they were such a bad deal for affiliates in the hopes that our readers can avoid similar bad players in the future.
Be the Dealer (BTD) is, in many ways, a very typical rogue casino. Over the course of about a decade or so they quietly went about the business of shortchanging players and affiliates, while consistently making promises they couldn’t or wouldn’t keep. But the folks at BTD took being rogue to a whole new level of weirdness. Their story also raises some interesting thoughts about how much forum posters can really be trusted.
BTD established itself long ago as one of those companies that should be avoided at all costs. It wasn’t just that they didn’t pay on time, or ever, it’s the way they went about it. Their affiliate representatives had no problem getting on forums promising payments, only to disappear when the smoke cleared.
Affiliates and players who actually got to talk to BTD chief on the phone were given excuses that wouldn’t impress a fourth grader. One affiliate who was owed a large amount of money was told that the company hadn’t been paying because of, “an illness.”
Even worse, BTD continued taking money from players long after they told affiliates they were bankrupt. One forum poster claims Cohen told him in no uncertain terms that he was still taking player deposits but had no intention of paying anything back out.
Truth In Forums
There’s no mistaking BTD is a rogue operation, that much has been clearly established. Still, some of the claims made against the company in forums seemed a little over the top, even by Internet standards.
In more than one online forum, long time forum members suggested that some of the more over-the-top stories about the company came from disgruntled former employees. This idea isn’t so far off the mark considering that many BTD staffers went unpaid as the company spiraled into bankruptcy.
Postings like this raise the very real question of exactly who is who on the Internet? Some of the more credible watchdog sites like Casinomeister and Affiliate Guard Dog are pretty good at sniffing out phonies, but nobody is perfect.
When researching potential rogues, a little skepticism goes a long ways.
The BTD story also raises an interesting point about what role affiliates have in bringing down rogue casinos. More specifically, some forum posters question why many affiliate partners continue sending players to certain casinos long after they’ve been blacklisted. In most cases it isn’t done out of malice, but out of indifference.
Affiliates who don’t keep track of rogue sites and are satisfied with taking less than they’re owed because something is better than nothing are part of the problem. If more affiliate partners took the time to keep up with blacklisted casinos and stop doing business with them, fewer affiliates would get ripped off.
BTD is no longer operating under the same brand. Some sites that are known to be associated with BTD, like 777dealer.com and Alpine Gold Casino are still up and running and are labelled rogue, too.
Bringing down rogue casinos is not an easy thing to do when they’re licensed in Curacao or other far flung locations. That’s why it’s up to the affiliate community to police themselves and stop doing business with blacklisted casinos.
Have you had any dealings with Be the Dealer? Tell us about it on our Gambling Affiliate Programs – Scams & Warnings Forum