If you read last weeks newsletter you will realise that I'm rather hostile towards the attitudes of the management of some online casinos towards players. Screwing players in one way or another and using any 'global excuse' as a reason to justify what they have done seems to be the normal way of things now days for some casinos. I wasn't going to issue this warning. I'm well over it, but an email I received last night just got the better of me. Basically, the email said we have screwed you once John and gotten away with it, please forget that and give us the chance to screw you again!
I'm not going to go into a lot of detail and post all the correspondence between GoneGambling and David Alexander who was representing Casino Tropez and other casinos in the group at the time. It would only take up space and bore you silly. I believe that David Alexander is still involved with the casinos promoted via Casino Partners and this warning is to very much let readers know that David Alexander broke promises made to GoneGambling time and time again. He broke his promises even though he was was speaking on behalf of the casinos in the Casino Partners group. If you can't take someone at their word that they will do as promised, then you can't deal with them with any confidence.
Here's what happened:
Back in April 2004, GoneGambling issued an advertising invoice in the amount of $5,875 to David Alexander for promotion of Casino Tropez, Del Rio Casino, Vegas Red and Europa Casino. David Alexander logged on to the GoneGambling site and confirmed advertising for the casinos for the month. Confirming advertising via our automatic system meant that the banners and links and entire casino promotion was kept alive for the month. It is generally left up to our sponsoring casinos and advertisers to confirm their continued promotion for the following month. It is understood by all casinos that confirming their advertising is a promise of payment for that advertising.
After three weeks of advertising GoneGambling informed David Alexander that one of the advertising links was not working. David Alexander asked GoneGambling to halt the promotion while he got some new links together for us to use. Copies of correspondence with David Alexander reveal that in addition to providing new tracking links he was ready to move ahead and place his casinos in our games as bonus sponsors. In several emails he indicated that he was almost ready to go, and then we hit a wall of silence.
To make a very long story short, instead of paying GoneGambling for the advertising, David Alexander did a 'Sunny Group' and thought that by not responding to emails or keeping appointments for meetings with us we would just go away. Greedygirl who was working for GoneGambling at that time sent the following email to David Alexander:
"... Hi David--
To say I'm disappointed in you would be an understatement. You promised you would meet with me in Toronto, and you gave me your word you would phone me, Thursday. I sat in my hotel room til 1pm, waiting for your call, and nothing.
I'm really not interested in the reason(s) we did not meet, David. You should have found a way to give me a few minutes of your time. If you remember, when you were in hot water and you really needed my time, not only did I make time for you, but I really put myself on the line for you. I deserved better than being blown off, David and you know that.
With that said, we really need to resolve this outstanding April insertion order. It's clear you have no intention of moving forward with what was discussed with John and I, however, you did receive promotion for your casinos for the better part of a month before you requested we take down the links (citing the links had some sort of problem). We contacted you on numerous occasions regarding these links, with little response on your side. Essentially, David, due to your insertion order, we set aside inventory which could have been used by other properties, and as such, we should be paid immediately.
I'll look forward to hearing from you,
Much time and correspondence and phone discussions passed...
We finally pinned David Alexander down and gained an agreement from him to pay $2,500 of the total advertising fee and we would let the matter rest at that. David Alexander indicated during phone conversations that he was quite concerned about his position with the company if it got out that he had stuffed up in confirming the advertising and still further stuffed up in not settling the matter or responding to GoneGambling in a timely manner. David Alexander was so concerned about keeping the matter quiet that he indicated he would pay the $2,500 himself. He did make a token payment and then started ducking and dodging us again. I left the matter in Greedygirls hands and she did chase him but to my knowledge never received the remaining outstanding balance from him.
So why bring this matter up now after all this time?
At regular intervals since the above, GoneGambling has been approached by different advertising representatives of Casino Tropez and other casinos in the Casino Partners group. Each time we receive an email, they indicate that they want GoneGambling to again promote their casinos on our site. And each time we have responded by telling them that they still owe us money for previous promotion and that we won't take them on until after that matter is settled. A couple of representatives have seemed to be genuinely concerned and asked for further information so that they can try to resolve the issue. After providing proof that David Alexander did agree to pay the outstanding balance, we never heard from those reps again. Of course that didn't stop a new or different Casino Partners rep popping up a few months later to try again.
This now brings me to the email I received last night from Casino Partners. I had responded to a previous email from Benjamin Wewermann and made it clear that we did not wish to promote his casinos again whilst we were still owed money for the previous promotion.
Here's what he wrote:
"... Hallo John,
There might be some bad past with our Company but why we don't close this part of history and let's get to a new a real nice Comission for you and believe me I will bet any offer you got accquire to your Non-US-Traffic and have a huge budget to work with so let's work some nice deal out with a contract.
Our brands are the Market Leader at the European Market and believe with our Brands you are going to earn much more than others because of the huge player which we have.
So let me know if you are interested to get into a worth Partnership with us.
Benjamin Wewermann ..."
To which I responded:
"... Hi Benjamin,
I wonder if you would be so flippant about the past if it was me who owed you the money instead of the other way around? I fell for the lies of your company once before, it won't happen again. If your budget is so big, how about using some of it to pay the money I am owed from the last time your casinos were on our site? This is truly a slap in the face for you to brag about how big your advertising budget is when you owe me money from several years ago.
I think it's time your company was exposed for what they have done. I let the matter go until now, but every few months someone from your company emails me wanting to advertise on the GoneGambling site, and every time I tell them no and explain why. The others at least had the sense to go away and leave matters alone after I told them the reasons why we wouldn't deal with them. I may bring this matter to the attention of our members and webmasters in the industry in tomorrow's GoneGambling newsletter if I have the time and space.
John Abbott ..."
When a casino or group of casinos is riddled from head to toe with people who have the attitude that it is OK to break their promises and ignore past history because it suits them, then it is time to stay well away from that casino or group of casinos.
Here's something to think about. If as a player I had deposited over $2,500 with the casino via my credit card, and then after playing done a charge-back, which means the casino didn't get the money and it came back to me, then several years later tried to open a new account with the casino, would they let me do it? Would they take the risk again? I don't think so. They would want the outstanding debt settled. The casino would NOT close the matter and forget it as part of history, but that is what they are expecting me to do.
I'll bet that after all this time David Alexander thought he had gotten away with not paying GoneGambling. Unlike Casino Partners, many of us don't just close matters and forget them as being history. It's only by learning from history that we gain an idea of what to expect in the future. Your history is 'who' you are, and no one should forget it. If what you do today is going to come back to bite you at some time in the future, then don't do it. The hard thing and the right thing to do are most often the same thing.