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Bwin Interactive Entertainment Changes Affiliate Terms, Affiliates Protest


Bwin

"Poker and Casino affiliate watchdog groups declare Bwin's new terms 'predatory.'"

18 November, 2010 – Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG, a publicly traded company which runs licensed online gambling portals, has recently made changes to its affiliate terms and conditions agreement. While this is not uncommon, the actual changes made in this case have many long–standing and highly reputable affiliates and affiliate associations up in arms. Bwin announced the changes to their affiliates on September 14th, saying that the new terms would go into effect on October 1st. They emailed their partners, asking them to read over the updated affiliate agreement and to accept it or refuse the changes. Refusal of the changes would terminate the affiliate relationship immediately. They coined their new program "Bewinners" and stated that it would "change the face of the affiliate industry."

Instead, affiliates were met with very unfriendly terms, to say the least. For example, one new term that had many of Bwin's partners upset was the "3 year clause." This stated that 3 years after signup, any referrals that the partner sent to Bwin would change from their standard referral rate to a 5% rate. In some cases this is as much as an 85% drop in referral rate with no reason given for the change. When a Bwin representative was pressed for further information, the response was, "this is a management decision I cannot elaborate on." The most unacceptable aspect of this change is that it was made retroactively. This means that any referral that signed up before October 1, 2007 would garner future payments of only 5%, effective with only two weeks notice. This is even though at the time of sign–up, affiliates were told they would get their regular referral rate for life.

Additionally, other new terms have been met with just criticism. For instance, there is a new rule that affiliates who fail to create a "Paying Active" for three consecutive months will have their affiliate relationship terminated immediately. A Paying Active account is one who signs up, deposits and plays on their account. This is an extremely difficult rule for new affiliates especially. Even those with experience will run through cold spells or difficult times. Under this rule, these affiliate "partnerships" will be terminated and any balance in the account forfeited if an invoice was not created.

Bewinners' terms also now state that an invoice must be created by the affiliate before being paid. Previously, affiliates could request payment at any time. They further state that failure to create an invoice within 12 months will result in the payment being returned to Bewinners.

As a result of these term changes, internet affiliate groups have sanctioned Bwin in various ways. The Gambling Portal Webmasters Association has suspended the sponsorship of Bwin in support of the affiliates they represent. They requested a copy of the previous terms from Bwin and when Bwin refused, stating, "after discussing internally we will not give the old T&C to your community," they announced the suspension.

Bwin has been removed from Casinomeister's accredited casino list as well. Casinomeister.com is an advocate for players, affiliates, and operators alike and only sites passing a high level of scrutiny make their accredited list.

There are also several other changes to the terms and conditions that were deemed unfair to affiliates. Potential affiliates are encouraged to read the new terms for themselves and check all the facts at www.belosers.com.

Belosers.com was established by concerned affiliates to bring to light the predatory terms enforced by Bwin and the Bwin poker affiliate program. The Bewinners program is unfair to new affiliates and long–term partners alike. See for yourself at www.belosers.com.

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