Trust and mutual reliance are what relationships between iGaming affiliates and affiliate programs should be based on. However, multiple instances from recent years can be used to support what has become a somewhat general opinion that trust in affiliate programs may not be as high as it should be and that it has been in decline.
Gambling Portal Webmasters Association (GPWA) members have recently reported that they have experienced payment issues with Gala Partners, the affiliate program behind the Gala Casino, Gala Poker, and Gala Bingo online gaming brands.
Earlier this month, affiliates promoting Gala Partners’ casino brand opened a GPWA forum thread informing the affiliate community that they had received lower than expected commissions for February and March. And it also seems that there had been a significant difference between the affiliate stats displayed for the respective months and the final payments made by Gala Partners.
Over the next several months, affiliates have either failed to reach representatives for the affiliate program or have reached such representatives but have not received any helpful explanations as to what had happened and how and when the issue would be solved.
One affiliate wrote that they had been paid £600 less than they should have been for February and £3,150 less for March. Being reached to address the issue, Gala Partners had responded that NGR had been calculated incorrectly. Other affiliates have also experienced similar issue with the affiliate program over the past several months.
And as understood from the GPWA thread, this is one more case of an affiliate program criticized for payment irregularities and failing to address the issue properly. Affiliates have complained not only of lack of proper communication with the responsible party but also for lack of any apparent willingness for communication. What is more, given the fact that wrong stats have clearly been displayed, affiliates have also not been able to see their actual monthly statistics afterwards.
Mistakes happen all the time – but it is one’s attempts to remedy the situation that really matters. And it seems that Gala Partners has not found it necessary to remedy the current situation.
This is not the first time when this particular affiliate program and its brands have appeared on the radar screen of iGaming affiliate watchdogs. In 2015, Gala Casino was listed as rogue by Casinomeister for refusing to pay out an advantage player what he had won, claiming that he had played “the wrong games”.
Last spring, Gala Partners was criticized heavily for introducing retroactive changes to its Terms and Conditions. Under the new T&Cs, inactive affiliates or ones that do not refer at least one new player within a 60-day period may have their referral commission reduced to their default commission plan. What is more, they may have their referral commission reduced to 10% on net revenue for the remainder of their contract.