According to InfoPowa News, Cassava Enterprises, the owner of Casino on Net (888.com) and Pacific Poker, is heavily involved in blog spamming, site scraping and other unethical methods to gain more traffic to their sites. There's also evidence they have been one of the biggest users of Gator, WhenU, and other malwares for years.
Below we've listed an edited version of the official news bulletin from InfoPowa that explains the alleged unethical practices of this publicly listed company in more detail.
A QUESTION OF ETHICS
888.com [Pacific Poker] under fire from affiliates for alleged unethical marketing practices
A storm has been building in the affiliate marketing sector of the industry over claims that one of the largest online gambling groups in the business, and a publicly quoted company to boot is turning a blind eye to the allegedly unethical marketing activities of its independent affiliates.
888.com has been the focus of massive criticism from the affiliate world on this issue, but is reportedly disinclined to either agree with the views of the affiliate community or take action against its affiliates, who stand accused of unethical practices such as site-scraping (content theft) and spamming.
Lou Fabiano of Casino Affiliate Programs.com (CAP - a gathering place for many experienced webmasters) has pulled 888.com's accreditation after months of attempting to reason with the gambling group regarding its "…failure to reach an amicable resolution involving known content theft and blog spamming being performed by their top affiliates and consultants."
One of the top watchdog and player advocate sites, Bryan Bailey's Casinomeister.com placed 888.com on the Rogue list last week, and Brian Nank's iGAMI took similar action.
"Site scraping and content theft are very serious issues that need to be halted now," wrote Bailey.
Nank wrote: “We do have evidence that indicates that they [888.com] are involved in Blog and Forum spamming using domains that “do” show 888/Cassava as the owner.
“We do have evidence that they have been one of the biggest users of Gator, WhenU, and other malwares for years. We do have evidence that suggests they are using third party marketing companies to purchase hundreds of domains, and redirect them to their brands. We do have evidence that they are not very eager to satisfactorily address scraper issues.”
All of these actions were widely publicized, and sources report that many webmasters have started collaborating through a links system to bring the issue to prominent public notice and possibly take further joint action.
A CAP spokesman went into more detail, saying: “These illegal activities are negatively impacting thousands of affiliates and online marketers worldwide. There are a number of programming teams operating with the approval of 888 Casino which are flooding search engines like Google and Yahoo with thousands of spurious search results.
"This angers searchers and makes finding legitimate destinations on the internet difficult if not impossible. These rogues are also robbing bandwidth and corrupting web logs with millions of commercial messages all linked to 888 Casino. This abuse of the system tarnishes the image of the industry as a whole and can not be allowed to continue.
"To resolve this issue CAP has been in negotiations with 888 Casino for the last six weeks, but so far they have declined to comply and have stated they are not interested in a resolution at this time."
CAP wants 888.com to grasp the affiliate nettle by initiating the following actions:
- Issue a public statement indicating that 888 Casino does not condone nor will they reward content theft or illegal marketing practices by their affiliates or marketing consultants. If affiliates or marketers are discovered to be engaged in these practices their accounts will be closed, they will be banned from the 888 affiliate program and their proceeds or commissions due forfeited.
- Addition to the Affiliate Program Terms and Conditions a provision stating the above policy.
- A good faith effort by 888 Casino to adhere to these policies now and in the future.
This truly raging controversy, generating widespread adverse publicity across the Internet for not only unethical affiliate activities and the ubiquitous 888.com brand itself but the industry in general cannot have escaped the attention of the top management at the publicly listed company.
InfoPowa requested a comment from 888.com for balance on this article but to date no response has been received.