The past several months have presented iGaming affiliates with quite unpleasant surprises; and the latest such surprise involved a renowned and respected affiliate program and its casino brands being linked to a rogue iGaming group.
Founded in 2004, Club World Group has always been among the most widely trusted online casino groups in the iGaming space. It has built that reputation thanks to hard work and responsiveness to both partners (affiliates included) and players.
However, recent changes in the management of Club World Group’s parent company threw the gaming group into a state of turmoil that many believe it will not be able to escape from. A recent publication by Casinomeister’s Bryan Bailey brought to our attention the fact that a family feud between the Directors of Interactive Technology Corporation Ltd., the company behind Club World Group and its brands, has put the operator in the hands of people who have little to no experience at all in the iGaming industry.
According to Companies House, brothers Warren Dennis Ferster, Stuart Jeffrey Ferster, and Jonathan Ferster were the three founders and Directors of Interactive Technology Corporation. It has become known that Jonathan Ferster left his Chief Executive post at Club World Group in late October without giving notice. And it was him to have run the casino group’s operations since 2004.
Taking over the helm, the other two brothers were left with a business they had little knowledge of. Although there is no information about Jonathan Ferster’s motivation to leave his role, it is believed that the reason hid behind more than a two-year long feud with his brothers.
In the months following his departure, the other two members of the Ferster family discussed in this article accused their brother of fraud and of using questionable practices and false information to harm the business. Siding with any of the feuding parties would be wrong, they probably have their reasons. However, what matters here is that huge damage has been inflicted upon an operator that has been an important industry player for more than a decade now.
How Has the Change of Management Affected the Business?
As mentioned above, Club World Group’s reins have been taken over by people with no considerable experience in the iGaming industry. The lack of experience in cases like this usually means chaos. In fact, the company’s management admitted that the business had indeed been in a state of chaos in the months after Mr. Ferster left his directorial post.
In January, Club World Group’s new management eventually informed affiliates about the changes that had taken place, saying that the operator had had difficult time, but that was in the past. It became known that consultants had been hired to monitor and assist operations.
However, the choice of consultants was in fact what harmed the casino group’s reputation irreparably. Casinomeister has come to the knowledge that Club World Group is now advised by representatives of one of the murkiest businesses in the iGaming space. It seems that the operator’s new consultants are linked to Affpower, an online casino group that had been caught offering pirated NetEnt games to its players. It is absolutely shocking why a group with such an excellent reputation like Club World Group would want to be related to a group with blemished reputation. Yet, it seems there may be such a relationship.
First Signs There Is Something Wrong with Club World Group
Casinomeister, a website that has over the years turned into one of the most influential online casino watchdogs, has once again made it its task to notify the community about wrongdoings going on. In his recent publication, founder Bryan Bailey said that Club World Group affiliate program, Affiliate Edge, has apparently started detagging players from affiliates. In a nutshell, detagging here means that affiliates have stopped receiving payments for players they had referred to the group’s casinos.
Detagging is a fraudulent practice by all standards, particularly in the UK, where Affiliate Edge is headquartered. The fact that key staff members left both the affiliate program and its parent company in the months after October 2016 can, too, be interpreted as a sign that there is something fundamentally wrong with Club World Group’s current day-to-day operations, despite its management’s efforts to convince affiliates that there is no such thing.
It is true that the operator has informed affiliates about the changes that had taken place. However, it may be a good idea for it to shed more light on the consultants it has been working with and to address the detagging allegations.