15 February 2010 (London, UK) – Following the closure of its Grand Privé Affiliate Program on 1st December 2008, a dispute surfaced over certain affiliate commissions which resulted in the company requesting an investigation through the independent, third party services of industry standards and player protection body eCOGRA.
The result of this protracted and detailed investigation, conducted by industry-experienced Chartered Accountants who were given full access to the company's records, has shown that 26 affiliate commissions of relatively low amounts were overlooked in the initial closure process.
Grand Privé apologises for this unintentional omission, has accepted the eCOGRA findings and will pay these accrued commissions, including any commission earned during the 13 month period to 31 December 2009 and ‘life of player' adjustments.
A copy of the full eCOGRA report can be viewed at www.ecogra.org (ecogra site) and at www.grandprive.com (Grand Privé site) in keeping with Grand Privé's commitment to eCOGRA that the report would be made public on completion of the investigation.
The report covers communication of the investigation to interested parties; the methodology used by the eCOGRA team and its conclusions.
1) Confirmation by the investigating team that software problems were experienced on an ongoing basis, soaking up various resources to maintain the integrity of the program and resulting in escalating costs, deteriorating service levels and reputational damage. Losses accrued to the company which were not viable in relation to the relatively small income being derived, and after some 12 months this led to a decision to close the program.
2) The investigators confirm that two communications exercises were carried out by the program on 7th and 21st November 2008 which culminated in settlement agreements with affiliates who had active players and compensation with their November commissions. The program was then terminated, with affiliates encouraged to enter the Villa Fortuna Affiliate Program with its superior administrative facilities.
3) However, the exhaustive eCOGRA investigation, assisted by claims from affiliates, has established that in the above process some 26 legitimate commissions were overlooked. These omissions were most definitely unintentional and are regretted.
4) In addressing the compensation due to these 26 affiliates, the eCOGRA auditors were able to accurately calculate the commission accruing to each claimant, for the period 1 December 2008, when the program closed, to 31 December 2009 when the investigation began. To this has been added an amount to compensate for ‘life of player'. The effect of this is that we have implied an average lifetime value for each of these players of at least 3.5 times the actual average lifetime of all Grand Privé players.
5) Grand Privé accepts the professional recommendation of the eCOGRA investigators that this is fair and reasonable compensation.
The 26 affiliates will be paid the accrued amounts by 26 February 2010, and Grand Privé has closed the book on this unfortunate and regrettable issue.
Management would like to thank those affiliates who submitted claims for their information, along with those affiliate representative bodies who assisted the eCOGRA investigation team by publicising the enquiry.
Appreciation is also due to eCOGRA, which conducted this very professional and detailed investigation for no charge as a service to the industry.