And a Fond Farewell Flip of the Bird to Paradise Affiliates
Paradise sent out this mailing to its affiliate network today:
Firstly you are receiving this email because you have registered on the
Paradisepoker.com affiliate program at www.paradiseaffiliates.com and
you have the USA as your registered address.
If you no longer promote Paradisepoker.com, please ignore this email.
As I’m sure you are aware UIGEA has made any financial transactions
into the US very difficult for gaming companies. Netteller have had
their US funds seized and I’m sure you have all been hit by this. As
a result we have been working to find a new solution by which to pay you
your affiliate commissions.
Unfortunately the messages out there are too strong and no financial
institution or their subsidiaries are willing to touch the States, with
many of them already under investigation.
This doesn’t leave us with many options to get payment to you if you
reside in the US.
I therefore urge you to look into foreign (non US and non US$) banking
If you have a bank account outside the US (in a non US$ currency), or a
non US Netteller account, then these are your best options going
forwards. Please update these at www.paradiseaffiliates.com.
In recent weeks we have managed to wire some funds to US bank accounts,
but the window of opportunity is soon to close. For now we will
continue to make bank wires of over $500 – so please make sure you
update your payment methods at www.paradiseaffiliates.com to your bank
details. We also urge you to use a non US$ currency if possible.
Going forwards it is likely that payments are stopped or seized and it
is therefore in your interests to set up non US banking facilities so
we can get payment to you, there are no other options at this stage.
Please let me know if you have any questions and we’ll do our best to
help you in this difficult time.
First, I'm on the mailing list but I'm not actually an affiliate, having pulled my banner when I long ago rethought what I wanted my blog to be about. Second, despite its nonprofessionalism, the mailing raises all sorts of interesting points, doesn't it? And how's that for the opening salvo of the new month? In like a lion, out with the bath and the baby, or something like that....
So exactly what are we to make of a line like this? "Unfortunately the messages out there are too strong and no financial institution or their subsidiaries are willing to touch the States, with many of them already under investigation."
Heck, it might be true. But I also doubt that Paradise has put full effort into obtaining a U.S.-facing payment processor or of setting up a payment-by-check system. Given its pullout from the player market, Paradise has a largely reduced need to arrange any special mechanism for such payments, and Paradise had a bit of a shifty reputation in dealing with affiliates, anyway. Speaking of shifting, this letter attempts to rather neatly shift the blame onto nefarious "others," partially true or not, absolving Paradise from any responsibility in the matter. How nice for them. And of course, for any Americans unwilling or unable to establish overseas corporations at a cost of several thousand dollars a pop, I guess Paradise just gets to keep the payments due those affiliates.
Color me unconvinced.
Notice this ominous line from later in the missive: "In recent weeks we have managed to wire some funds to US bank accounts, but the window of opportunity is soon to close." Note that what it specifically does not say is whom is doing the closing of the window. My guess it's Paradise, not wanting to bother with doing direct bank transfers for its U.S.-based affiliates.
Well, Paradise isn't much to worry about these days, anyway. It was my first online poker room, back in the day, though as I garnered knowledge of the online scene, I thought that the site combined poor customer service with a certain flair for promotions that leaned toward the ol' bait-and-switch style, so I departed for more forthright, if not necessarily greener, pastures.
Au revoir, Paradise, if ever. And since you're short-arming your affiliates as you depart, don't let the door hit you in the butt as you leave.