eCOGRA Completes Grand Prive InvestigationBy: Adam Richards, Tuesday February 16th 2010
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In November 2009 eCOGRA was assigned the task to investigate the closure of the Grand Prive Affiliate Program and the alleged nonpayment of dues to the affiliate members. The assignment also included determining the fair settlement to those affiliate members who had justified grievances of not receiving their dues. Finally eCOGRA was to publish its findings in the public domain so as to ensure transparency of the investigation.
On February 15, 2010 eCOGRA announced that they had completed the investigation and published their findings. The first part of the report published by eCOGRA pertains to the reasons for the closure of the Grand Prive Affiliate Program. Grand Prive took a decision to close the affiliate program in August 2008. For 12 months prior to that the affiliate program had been making losses. The reasons were that the system was not functioning properly and required considerable maintenance inputs from both personnel appointed by Grand Prive and from the software providers. This resulted in increased costs, poor service and loss of reputation. Therefore Grand Prive had no option but to close down the operations of the affiliate program. eCOGRA confirmed that Grand Prive had followed a transparent procedure for closing down the operation and had attempted to settle all accounts in a fair manner. However eCOGRA felt that the grievances of some of the affiliate members were justified.
During December 2009 eCOGRA asked the aggrieved affiliate members to submit their claims. This call was widely publicized over the Internet to ensure that it reached all the aggrieved members. 58 claims were received by eCOGRA. Of these 7 were found to be invalid and 26 were found to have earned commissions during the disputed period. The remaining claims were examined by two qualified Chartered Accountants working for eCOGRA. They followed the complete audit trail of all the transactions carried out by players referred to the Grand Prive online casinos by these affiliate members. As a result of this exercise eCOGRA was able to compute the exact commission due to these affiliate members. To this the potential loss of future earnings faced by the affiliate members that had active players on board during the time of the closure had to be added. According to eCOGRA active players were those who are active for a six-month period before the closure of the affiliate program. eCOGRA arrived at a fair compensation for the life time value of these players.
Finally eCOGRA confirmed that it had received complete cooperation from the management of Grand Prive during the investigation. eCOGRA also thanked those who were representing the affiliate members interests for their feedback and support. Such is the integrity of eCOGRA that their findings should be acceptable to all those directly affected by the closure of the Grand Prive Affiliate Program and the online gaming industry at large.
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