Emails to affiliates on its defunct Grand Prive Affiliate Program were sent out by the Grand Prive group this week in addition to an earlier press release from the group alerting former affiliates to claiming possibilities.
The decision to widen the communication campaign comes after representations by affiliates that the reach of affiliate representative bodies was insufficient to ensure that as wide an affiliate audience as possible received the material.
The deadline for claim submissions has also been extended to December 31st 2009.
Grand Prive issued the following statement with each email:
INVESTIGATION INTO THE GRAND PRIVÉ AFFILIATES PROGRAM CLOSURE
On December 4th 2009 Grand Privé issued a statement to affiliate representative bodies and webmasters asking for their cooperation in advising former affiliates of the Grand Privé Affiliates Program of the following:
1) That Grand Privé remains intent on addressing the closure of the Program and its consequences for affiliates.
2) That in pursuance of this objective, Grand Privé management has requested the independent assistance of the player protection and standards body eCOGRA, tasking the qualified audit team of that organisation with investigating and reporting on the closure, and in mediating a fair and reasonable resolution for affected affiliates not already settled by Grand Privé.
3) Inviting affiliates with a legitimate claim to complete an online claim form which will be audited against Program records by eCOGRA, with a deadline for claims of 21st December 2009.
However, eCOGRA monitors have since reported to us that there appear to be doubts as to whether said affiliate representative bodies and webmasters have sufficient reach to ensure that as many relevant affiliates as possible are informed of developments.
eCOGRA has therefore recommended that this communication exercise be expanded by emails directly to Program affiliates, and that the deadline be extended to December 31st 2009 in order to finalise the audit and mediation process as soon as practicable.
With the goal of reaching a fair and reasonable resolution front of mind, Grand Privé management has agreed to these changes, hence this email notification to you.
Please find below an amended copy of the eCOGRA audit team's invitation to affiliates dated 7th December, which provides you with all the necessary information to submit a claim if you feel you have a legitimate and verifiable case.
The emails also include the following eCOGRA statement detailing the claiming procedure:
GRAND PRIVÉ AFFILIATES INVESTIGATION
Following a number of Internet-based allegations concerning payments following the closure of the Grand Privé Affiliate Program on 1 December 2008, eCOGRA's professional services have been engaged by the management of the company.
Pursuant to an independent and fair resolution of the issues involved, eCOGRA has been tasked with:
* Independently investigating the manner in which the Program was terminated and the reasons therefore; subsequently compiling a full and transparent report.
* Gathering and verifying claims by any affiliate that considers an amount still to be owing by the Program as a result of player wagering activity subsequent to 1 December 2008; and
* Carrying out a full and independent review by suitably qualified staff of the program software and data to confirm amounts owing to claimants at 31 December 2009.
eCOGRA is open to all submissions concerning the closure and payments owed, and urges affiliate watchdog organisations in receipt of this email to assist it in order to ensure that respective affiliate members are informed of this opportunity to submit legitimate claims.
Claims can be submitted prior to 31 December 2009 at http://www.ecogra.org/grandprive.aspx.
Former Grand Privé affiliates who believe they have a legitimate and verifiable claim will be asked to complete the Claim Submission Form that they will find on this link.
The following information will be required on the Claim Form, and will be treated in strict confidence:
AMOUNT OF LAST PAYMENT RECEIVED FROM GRAND PRIVÉ
DATE OF LAST PAYMENT RECEIVED
Closing dates for submission of claims is 31 December 2009.
In the interests of transparency, eCOGRA's findings will be publicly released on conclusion of the investigation.
In its latest progress report emailed to claimants, eCOGRA confirms the new arrangements in the following statement dated December 17th:
PROGRESS REPORT : GRAND PRIVÉ AFFILIATES PROGRAM INVESTIGATION
The audit team continues to receive and assess claims in connection with the above and the investigation is on track.
The eCOGRA team has noted affiliate concerns regarding the lack of communications reach of affiliate representative bodies and webmasters, and Grand Privé management has consequently decided the following:
1) That the communications exercise be expanded by emailing all affiliates who had active players on the Program's records during the 3 months prior to 1 December 2008 when the Program closed;
2) That the deadline for submission of claims be extended to 31st December 2009.
Our mandate has therefore been amended accordingly, and the expanded communications exercise has commenced. Our investigation will also include confirming the accuracy and completeness of the database list of emails used in the expanded communications exercise.