In previous years, the C-planet.com affiliate program and its high flying casino brands Rushmore Online, Cherry Red, and Slots Oasis were mainstays of this website. In fact, many people landed on Jaxcasinos.com looking for Rushmore and Cherry Red casino reviews, particularly in 2010 prior to Google’s Panda and Penguin updates.

Now, it looks like these once formidable online casinos are doing a crash landing.

Recommendations for better USA casino affiliate programs:

  1. Affactive.com – RTG Software, 6 brands welcoming USA customers. Reliable payouts. Straightforward stats reporting.
  2. RevenueGiants.com – Top Game Software, many old brand name casinos acquired in recent years. Bingo halls also available for promotion. Stats are minimal but seem to be fairly accurately. Steady payments.
  3. AffiliateEdge.com – RTG Software. One of the most trustworthy, enduring casino affiliate programs to date. Casino merchants are first class and have great reputations among players. Payments come like clockwork. Responsive staff.
  4. MainStreetAffiliates.com – RTG Software. Another solid platform with detailed stats reporting and fast payments. Casino brands are popular and convert well. Wide variety of banners, links, and creatives available.

The trouble began late in the summer of 2012, when payments from the C-planet affiliate program started to become sporadic. In some cases, we had to repeatedly email our affiliate manager to get paid. It was frustrating at the time, but did not sound any alarm bells: many USA facing online casino affiliate programs have bumps in payment processing. It comes with the territory. We gave them the benefit of the doubt and continued to loyally advertise C-planet brands.

Then, around September 2012, C-planet’s website became inaccessible to existing affiliates, many of whom had sent hundreds of players to their program over the years. We tried logging in ourselves on multiple occasions, only to be shown a server error page.

Naturally, we queried our C-planet manager expressing our concerns about the functionality of the website. Again, many USA facing affiliate programs have intermittent technical problems and affiliate program operations must be suspended. When we received our reply from C-planet, we were rather dismayed. No, C-planet wasn’t experiencing temporary technical difficulties or a software upgrade. Instead, the website’s programmers had apparently “Hijacked the website”, preventing anyone from logging in to monitor their stats and payments. To date, the website – beyond the public pages – is still out of service.

Hijacked by programmers: That’s a new one!

We’ve been in the offshore gaming industry in varying degrees for over 10 years. Along the way, we’ve seen promising casino affiliate programs come and go; many doing a supernova after failing to pay affiliates outstanding commissions and much knuckle dragging. Of course, some programs tried to keep their affiliate traffic stream alive by offering random excuses for their business’s troubles. Their explanations ran the gamut of plausible to absurd. C-planet’s story that their website had been hijacked by its programmers is definitely a contender for the “Most Original Affiliate Program Blow-Off Award”, although we’ve heard even wackier things. What business would knowingly allow a website’s programmers to have a kill switch on their operations? In some cases legacy support is required to maintain a high quality product, but programmers are usually paid as needed and their programming becomes the property of their employers.

Trust is the core aspect of any relationship between affiliate and merchant. Affiliates must trust that their stats are being accurately reported, that their players remain associated with their tracking code, and that their payments will be processed consistently on time. They also expect the customers they refer to a casino merchant are being treated fairly. If they aren’t, it’s likely these customers will stop patronizing the offending casino and might ignore the affiliate’s gambling portal as an untrustworthy source of information.

Some affiliate programs voluntarily participate in audits of their system to ensure fair play. Webmasters tend to gravitate towards honest brands and give them the most exposure. The more reliable, trustworthy, and credible an affiliate program is, the more customers its casino merchants will get. It might cost extra money in the short run to purchase bug-free tracking software, but it will pay dividends in the long run when casino merchants have amassed thousands of depositing players.

For what it’s worth, the legal and well regulated European online gambling market offers some of the best affiliate programs to promote. If they don’t pay or shave players, the affiliate might have some grounds for legal recourse. More importantly, rampant abuse of affiliates by a major European online casino company will eventually lead to some sort of legal action against the offending business; the most common being a suspension or revocation of their gaming license. In Europe, affiliates might still get the short end of the stick, but justice will EVENTUALLY be served.

In the USA market, it’s literally a free-for-all, where the worst casinos and their affiliate programs are relatively untouchable (legally) if and when they decide to screw affiliates. Some USA facing online casino brands setup shop with a plan to eventually take their affiliates for a ride. Once their databases are full of good players, affiliate payments will cease and the casino will make another 20%-40% on their erstwhile affiliate referral players. It’s not a bad business model if you want a quick buck.

Although C-planet was viewed as reliable for a few years – especially between 2008-2011 when their brands flourished – it appears they have taken a wrong turn and put greed before honoring their agreements with affiliates.

Affiliates would like to think that they will truly “get lifetime residual income” on the players they refer, but eventually the free flow of cash gets turned off. The result: high performing affiliates who put substantial trust in an affiliate program get screwed. Their hundreds – even thousands – of players and monthly commissions disappear almost overnight, while the casino merchants make off like bandits. Welching on a trust-based relationship for many unscrupulous affiliate program operators is simply part of the business plan, and not something they lose sleep over. Meanwhile, affiliates who relied on residual income from their players must remove all the bad program’s tracking links and live on their savings until they can redirect traffic to a more reputable outfit.

Recommendations for better USA casino affiliate programs:

  1. Affactive.com – RTG Software, 6 brands welcoming USA customers. Reliable payouts. Straightforward stats reporting.
  2. RevenueGiants.com – Top Game Software, many old brand name casinos acquired in recent years. Bingo halls also available for promotion. Stats are minimal but seem to be fairly accurately. Steady payments.
  3. AffiliateEdge.com – RTG Software. One of the most trustworthy, enduring casino affiliate programs to date. Casino merchants are first class and have great reputations among players. Payments come like clockwork. Responsive staff.
  4. MainStreetAffiliates.com – RTG Software. Another solid platform with detailed stats reporting and fast payments. Casino brands are popular and convert well. Wide variety of banners, links, and creatives available.

There’s a actually a thread at GPWA (Gambling Portal Webmasters Association) about C-planet’s troubles – click here.

A few affiliates have concluded it’s time to remove ALL C-planet tracking links, since it’s obvious all their past hard work will NOT continue to be rewarded. Others contend C-planet’s “hijacked” website is nothing more than sham excuse to put more money in the pockets of the casino operators. Despite screwing affiliates, ALL of their casino merchant websites continue to be up and running.

Other more cynical affiliates suggest that C-planet has been a fraud from the start, and its initial efforts to pay affiliates reliably were smoke and mirrors. Some even allege C-planet staff has shaved – or removed players from an affiliate’s account – so they can make more money. Shaving is tough to catch when it is happening. It is usually more discernible after a program starts going downhill and affiliates share stories about their dwindling commission checks. Only then do affiliates realize all their hard work was for not, since they will not receive a commission on money earned from profitable players.

One thing is clear: it’s time to take down all your Rushmore Online, Cherry Red Casino, and Slots Oasis tracking links. If you don’t, you’re literally handing these crooks free money. Here are our recommendations for better USA casino affiliate programs:

  1. Affactive.com – RTG Software, 6 brands welcoming USA customers. Reliable payouts. Straightforward stats reporting.
  2. RevenueGiants.com – Top Game Software, many old brand name casinos acquired in recent years. Bingo halls also available for promotion. Stats are minimal but seem to be fairly accurately. Steady payments.
  3. AffiliateEdge.com – RTG Software. One of the most trustworthy, enduring casino affiliate programs to date. Casino merchants are first class and have great reputations among players. Payments come like clockwork. Responsive staff.
  4. MainStreetAffiliates.com – RTG Software. Another solid platform with detailed stats reporting and fast payments. Casino brands are popular and convert well. Wide variety of banners, links, and creatives available.

Good Luck from Jaxcasinos.com!