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Thread: Warning about Tower Poker / Tower Affiliates - Potential Scam

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    Default Warning about Tower Poker / Tower Affiliates - Potential Scam

    Hi all,

    I'm posting to let you all know to be careful about Tower Poker / Tower Gaming / Tower Affiliates. We're a large affiliate (PokerSavvy) and delivered them a high volume of players over several months. Tower seems to have decided that they don't want to pay, and now owe us over $28,000. The invoices and terms of our agreement are perfectly clear and Tower has never disputed the amounts owed. I'm not yet sure whether this unwillingness to pay derives from financial difficulty, simple dishonesty or both. We have also heard reports that other affiliates are not receiving payments. If you're not currently promoting or playing at Tower, I would keep it that way. If you are promoting them or playing there, I'd strongly advise you to reevaluate that decision.

    Some background:

    We launched our deal with Tower on Aug 24, 2011. Our affiliate manager at that time was Patrick. Patrick left and we were then assigned to David Visser. David eventually stopped responding to our emails. Our next affiliate manager, Justin, told us that David Visser was fired for what boils down to extreme incompetence. After taking over from David, Justin assured us via multiple emails that paying us was his top priority. He asked for all of the deal background & paperwork and said that he would process payment ASAP. We provided Justin with all of the information he requested. That was over two weeks ago and since that time he has not responded to a single email. It appears that either Justin or his boss has decided that they just don't want to pay.

    As we have all recently been reminded, integrity and honesty mean everything in this industry and when operators mistreat partners and players our whole industry suffers. All too often this kind of behavior is swept under the rug because operators hide behind their jurisdictions, their convoluted corporate & asset structures and their size to intimidate players and partners. We've decided to pursue this issue legally. It may cost us more than $28k to do it, but that's fine. This kind of thing just shouldn't be allowed to happen and when we allow it we signal to unethical operators that dishonesty pays.

    If you've had similar issues, or if you think I'm off-base, I'd be interested to hear your feedback. I don't like airing dirty laundry like this but when operators behave in this way I feel an obligation to let the community know.

    Below I've included an email we received from Justin on Nov 29th. He maintains that he's working hard to fix the problem. But keep in mind that although he says "he shall keep us updated as frequently as he can", he hasn't responded to us at all since then. If you were in Justin's position and you were sincere about fixing this issue and repairing the reputation of your affiliate program, wouldn't you at least respond? Does going totally dark seem like a professional or reasonable approach? See below and decide for yourself.

    Thanks for reading.

    -Matt
    CEO, PokerSavvy

    --

    From Nov 29:

    I can understand your becoming impatient, a deal is a deal & you feel that our end has not been satisfied.

    I want to start off by saying that Tower does not have any sort of financial issues; it is unfortunate that you did not receive the amount you feel you are owed & there are numerous reasons for that, none of them have to do with financial stability.

    The truth of the matter is that David was let go for a variety of reasons, partly because of some of the problems your team are experiencing with payment. Deals were often approved without consent of the board, less than adequate communications with affiliates as well as other departments within Tower…the list gets quite lengthy, but that’s beside the point.

    I know that we are all busy people, but try to understand that I have been put in a position where I have minimal resources. David unfortunately kept little-to-no records of these dealings, many of these deals were setup without normally required approval (which them makes it more difficult to approve payment) – just overall bad management.

    I can understand why your team would want to threaten us, you have been put in a bad position, we all have, but you must understand that I am doing everything I can to make this right, we all are – but this stuff takes time.

    Of course from your end, it’s been weeks, if not months of dealing with delays and other nonsense, but I just started this position yesterday, David was let go Friday and I am left with numerous affiliates in similar situations…neglected & upset, I can’t blame them.

    I don’t want to destroy this relationship; I know you guys are big players in the industry, and if it came down to it….you could and would honor those threats, and I know neither of us want that outcome.

    Bottom line: you gave us until the 30th of this month, I am sorry…I will not be able to fix this within that span of time, it is impossible for me given the circumstance…it would be impossible for anyone in my position.

    I am doing everything I can to fix this, because I know what sort of damage it will cause if I don’t, I am well aware of that fact. I have since put together a package of all communications, invoices, payment details…everything I can find. I’ve tasked our customer support team to verify all goals were met per original deal requirements.

    I understand in your mind its as simple as paying, but for me….i have to justify this to our company, in order to do that I must have a very solid timeline in place…everything has to be cross-referenced.

    Rest assured that settling this score is currently my top priority & I shall keep you updated as frequently as I can.

    Thank you,

    Justin

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    Wouldn't have too long researching and asking around to know Tower Gaming has been accused of reneging on contractual agreements on more than one occasion. Prior to going into the legal approach you might want to look into this, because if costly there are others who might be willing to step up and approach this from a criminal aspect. I have no idea who owns the company but there have been US citizens that have at least worked for them (sure they're not located there). You're not the first to claim non payment and bring the issues to forums, similar allegaton different day. Seek out others, see what details were, and if willing to spend money fighting it consider the criminal approach as well imo.

    Note: I have no idea the merits of the other complaints - only that I've on other occasions seen a similar line. Also no lawyer, not legal advise, please gamble responsibly, don't play with power lines, blah blah.
    Shay likes this.
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    I've heard of issues with them, Similar to issues affiliate have/ have had with Euro Partners. companies like this ask us to send a high volume of players, and/or high value players. Then they find an excuse to not pay you what what agreed on, and what you are owed.

    It's disgusting, and I agree that way too many times other affiliate don't take notice of this type of theft. I've been guilty of it myself.

    I hope you take this information to CAP, GPWA, and AGD. Chances are you won't see the money you are owed, but at least you can ensure other companies know the risk of dealing with thieves like Tower, Titan Poker, etc
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    Sorry to hear about this Matt. We chatted briefly a few years ago and i could tell you are one of the good guys in this industry. I hope you get your money or at least slam them in court.

    It's sad but there are few companies in this industry who have character. Most screw over players or affiliates in the name of the almighty dollar. Don't get me wrong, i love me some monies. But in this industry it's almost status quo to screw over hard working players and marketers. If the decision makers at these companies would actually think big picture they would realize that they are better off paying. I bet Tower would "make back" that $28k in 2-3 months off your players in the casino. And they would certainly make a nice profit in the future from your business. But most of these managers are too caught up in fear over the numbers they have to list in their weekly TPS reports.
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    I just emailed Justin yesterday morning and heard back from him. They owe us a small sum of money as well (~$1k). David was our old account rep, and he left suddenly with no notice or anything. Justin, I'm assuming, is the new guy there. From his email yesterday, it seems as though they are gonna make good on the payment owed to us. in light of your email above, I will stop promoting them until the payment has been received though.

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    I have no doubt that Matt wouldn't post this unless it was 100% true.

    I would immediately treat Tower as rogue and assume non-payment is their plan until we hear otherwise.
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    Matt we've never had any dealings before but hearing your situation makes me feel sick. It's refreshing to see you're willing to take them on and I wish you the best of luck. Hopefully it won't come to that and they'll just make the payment.

    This kinda thread sure makes the upfront payments option look good.
    ak likes this.

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    I just wrote a review about tower poker aswell... What a waste of time! thanks for informing me parttime and i hope you get your money back matt.

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    Thanks everyone for your replies. Quick update: we have received no funds and Justin / Tower have stopped responding to us altogether. After quite a bit of research, I've learned who the actual owners of Tower are, where they work and I have obtained their personal phone numbers. I have contacted both of them. When each answered and I identified myself, both claimed to be unable to hear me and hung up. They did not answer subsequent calls. If there was any doubt before that these guys simply don't want to pay, that doubt is now erased. These guys are incredibly shady and from what I've learned a) I'm not the only affiliate in this situation with Tower and b) these guys have a long history of very questionable activity.

    The good news is that now that I know who they are and where they are, the path to recovering what we're owed is much clearer and easier. I'm not planning to roll over on this. I'm having so much fun with my Matlock-style investigations that I can't see why I'd stop here. I'll keep you all posted. In the meantime, I'd appreciate your help warning fellow affiliates about these guys. Promoting them is a recipe for non-payment.

    If there are other forums you think I should post this info on, please let me know that too.

    Thanks,
    Matt

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    Man what a shitty situation, well keep an eye on this thread to see if there is anything to help with. Had a bad feeling about tower last year when tracking seemed suspicious and dropped them totally. If you do a news post or something, and need links to that, shoot me a pm and i will do what i can to help. (free of course)


 

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