A couple of days ago we reported on Covers.com adding the obscure and underfunded TopBet.com to their “Where to Play” list. This didn’t just raise the ire of the gaming industry media but it fired up Covers.com’s own readers who were still hurting from the BetED fiasco.
The backlash forced MacDonald and Covers co-owner Paul Lavers hand, last night the duo said they would take down the link to TopBet.com to “investigate” the media claims trying to appease their readers backlash.
Along with the announcement that they’d “Investigate” Topbet.com, Lavers or MacDonald posted a 700 word diatribe defending their decision and accusing industry media of pushing rumours. This defence of their decision came all despite documented proof of TopBet.com’s shady history and no real proof that the company’s financial stability.
Posters pointed out that Futurebet associated sportsbooks have a decade long history of stealing bettors and investors money. Still Covers said they would investigate.
In the “Freedom@Stake” diatribe, the first point he made was about how after the BetED deposit theft Covers had to change their model. He stated that “Our American “Where To Play” list is just that… a list of places that still take bets from Americans. You will notice that we link directly to those sites (without tracking codes) and don’t offer any reviews or recommendations – we don’t even number the list. In this day and age, we don’t do recommendations anymore and must leave it up to the customers to ensure they have evaluated all operations thoroughly before sending money.”
This point was debunked by savvy gamblers who pointed out Covers did use tracking codes for the links provided.
We don’t take offence with Covers or any affiliate site using tracking codes and links. Affiliate marketing is such a huge reason for the success of this industry; without it, many great companies wouldn’t have enjoyed the success they presently have. Affiliate send companies players and then make a little money on the backend.
What we take offense with is Joe MacDonald/Paul Lavers outright lying to their readers about something so commonplace in this industry. They must assume their readers are naive and that’s probably why they felt comfortable promoting an obscure and underfunded sportsbook like TopBet so soon after BetED blew up in their faces.
Covers completed their “investigation” re-established Topbet in their “Where To Play” list. This time however, they were a little more upfront about their reasoning.
“We trust the people involved with Topbet, rumors notwithstanding, and are happy to have them on our list as long as they keep paying players and operating in a responsible manner…Or until they stop paying us… that’s right, we are a business and I’m not going to apologize for that.”
We think that’s the first honest thing to come from Lavers/MacDonald in a long time. They admitted the reason they promoted the book is they are getting paid. Joe/Paul, you don’t have to apologize for trying to make money with a website. You need to apologize for trying to pull another fast one on your readers. You need to apologize (and return the money) to all the people who were conned by the BetED scam.
We are still investigating the BetED/Covers.com ownership connection. Players need to get their stolen money back and the Costa Rican BetED employees need to get their proper severance.