Lopoca Review: Nugget Game Ponzi points investment
While there is no readily available information about who owns or operates Lopoca on their website, the company does provide some basic information about itself:
Lopoca Gaming Ltd., was founded in Malta on the 15th June 2010 as a subsidiary from Lopoca Ltd., a company registered in Cyprus.
Whilst Lopoca Gaming Limited is the operative company, Lopoca Limited deals with the administraive (sic) and all member enquiries for Lopoca Gaming Limited.
Despite the mention of registration in Cyprus, Lopoca provide an address in Malta on their website.
This corresponds with a license issued by the Malta Gaming authority (MGA/CL3/709/2010), but does not confirm where Lopoca is being operated from.
The Lopoca website domain (“lopoca.com”) was registered on the 20th of March 2010, with a Klaus Saurugger of Lopoca LTD listed at the owner.
An address in Cyprus is also provided, however further research reveals it to belong to FiduciTrust Services.
On their website, FiduciTrust Services provide mail address and mail forwarding services, indicating Lopoca is unlikely to have an actual physical presence in Cyprus.
In Lopoca affiliate newsletters, Saurugger (right) identifies himself as CEO of the company. On his LinkedIn Saurugger lists his location as Malta, which matches up with the Malta Gaming Authority license.
Saurugger’s employment history reveals positions the telecommunications and insurance sectors, however I didn’t see anything MLM related.
This suggests that Lopoca is Saurugger’s first MLM venture as an executive.
Read on for a full review of the Lopoca MLM business opportunity.
The Lopoca Product Line
Lopoca is an online gaming company, offering users casino games, sports betting, IQ Game and Nugget Game virtual share trading.
The casino and sports betting are self-explanatory, with the following description for the Nugget Game provided on the Lopoca website:
The Nugget Game is a totally unique, Maltese Gaming License Sanctioned game, where you trade Nuggets on our Nugget Market with other members and players.
The IQ Game appears to be an IQ test, which Lopoca affiliates must purchase access to each week to qualify for commissions (€10).
All games except the IQ Game are available to retail Lopoca customers.
The Lopoca Compensation Plan
The Lopoca compensation plan sees affiliates sign up and spend money on offered Lopoca gaming services, with commissions also paid on the recruitment of new affiliates.
Retail activity is also paid out on, when non-affiliates participate in Lopoca games and services.
MLM Commission Qualification
In order to qualify for MLM commissions, all Lopoca affiliates are required to generate at least 1 residual commission point each week.
In their compensation plan material, Lopoca claim this is ‘most easily accomplished by purchasing a (IQ) voucher‘ each week.
Each period you place a qualifying order and after you register a single qualified partner in each team, left and right (“qualified” means he/she has purchased an IQ-Voucher), you can claim your earnings.
As above, taken from the Lopoca compensation plan, Lopoca affiliates are also required to recruit at least two affiliates who each also maintain a weekly IQ Game voucher purchase.
Lopoca Affiliate Ranks
There are eight affiliate ranks within the Lopoca compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Member – recruit at least two MLM commission qualified affiliates
- Apprentice – recruit at least four MLM commission qualified affiliates (at least one of which is Member ranked or higher)
- Mentor – recruit at least eight MLM commission qualified affiliates (at least one of which is Apprentice ranked or higher)
- Manager – recruit at least twelve MLM commission qualified affiliates (at least one of which is Mentor ranked or higher) and generate 2 residual commission points a week
- Director – recruit at least sixteen MLM commission qualified affiliates (at least two of which are Manager ranked or higher) and generate 2 residual commission points a week
- International Director – recruit at least twenty MLM commission qualified affiliates (at least four of which are Manager and 1 is Director ranked or higher) and generate 4 residual commission points a week
- General Director – recruit at least thirty MLM commission qualified affiliates (at least eight of which are Manager and 1 is International Director ranked or higher) and generate 5 residual commission points a week
- President – recruit at least forty MLM commission qualified affiliates (at least twelve of which are Manager and 1 is General Director ranked or higher) and generate 5 residual commission points a week
Lopoca affiliates paid to recruit new affiliates, paid out via a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
Lopoca cap payable unilevel levels at four, with commissions paid out as a percentage of newly recruited affiliate fees:
- level 1 (personally recruited affiliates) – 4%
- level 2 – 3%
- level 3 – 2%
- level 4 – 1%
Note that 70% of the commission is paid out as cash, with the remaining 30% awarded in Nugget points (see Nugget Game commissions).
A 7.88% cashback is paid out on of funds Lapoca generates from games and services.
These are funds that were not paid out to players, minus commissions paid to providers of the offered services.
An affiliate can also earn cashback on spends by their downline, with 5.26% paid out down two levels of recruitment.
Note that cashback is only paid out on funds Lopoca themselves keep that are spent on casino games (including sports betting).
Residual commissions are based on points generated by a Lapoca affiliate, with points generated as follows:
- purchase of IQ Game voucher = 1 point
- 200 EUR spent in the Nugget Game = 1 point
- 1000 EUR spent in the casino or sports betting = “approx o.5” points
- 100 EUR rake generated via poker = 1 point
- recruit a Broker affiliate (€500 EUR) = 30 points
- recruit a Broker Pro affiliate (€1000 EUR) = 60 points
- recruit a Broker Pure affiliate (€5000 EUR) = 120 points
Generated points are tracked through a binary compensation structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a binary team, split into two sides (left and right):
Points are tracked across these teams, with 300 points generated paying out a €45.50 commission and €19.50 into the Nugget Game.
Note that these 300 points must be generated using a 2:1 ratio, that is 200 points on one side of the binary matched with 100 points on the other.
Finally, Lopoca affiliates are capped on the their binary earnings – based on their affiliate rank:
- Member – €455 a week
- Apprentice – €910 a week
- Mentor – €1820 a week
- Manager – €3640 a week
- Director – €7288 a week
- International Director – €11,056.50 a week
- General Director – €14,560 a week
- President – €18,200 a week
Note that if a Lopoca affiliate receives 400 binary commissions over 4 consecutive weeks, their binary position is terminated and they must generate a new binary team from scratch.
Matching Bonus (Binary)
A 50% Matching Bonus is available on binary earnings of recruited affiliates, paid out down a maximum four levels of recruitment.
Qualification for each of the four levels available is as follows:
- level 1 – personally recruit 4 MLM commission qualified affiliates (at least one in both binary sides)
- level 2 – personally generate at least 2 residual commission points and recruit at least 12 MLM commission qualified affiliates (at least one must be Mentor rank or higher)
- level 3 – personally generate at least 4 residual commission points and recruit at least 20 MLM commission qualified affiliates (at least four must be Manager rank and one Director rank or higher)
- level 4 – personally generate at least 5 residual commission points and recruit at least 30 MLM commission qualified affiliates (at least eight must be Manager rank and one International Director or higher)
How much of a Matching Bonus is paid is then determined by an affiliate’s rank:
- Apprentice – 2.5% on level 1
- Mentor – 5% on level 1
- Manager – 8% on level 1 and 5% on level 2
- Director – 10% on level 1 and 5% on level 2
- International Director – 10% on level 1 and 5% on levels 2 and 3
- General Director – 10% on level 1 and 5% on levels 2 to 4
- President – 10% on level 1 and 5% on levels 2 to 5
Nugget Game Points
In addition to receiving Nugget Game Points with Broker (€500), Broker Pro (€1000) and Broker Pure (€5000) affiliate membership, Lopoca affiliates can also invest up to €5000 in additional funds a year into Nugget Game Points.
Lopoca’s Nugget Game is a game in which Team Partners and Player can buy and sell Nuggets online.
The basic idea is that Nugget Game Points are accumulated and traded between Lopoca affiliates, on the expectation that they will indefinitely increase in value.
Lopoca affiliates are capped from selling nugget points each weekend, based on the following amounts pegged to affiliate ranks:
- Member – €195 a week
- Apprentice – €390 a week
- Mentor – €780 a week
- Manager – €1560 a week
- Director – €3120 a week
- International Director – €4738.50 a week
- General Director – €6240 a week
- President – €7800 a week
IQ Game Commissions
IQ Game vouchers cost €10 and enter an affiliate into a daily profit-sharing pool made up of 50% of IQ Game voucher sales.
At the end of each day an undisclosed number of Lopoca affiliates are drawn and win an equal share of the pool.
The World Club is a bonus pool made up for Lopoca company-wide revenue.
As a World Pool member, you are paid a share of Lopoca’s total global profit.
President ranked affiliates receive an equal share in the pool, however Lopoca do not disclose what percentage of company-wide revenue goes into the pool.
Basic Affiliate membership is €49 and then €35 annually.
Affiliates can also sign up with Broker (€500), Broker Pro (€1000) and Broker Pure (€5000) packages, all of which come with Nugget points.
Lopoca affiliates are also required to spend at least €40 a month for commission qualification.
Buried under a rather large gaming and sports betting facade, is a relatively straight-forward Ponzi points business model.
Back 2011 such were the problems this was causing, that Klaus Saurugger issued the following press-release in July:
I was distressed and deeply concerned when I realized that many Members are reducing Lopoca to the Nugget Game.
The Nugget Game is but one of Lopoca’s many games and you already know that there will be a lot more. Turnover and profits from the Nugget Game will only be a part of Lopoca’s overall turnover and profit.
The current price development of the Nugget Game doesn’t influence the goals and visions of Lopoca’s management. No, it is all of you who create this price because your goals are only short-termed and you don’t realize your chance to be part of something really big.
The current Nugget price is of no interest if you know where the journey with Lopoca will lead to.
I believe the issue was the Nugget Game points were decreasing in value, causing then Lopoca investors to panic.
Yet despite Saurugger’s pleadings, in 2015 it appears not much has changed:
Functionally the Nugget Game is pretty straight-forward. Lopoca get points when they sign up and then via direct investment into the scheme.
Each point (officially Lopoca refer to them as “nuggets”) is assigned a value by how many funds are currently invested in the “game”.
Withdrawals through the company aren’t possible, with affiliates instead having to sell the points to other affiliates.
This sees new affiliates buy points from existing affiliates, with recruitment and binary commissions also feeding new funds into the game.
The recruitment and binary injections are of particular note, as they provide (at least theoretically) a constant influx of new buyers.
Lopoca affiliates have three days to convert their assigned Nugget Game points allocations from binary and recruitment commissions, which is in itself designed to ensure hoarding doesn’t take place.
The problem is if recruitment slows down, all three sources of Nugget Game revenue are screwed.
Retail customers are permitted to participate in the Nugget Game, however I suspect there’s little to no retail activity taking place within Lopocos.
Indeed the fact that retail customers are permitted to invest in the Nugget Game complicates things, and I’d even go so far as to say those retail customers that do invest are no longer retail customers.
The Nugget Game is intertwined with the MLM opportunity, despite retail customers being barred from earning residual MLM commissions.
I’d argue the only true retail customers in Lopoca are those who play the casino games and participate in sports betting, and it is these users I believe are far and few between.
Prospective affiliates themselves can verify the existence of retail, by checking with a prospective upline as to how many MLM commission points a week they are generating from retail customers (excluding Nugget Game point investment).
Given there’s no real reason to focus on this side of the business, again I suspect retail activity will be little to none.
As to the rest of the services offered by Lapoca, there’s no issues as far as I can see. Gaming and MLM don’t really go together in my opinion, but if Lapoca have got their license and are operating that side of the business above-board, more power to them.
The Nugget Game Ponzi scheme however cannot be ignored, and unfortunately drags the rest of the business down.
In the US you’re looking at unregistered securities, with the scheme itself (outside of Malta) quite recognizably a Ponzi investment scheme.
There’s also a distinct “pay to play element” within the scheme, with affiliates required to spend money each month just to qualify for commissions. Recruitment of affiliates is an alternative, but unlikely to be a main source of qualification.
As with all Ponzi schemes, once new investment dries up the scheme goes bust.
In that regard Lapoca affiliates are at a pretty severe disadvantage, as funds are trapped in points and if there’s no buyers, remain trapped.
And nobody’s going to see that coming until Lapoca affiliates go to sell their Nugget points and realize there’s no buyers. By then of course it’s too late, with the price of the points going into freefall before the scheme collapses altogether.