The Affiliate Interviews section is on fire, with yet another gambling affiliate rock star sharing his story about his journey into this great industry. Today we catch up with Dave S, founder of BestBettingCasinos.com
GAV: Hi Dave, first of all, we would like to thank you for the opportunity. Could you please share your profile below as an introduction to our readers?
- Name: Dave S
- Age: 35
- Hometown: Alkmaar
- Living in: The Netherlands
- Favorite Food: Indian Cuisine
- Must Read Book: Zlatan (By Zlatan Ibrahimovic)
GAV: Tell us a bit about yourself, we want to know who Dave S really is, the main person behind BestBettingCasinos.com. Where were you born? What was the key idea of developing this great website?
Dave: Of course I can tell a long story about my past and the things I did. But I think it is better to take you in to my life right now. At the moment I own an internet company in which we exploit online and mobile concepts. BestBettingcasinos.com is one of them. The others are dating websites and a mobile Football app for local football clubs in the Netherlands.
I love to explore the world and many businesses. After working for an online casino for a short period we decided to sell the casino. I love the casino business but I did not want to work for a casino again. So we started our own affiliate website. And at the moment of writing this interview we are online for 1 year and 5 days.
GAV: Since there are thousands of casino review websites out there, where do you think BestBettingCasinos.com stands now?
Dave: Yes there are! And I think it is pretty hard nowadays to startup a new affiliate website in this business at the moment. But we love the business, I wanted to stay part of the amazing iGaming industry.
We are just at the start of something beautiful. After a year online, 700 pages further and from 0 visitors to around 100 unique today, we are really happy. And we are still growing every day in traffic and revenue so we are getting more and more motivated to get the website up to a higher level.
GAV: What are the strong points of the website and what makes it stand out from the niche websites? We can certainly say it jumps out of the routine websites…
Dave: If you visit the website there is one thing that really stands out in my opinion. That is the webdesign and the layout we have used. A nice colored design and easy navigation. With large images on the landingpages but not like some bannerfarms I see in the business.
Dave: And I guess the way we are writing stands out from some other websites. We write in a really personal structure. So when a visitors starts reading it feels like we are talking to him, and take him all the way through a casino or a new promotion.
GAV: What were the bumps on your road when you got started and how did you overcome them?
Dave: I guess this must be time. At the moment this website is not our core business. Me and my mate Koen both have some other projects next to this website. So in the beginning we had to do some time management. But when after only 3 months the first revenues come in you will get motivated and all of a sudden it is easier to reserve some time work on the website.
So I guess motivation and dedication are key to overcome bumps, and of course results.
GAV: We have browsed your website and found some high quality content. Are you writing it by yourself or you have a team of people writing the reviews? How many reviews are there on your website?
Dave: I guess at the moment 90% of the content is written by Koen and myself. Since a few months we also started a partnership with some external writers. I think they write around 7 posts a week. All the other content is our own. This is a well thought choice because we are the only ones who know what our visitors like and what our writing style is.
At the moment there are around 40-50 unique casino reviews on the website. But our strength are the unique bonus and news reviews.
GAV: How do you keep the content fresh and devoid of clutter when a lot of fluff and nonsense appear on the Internet on a daily basis?
Dave: Haha, you are right! We only write about a news item or a bonus if we think it is interesting for our visitors. And above that we do not add small posts. If we add content to the website it are long posts with full information about the subject.
But I think it is not possible to avoid clutter, Because not every visitor is interested in the same stuff. It all depands on how you write about a subject in my opinion.
GAV: We are sure that you receive daily messages from Affiliate Managers showcasing their products. You of course select them by the brands they work with; but what are your thoughts on how Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationships should be built?
Dave: Yes since a few months we are receiving daily mails from new brands. I think a good relationship between webmaster and affiliate manager is based on trust. You build up a relationship by communicating with each other and listen. And it is important to follow up the promises you make.
In my experience it doesn’t work when an affiliate manager pushes you every single moment. We are all in to get the best results. And in the end some brands work on your website and some don’t. And most of the times the not converting brands have the most pushy affiliate managers.
We never give any promises according to spots, conversions and traffic because you will never know what a consumer does or if a brand converts. When you give no expectations I think the relationship will stay good.
GAV: How do you see the future of the gambling industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon in the near future?
Dave: I hope it gets global of course. But I don’t think it will very soon. For example. We are living in the Netherlands. The regulation talks are being postponed all the time. First it would be regulated in 2014, than 2016 and now maybe 2017.
GAV: Can you name one change that you want to see in the casino affiliate ecosystem?
Dave: I think I am pretty happy with the way it goes.
What advise you would like to offer to the new affiliates who are looking to venture into this great industry?
Dave: I have one important one. Before you start be aware that you can only succeed in this business when you are dedicated and willing to work hard. The time of earning huge amounts of money in a short period is gone.
GAV: Who is your favorite celebrity?
Dave: Without a doubt my mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic! Legend and good example for young people who want to play sports. And above that a great person!
GAV: If you would just open your YouTube search bar, what would you search for?
Dave: Great skiing downhills.
GAV: Back to work. Do you attend any iGaming conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?
Dave: I try to visit them all. My best was Berlin last year in October. Uhhhhhhh my most fun experience I really have no idea. I probably think the Lamborghini riding at the BAC.
GAV: How do you rate the chances of Eastern Europe becoming potential gaming hotpot of the future? Where do you think the region must improve upon?
Dave: As I look at my own traffic and conversions I think there are still a lot of “bonus hunters” in Eastern Europe. But with a lot of the eastern Europe countries connecting to the EU I think the business will get better and better over there.
GAV: Alright, here comes the fun part…., where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, some part of the region maybe that you haven’t visited yet and favorite destination around the world.
Dave: The first city that comes on this question is Riga and the second one is Bratislava. Haven’t been at them before. Heard some good stories about it.
My favorite destination around the wotld is by far Rio de Janeiro. Have been there in summer 2016 during the Football World Cup. That city has everything you need. In Europe I would choose Barcelona, I which I am gonna life for a few months at the end of this year.
Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?
Dave: Poland and Ukraine do not attract me at the moment. I don’t know why but where the first countries that came up.
GAV: What is your opinion about EEG/GAV (Eastern European Gaming – eegaming.org)/Gambling Affiliate Voice – gamblingaffiliatevoice.com?
Dave: It is always good to have an organization like this around. A little regulation and watchdog most of the times is very positive to keep the business booming.
And I like it that you give the floor to Affiliates to talk about their businesses. Keep up the good work. I really enjoyed the interview and hope people get inspired to join our beautiful business.
Ad Fraud and Affiliate Marketing Strategies: How Online Gaming Companies Can Transform Their ROI
By: Richard Metcalf, Global VP, Sports Betting & Online Gaming, TrafficGuard
Betting companies can adopt cutting-edge technology and offer the very best odds, but amplifying your brand is still difficult in a saturated industry. As a result of relaxing regulations, international players can break into an increasing number of new markets but reaching local target audiences can be a challenge. For these businesses, affiliate marketing is a vital channel in driving new user acquisition and some of the largest sportsbooks like Paddy Power and DraftKings are among those utilising the strategy.
With competition fierce, businesses are in a constant battle to keep costs low. Cost-per-thousand (CPT) payment models for traditional TV advertisements are progress towards paying for performance, but vendors still cannot guarantee that exposure will translate to depositing customers. Affiliate marketing provides a cost-efficient, low-risk alternative because businesses pay for conversions only.
But with money to be made, affiliate advertising fraud is rife and affiliate partners are likely delivering invalid engagement. If betting companies are looking to expand their user base and market amongst big players, they must improve their visibility over affiliate partners’ traffic.
Tracking Affiliate Activity
From smaller players to large conglomerates, there’s an exciting opportunity for betting companies to establish their presence across global markets. In the US especially, rapid legalisation across multiple states has turned betting into a million-dollar industry and created a profitable opportunity for overseas operators to move into the new market.
However, marketing globally can be expensive and driving brand awareness in a new location is often time-consuming and resource-heavy. With affiliate marketing, betting companies can create a network of partners from across the globe and easily access international audiences. This strategy is also much more efficient and expansive than physical marketing methods as it removes the difficulties that are tied to building a target audience from scratch.
Although affiliate marketing is a valuable marketing tool for increasing brand awareness and authenticity, affiliate management platforms aren’t prioritising fraud. The measures they put in place themselves are often basic and easy to get around and fraudsters can easily fly under the radar by taking advantage of the lack of protection. The nature of affiliate marketing means there is a disconnect between the promotion, analytics and payment, preventing companies from getting a holistic view of the fraud impacting them in addition to paying out for valueless traffic.
Affiliate fraud in the betting industry includes any deceitful action taken by a third party to exploit marketing techniques. This can include click fraud, where fake clicks are generated on ads to earn commission payments; or cookie stuffing, where fake cookies are placed on computers to hijack affiliate sales. Malicious affiliate ad programs do this so they can earn money from false clicks or sales and target high-investment marketing campaigns.
Research by Forrester revealed that 81% of advertisers include affiliate marketing as part of their marketing strategy. The growth of the market, paired with the increase in competition, is why many are turning to affiliate marketing. However, by being cost-effective through performance-based pay, there is an increased attraction from fraudsters. Sports betting companies are not well-equipped to address the problems they face with ad fraud.
Statista predicts affiliate marketing spending in the US alone will reach $8.2 billion by the end of 2022. With the vast amount of money involved, sports betting companies are a target for fraudsters.
Getting Instant Access
In order to prevent fraudulent traffic, betting companies must increase the visibility they have over affiliates. By keeping track of partners’ activity, including reviewing their demographics, reputation and quality of traffic, they can increase the quality of their affiliate partners.
Betting companies can do this using third-party technology that can indicate that affiliate scams are taking place in real-time to deliver the most reliable fraud protection. Intelligent software that uses behaviour analysis, such as machine learning, can track the volume of data required to deliver an accurate, instant analysis of which traffic is valid, invalid and fraudulent. Machine learning can identify granular details such as an unusually high number of clicks on an ad, or a high number of sales from a single IP address to confidently assess and deal with invalid traffic so the betting company doesn’t have to pay out.
With this data, operators gain the confidence to cross reference the engagement affiliates charge them for, prevent any partners from trying to outmanoeuvre them and safeguard their business against malicious activity. With more protection over advertising campaigns and a larger proportion of clicks coming from conversion-ready leads, companies can build cleaner audience groups from high-value affiliate partners.
Better Visibility, Better ROI
Reaching a market size of $231 billion in 2022, the sports betting industry is becoming increasingly attractive to international operators and fraudsters alike. If you’re running an affiliate marketing program, there’s a high chance you’re paying out for partners’ invalid traffic.
Only using the data your affiliate program partners declare means you’re at risk of being misled. Affiliate programs need to be monitored to avoid scams and program fraud. By understanding which affiliate partners are directing invalid traffic to their websites and charging a premium price for it, sportsbooks can optimise their pay-outs and exceed competitors’ efforts.
Vita Media Group wins Casino Affiliate of the Year Award at the EGR Operator Awards 2022
Vita Media Group, a Danish iGaming company, won the Casino Affiliate of the year award at the 2022 edition of the EGR Operator Awards held in London.
The Casino Affiliate of the Year Award is the first major award that Vita Media Group has won.
Vita Media Group’s CEO Jimmi Meilstrup believes this award comes as an appreciation from the iGaming world to all the employees in the company who are delivering extraordinary results every day.
“On behalf of everyone in our company, I am deeply grateful for this award which is the first large-scale award that we have won as a company. From day 1, we promised the iGaming world we are going to build this company on the principles of loyalty and trust. Through hard work, a lot of research, and indeed a great amount of quality traffic generated and delivered, we have excelled in casino affiliation. To everyone who chose Vita Media Group as a partner, thank you, and be sure to expect even better results from us in the future” commented Jimmi Meilstrup.
During the award night held in London on October 27 th , 2022, Vita Media Group was shortlisted 4 times in different categories:
• Affiliate of the year (Headline category)
• Casino Affiliate of the year
• In-house product for the in-house developed iGaming loyalty and reward platform Ekstrapoint.com
• Affiliate Program for the fast-growing developed affiliate program OMG Affiliates
In the Casino Affiliate of the year category, the judges from the EGR Operator Award were reviewing applications based on significant traffic, player numbers, ROI for operators, ability to build strong partner relationships, brand innovation and marketing, and player retention strategies.
The EGR Operator Awards, considered the Oscars in the iGaming industry, are organized by EGR Global, a leading publisher of online gaming B2B news, analyses, and research.
In 2021, Vita Media Group was shortlisted for the first time at the EGR Operator Awards in the Affiliate of the year category for affiliation services and the Rising Star category for its affiliate program OMG Affiliates.
Casino Guru establishes Awards Project to recognize greatest industry achievements
The Casino Guru Awards is the latest project by Casino Guru inspired by guiding the dialogue on consumer safety, and it reflects on the company’s ambition to acknowledge and reward achievement in the gambling industry, specifically in the sectors Casino Guru has contributed to –responsible gambling and consumer education. Casino Guru Awards is the result of this long-term commitment to making gambling safer, fairer, and more accountable for all participants.
Drawing on years of experience as the defining affiliate service in the industry, Casino Guru has transcended its core model to make global changes to the industry, including through its Global Self-Exclusion Initiative, Casino Guru Academy, Fair Gambling Codex, and other initiatives.
Now, the company is stepping up its responsibilities of a gambling industry custodian with the Casino Guru Awards which will celebrate the most committed operators in industry and the professionals who shape its future. The inaugural edition of the event is designed to raise awareness for the Awards and help the most deserving companies serve as good role models industrywide and reach a broader audience.
To participate, companies may nominate themselves through the end of November 2022. Casino Guru will also select worthwhile nominees that will be added to our list in a process that is fair, transparent, and above all else, distinguishes and focuses on merit. A shortlist will be announced in December2022with the official ceremony held online in February 2023. All decisions regarding the outcome of the event will be carried out by hand-picked judges.
Casino Guru Awards will feature judges from some of the biggest companies that are well-established names in the industry, including Kindred Group, Betsson, Gamban, Epic Risk Management, Gordon Moody, and more. The panel will include close to 15 external judges and five of Casino Guru’s own specialists.
Commenting on this project, Daniela Kianicová, PR & External relations Lead at Casino Guru, said: “Casino Guru Awards is a natural continuation of the efforts Casino Guru has put into making gambling safer, fairer, and more transparent for everyone. We worked on the Awards and the categories with the idea to emphasize on areas of the industry that are crucial to consumer safety and can always be improved on.
Our commitment to safer and responsible gambling is unflinching and I am honored to have the opportunity to work alongside the industry’s most distinct professionals to make gambling safer for players. It’s clear to me that Casino Guru Awards will be a benchmark for companies in the industry and a high accolade for any entity that wants to help write the gambling world of tomorrow.”
Casino Guru Awards will run in several categories which will focus on a mix of business achievements and consumer needs. The company feels strongly that achieving a level of excellence across these verticals will result in a better gambling industry for all. The categories include “The Fairest Bonus Policy,” which assesses the fairness of Bonus T&C’s and whether a bonus accounts for breaching applicable rules by accident, among other and equally important criteria.
“The Fairest General T&Cs” category will focus on how a casino’s T&Cs ensure that customers are protected and safeguarded and that they do not fall prey to predatory or hidden rules and details. In true Casino Guru spirit, “The Most Impactful Social Responsibility Initiative” will focus on those operators and companies who understand the importance of responsible gambling and problem gambling prevention.
There is a separate category that will independently assess “The Best Implementation of RG Tools” and “The Most Transparent Casino.” Another important category will be “The Most Effective Handling Complaints,” which is another area where the Casino Guru team feels improvements can be made, giving operators an incentive to operate in a clear and consumer-centric way. Casino Guru is experienced in this particular area having established the Casino Complaint Resolution Center which has thousands of closed cases already.
Last but not least, there is “The Voice of the People” which will be decided by the players, without any intervention. You may find out more about the Casino Guru Awards on the official page, including details about submitting a nomination, who the judges are, and what to expect in the months that lie ahead.
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