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Affiliate Interviews: Tom Lasten, Editor-in-Chief at CasinoBonusesIndex.com

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We have browsed around and have found a casino bonus comparison site that indexes the best bonuses from the most reputable online casino operators all over Europe and the Rest of the World. It seems that this website has been around for quite a while and it’s run by a great team which has a front man who has been writing about gambling professionally over 10 years. So, without any delays, here is our interview with Tom Lasten, Editor-in-Chief at CasinoBonusesIndex.com

GAV: First, we would like to thank you for the opportunity to interview such a highly appreciated professional of the industry. Could you fill out the short form below so our readers can imagine your profile?

  • Name: Tom Lasten
  • Age: 35
  • Hometown: London, United Kingdom
  • Living in: London
  • Favorite Food: Japanese
  • Must Read Book: Beat the Dealer by Edward O Thorpe

GAV: Tell us a bit about yourself, we want to know who Tom Lasten really is, Editor-in-Chief at CasinoBonusesIndex.com. Where were you born? What was the key idea of developing this great website?

Tom: I was born in London but have travelled most of Europe, Asia and America and I’ve lived in Las Vegas and Malta for what I would call an influential period of time.  The idea behind the website came from a mix of my days of playing blackjack and my degree in Journalism.  I played at a pretty decent level and casinos are what I know, I’ve written about gambling professionally now for well over 10 years.  I wanted to give players a great resource with which to learn the games, but from someone who actually plays them, not simply a nameless face spinning an article.  So I’m the Editor-in-Chief at www.casinobonusesindex.com but the face behind all of our brands is Blue Window Ltd, we’re an agency of around 15 people based in Malta and we operate our sites in many different languages, across 20+ countries such as France, Sweden, Germany, Finland etc. 

GAV: Since there are thousands of casino review websites out there, where do you think CasinoBonusesIndex.com stands now?

Tom: I think the beauty of this website is that it has a younger, more relevant take on online casinos.  Gambling is seen as such an old mans game, but in reality its the younger generations who spend 24/7 online, they’re on their smartphones constantly and are always looking for the next big thing. We have the exact same hunger for the newest tech and the latest games, exactly like our players.

GAV: What are the strong points of the website and what makes it stand out from the niche websites?

Tom: It’s easy to navigate and there are a lot of exclusive bonuses on there, this is thanks to the great partnerships we’ve built over the years with all the different online casinos.  We’re fiercely honest with all our reviews as well, I think it’s still nice to have a bit of integrity in this business, if something doesn’t fit with a game or casino we’ll let our players know about it straight.  It’s the same concept in play across all of the language versions of this particular brand.

GAV: What were the bumps on your road when you got started and how did you overcome them?

Tom: Not very many to be honest, I guess like most you have little experience of the actual money side of the business when you first start out, so negotiating can be tricky not knowing how much everything is potentially worth, other than that we took a very measured approach to the business and building the website so as such it built up over time, anything that required extra attention or any problems we just made sure was resolved so we felt no negative impact.

casino-bonus-index-logo

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?

Tom: A lot of the content such as the news, casino reviews and casino game guides on the site were written by me, mainly because I have a lot of actual gambling and online casino experience, especially blackjack.   I also have a great writer who specializes in online slots.  She actually writes great slot reviews because she plays the games so much herself.  For the other languages there are separate teams all within Blue Window Ltd working on each of the websites and they all have a similar setup with multiple writers and main editors.  It’s a truly international agency in that sense.

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?

Tom: As an editor, it’s a question of choosing content that you think your audience will love and also content that you can write with authority about.  I’m very honest when I write, I see a lot of articles written for the sake of traffic and it’s obvious the person writing the article doesn’t know the subject at all.  Our content is good for both attracting new traffic and satisfying our existing audience plus we’re complete geeks when it comes to the subjects we cover! so we write with passion as well as relevance and authority.

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?

Tom: There needs to be a bit of give and take of course, but I’ve met both sides of the coin.  I work with some great affiliate managers who are very down to earth and we do business easily because there’s no bullshit.  On the reverse I’ve worked with many in the past that come across all ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and I’m just not interested.  My advice is just be a normal human being with your clients, business doesn’t need to be painful for either parties, it should ideally be mutually beneficial and a good working relationship leads to a better and healthier business for both in the long term.

GAV: How do you see the future of the gambling industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon in the near future?

Tom: I think it’s always been a global thing on the whole but now you will definitely see a second explosion in online gambling, there are so many markets opening up around the world, in countries where everything is very new so there’s lots of potential for fast growth and a chance for more product diversity in those newer markets.

GAV: Can you name one change that you want to see in the casino affiliate ecosystem?

Tom: More parties? Haha, I think this is a tough one to answer because it constantly evolves but I was thinking the other day how cool it would be to see more direct interaction with the software developers than just at trade shows.  It’s always fun to try new tech or new games before they’re released and get some proper advanced previews out for the players, at the moment it’s a side of the industry that has great crossover potential but developers tend to be a shy and secretive bunch.

GAV: What advise you would like to offer to the new affiliates who are looking to venture into this great industry?

Tom: For your sites you need to find your own voice and be true to it, sounds simple but it’s hard sometimes not to just rubber stamp everything that comes through.  For the business side if it’s something you’ve never done before then there are plenty of very good resources and on the whole the affiliate community is quite approachable for general advice, just don’t ask about any trade secrets and you’ll be fine!

GAV: Who is your favorite celebrity?

Tom: (Chelsea Footballer) John Terry

GAV: If you would just open your YouTube search bar, what would you search for?

Tom: Usually some really good jazz funk or house music for while I’m working, for actual videos I tend to watch a lot of old football matches from the 80’s on YouTube and older WSOP tournaments are also a personal favorite at the moment.

GAV: Back to work. Do you attend any iGaming conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?

Tom: We do go to a few of them, I really enjoy ICE for all the cool new games and tech previews, the London Affiliate Convention is always fun to catchup with old acquaintances and the newer SiGMA summit of igaming in Malta was a really good event last year.

GAV: How do you rate the chances of Eastern Europe becoming potential gaming hotspot of the future? Where do you think the region must improve upon?

Tom: I think there’s a lot of great potential in these markets, but care must be taken by the relevant authorities to ensure the players are looked after before the casinos, not the other way around.  I think improvements like this go a long way to building trust in new brands and especially trust in new markets which is very important.  Good reputation is everything after all.

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.

Tom: One of the places I would love to go to still is Poland, but I’d love to take a few weeks to really explore the country a bit and get to know the history from the people’s perspective.  My favorite destination? At the moment I love Mexico and it may sound cheesy but also Las Vegas, there’s just something special about Vegas.

GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?

Tom: I don’t know if there’s anywhere I wouldn’t go, I’m always up for adventure and experiencing new cultures and places.

GAV: What is your opinion about EEG/GAV (Eastern European Gaming – eegaming.org)/Gambling Affiliate Voice – gamblingaffiliatevoice.com?

Tom: I have followed you guys for a while, I read your website regularly for insights into the Eastern European markets to get a better idea of what’s going on currently in that sector so I really like what EEgaming.org does for the industry, you really bring something relevant to the niche.  Gambling affiliate voice in particular is a great resource, especially for newer affiliates.  There are many pitfalls out there if you’re not careful and this site can go a long way to helping them get started, talking to reputable affiliate managers and other key people in the industry can help to answer many important questions newer affiliates may have.

Affiliate Success

Vita Media Group wins Casino Affiliate of the Year Award at the EGR Operator Awards 2022

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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.

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Affiliate Success

Casino Guru establishes Awards Project to recognize greatest industry achievements

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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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Affiliate Success

Paysafe’s Income Access wins ‘Best Tech for Affiliates’ 2022 iGB Affiliate Award

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Paysafe’s Income Access wins ‘Best Tech for Affiliates’ 2022 iGB Affiliate Award

 

Income Access platform recognized as the leading software solution for global iGaming affiliate marketers at industry awards in London 

 Paysafe, a leading specialized payments platform, today announced that Income Access, its marketing technology and services provider, won in the ‘Best Tech for Affiliates’ category at the 2022 iGB Affiliate Awards, held last night at the Troxy, in London, U.K.

Taking place during this week’s ICE London and iGB Affiliate London conferences, the iGB Affiliate Awards recognized the affiliate marketers, affiliate managers, operators and software providers like Income Access that have excelled in the global affiliate space over the last 12 months. Income Access’ ‘Best Tech for Affiliates’ iGB Affiliate award follows a series of major affiliate-focused upgrades to the company’s turnkey multi-channel tracking and reporting platform.

Among 30+ unique reports, the platform’s key reports were enhanced in 2021 through 2022 to optimize the user experience (UX) for affiliates while increasing transparency on data and performance metrics. Other tech enhancements included a move to the cloud to improve response times for affiliates and facilitate scalability for the future.

Affiliate payments were also streamlined through a platform integration with Paysafe’s Skrill digital wallet, with the addition of multiple new currencies.

Income Access continued to strengthen the Income Access Network, the iGaming industry’s longest-serving independent affiliate network. Over the last 12 months, multiple new brands serving a diverse range of iGaming verticals and markets integrated with the Network, and its affiliate membership expanded by 1,000+.

Geoff Smorong, Vice President of Operations at Paysafe’s Income Access, said: “Whether it’s our affiliate platform, the Income Access Network, or our affiliate management services, affiliates are at the heart of everything we do at Income Access. We’re therefore delighted to see our software development and technology honoured at the iGB Affiliate Awards.”

Zak Cutler, CEO of North America iGaming at Paysafe, commented: “Affiliates play an instrumental role in player acquisition for iGaming brands and have helped drive the growth of our wider industry. Given the affiliate channel’s importance, this award is a huge achievement for Income Access, reflecting the innovation, hard work and dedication of their entire team.”

 

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