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Affiliate Announcements

Lindar Media played an April’s fools joke on Affiliates in the UK online bingo industry, we love it!

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You don’t hear this story everyday and most important, you don’t hear about April’s fools jokes on such level. Well, the guys at Lindar Media, who operate a couple of popular bingo affiliate sites such as onlinebingo.co.uk and twolittlefleas.co.uk, as well as actual bingo brands: circusbingo.com and pixiebingo.com, did it. They have managed to fool the top online bingo affiliates with the launch of a new bingo model called Square Bingo.

The story of the new brand’s launch is incredible and even managed to be quoted and mentioned by many. The games played and Imitation Game and managed to pull it off.

Below you can find the details of this prank and the outcome of it:

WHAT SQUARE BALLS SAY ABOUT THE FUTURE OF ONLINE BINGO

After weeks of anticipation, Square Bingo finally launched on April 1, 2016. Except it didn’t.

Square Bingo was actually an April Fool’s Day experiment created by Lindar Media (that’s us) to gauge how the online bingo industry would react to a new, unknown and untested brand.
With just a few social media posts and a simple ‘Coming Soon’ page to the Square Bingo name, we were able to create a small but meaningful buzz among the country’s leading bingo affiliate sites.

But what does that tell us? Did a fictitious site shed light on some of the key issues affecting online bingo in 2016, and what did we learn about its treatment of the players that fund it?

THE IMITATION GAME

According to recent statistics from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), bingo sites had a Gross Gambling Yield (earnings retained by the operator after winnings had been paid) of £82m between November 2014 and March 2015. With such great rewards available, it is really any surprise that new bingo sites are launched on a monthly basis?

Well, we say new, but the majority of bingo sites are simply re-skins of older designs, intended to funnel players from one site to another with the promise of bigger bonuses and ‘original’ themes.

An overview of bingo site distribution by software in 2015

An overview of bingo site distribution by software in 2015

We operate a selection of networked sites ourselves and are also guilty of falling into this rinse and repeat cycle. But starting with the launch of Circus Bingo last July, and continuing with Pixie Bingo and Wild Spins, we are now trying hard to put our own unique mark on network software through the creation of distinguishable brands.

While Circus and Pixie are admittedly similar to each other, they are together much different from the 170+ other Dragonfish products – a trait that has been widely acknowledged by the industry:

“…to be fair they have tried to make it different and it looks totally different to anything else on this tried and tested network.” – Circus Bingo review, WhichBingo.co.uk

“…the site uses Dragonfish software but there is no way that we would be able to tell by looking at it. The new site uses a completely new template, and we have to say the site looks fantastic.” – Circus Bingo review, Bingoport.co.uk

“Circus Bingo is a Dragonfish network bingo site but is about as far from a standard Dragonfish skin as you could possibly imagine. The design of this circus and nuts themed site is absolutely stunning…” – BestNewBingoSites.co.uk

There’s plenty of room for operators to be adventurous if they want to be. Are players really crying out for another Welcome Bingo? We don’t think so.

Small steps, not giant leaps

PlayTech’s bingo variants and Tombola’s proprietary software aside, it has been years since an operator has offered a truly original approach, leading to genuine excitement when something slightly different arrives on the scene.

As a precursor to Square Bingo, PlayTech’s newest game, Cash Cubes, highlighted how even relatively simple changes continue to be celebrated as groundbreaking when it launched in March.

Cash Cubes: Bingo with cubes, not cards

Cash Cubes: Bingo with cubes, not cards

 

Then in April we saw 888Ladies launch playing card based, Flash Fives. Both of these games are essentially still bingo at their core; replacing the standard bingo card with a different object and speeding things up a bit.

How many more times will this concept be copied?

content_flash_fives_bingo_banner

Flash Fives: Bingo with (playing) cards, not cubes

 

A SQUARE PEG IN A ROUND HOLE

Probably the biggest surprise about Square Bingo was that the domain wasn’t already taken.

After all, the formula for dreaming up a bingo site name is fairly simple:

1. Think of any everyday object, event, location, shape, colour… anything
2. Add ‘Bingo’ to the end of it

Square Bingo was no different. We deliberately chose it to be as plain and uninspiring as possible. Other names on the shortlist included Ironing Bingo, Paint Drying Bingo, Car Park Bingo and Grey Bingo.

Despite the boring name (Boring Bingo, anyone?), and with little to show besides the suggestion of more angular balls, journalists and affiliates began to take notice…

square-bingo-tweet

Making Square Bingo look real was actually quite easy. As well as the compulsory ‘Coming Soon’ page, we used a selection of channels to actively build community excitement. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Set up Facebook & Twitter profiles for Square Bingo (5 mins)
  • Posted one Tweet per day – usually including a square-based pun (30 secs per day)
  • Followed every bingo affiliate account we could find (5 mins)
  • Retweeted the occasional piece of bingo news (10 secs)
  • Set up a basic coming soon page (1.5 hours)

Our marketing even received compliments:

“This new site has a brilliant marketing scheme by keeping us all in the dark while at the same time giving us just a tiny bit of information to keep us coming back for more.

“According to the site… it’s going to completely change the online bingo world” really? Seriously, talking about dangling a carrot in front of us and then pulling it away!” – latestbingobonuses.com

Truth is, it probably totaled less than two hours work. Compare that to a real bingo brand in the weeks before its launch:

A Tale of Two Twitters: Square Bingo vs Tip Top Bingo (Pre-launch)

A Tale of Two Twitters: Square Bingo vs Tip Top Bingo (Pre-launch)

No history? No problem.

Thanks to our rather basic promotional strategy, we were offered affiliate and advertising deals for Square Bingo in March. Sites were willing to promote an unknown bingo brand with almost no confirmed information about the site.

Remember, Square Bingo was to run on a completely new platform (Shapesoft) and be operated by a company that even Google had no record of (CBWFL Media). Would there have been quality checks before our campaigns went live to safeguard players or was their experience being overlooked by the hundreds of affiliate sites desperate to cash-in on their deposits? It would certainly seem so.

The extent of our communication with affiliates before April 1

The extent of our communication with affiliates before April 1

World First Features

We updated Square Bingo on the first of April to include a list of (fake) world-first features, including the much-predicted square bingo balls, a spin the square bonus game and an exclusive partnership with a famous London landmark.

content_square_bingo_feature_overview

Revealed: The full list of Square Bingo features

We sent a version of this press release to hundreds of people in the bingo industry, published news on OnlineBingo.co.uk and Two Little Fleas, and updated the Square Bingo social profiles. We were fortunate that our work in the lead up to 1st April kept people invested in the launch and allowed the scenario to play out in full. The whole thing could have immediately been called out as a joke, so why wasn’t it? We put this down to two reasons:

1. People were actually excited about the unlikely ‘innovation’ of square bingo balls

2. Affiliates didn’t want to harm their chances of doing a deal with us should the site not be fake – our players are worth money, after all

Above: Tweet (since deleted) by WhichBingo.co.uk

Tweet (since deleted) by WhichBingo.co.uk

 

April Fools!

 

Sticking to the traditions of April Fool’s Day, we finally revealed the truth about Square Bingo at 12 noon.

Our reveal included a message to affiliates and an exclusive Circus Bingo deposit code, designed to appease any players who felt robbed of a new site. Then, something strange happened: coverage of Square Bingo began to disappear.

We were accused of everything from having ‘more time on our hands than we know what to do with’, to conducting a ‘publicity stunt to get new players though the virtual doors of the site’.
These were the same people who just hours earlier were outwardly expressing their excitement for the features being teased.

News update by PlayingBingo.co.uk

News update by PlayingBingo.co.uk

We were disappointed (but not surprised) that the exclusive Circus Bingo offer was ignored, despite it being live for a significant part of the day.

Many of our affiliates were informed of the promotion, but not one updated their site to let their players know. Surely if sites were truly offering the best deals for players, they would have actually told them about it? Apparently not.

People simply turned their backs on Square Bingo because it was no longer a way to make money.

Square Bingo reveal page with Circus offer

Square Bingo reveal page with Circus offer

THE FUTURE OF ONLINE BINGO

Square Bingo has reaffirmed our two major predictions for the future of online bingo:

1. The replication of tired experiences will lead to sites failing to build sustainable brands and loyal audiences.
2. Players will eventually resent being funneled between identical sites and flock to those with truly exceptional features, putting smaller sites at significant risk of closure.

We don’t know when the bubble will burst, but it’s surely only a matter of time, especially given ever-tightening rules and regulations.

UK Chancellor, George Osborne, recently unveiled plans to extend the General Betting Duty which would see operators paying tax on free bets like no deposit bonuses.

While the plans are still to be confirmed, they have the potential to immediately cut the profits of operators, leading to the possible abolition of bonuses altogether – one of the key differentiators between bingo sites in the current environment.

Some sites are already receiving negative feedback from disgruntled players over hefty wagering requirements; how long before they start rejecting them completely? What will attract players to a new site if there is no monetary incentive? This is the question that operators will need to answer.

The influence of affiliate deals on reviews

Affiliates are also responsible for driving the industry forward, but very few bingo portals offer genuinely honest and trustworthy reviews of bingo sites.

Reviews are instead based on the deals negotiated between sites and brands, leaving players without the insights they need to make informed decisions and making the ratings effectively worthless.

hat incentives are there for operators to create a new site of real value when its ultimate quality is determined by affiliate deals and welcome bonuses? Will we only see a rush of new ideas before the general betting duty is extended or will more forward-thinking operators step up earlier?

If the bonus culture was suddenly stopped, operators and networks would be forced to condense their portfolios and refocus on just a handful of sites.

Building new sites and moving players around comes at a hefty cost, so it makes sense to offer fewer higher quality sites and build a database of genuinely loyal players.

Who will take the first step and revolutionize the online bingo scene?

A BETTER DEAL FOR PLAYERS

The reaction to Square Bingo and its world first bingo balls highlights just how desperate the industry is for change.

We believe that it’s possible for operators and affiliates to provide a better and more rewarding experience for players in a way that remains profitable.

We’ve seen huge progress in the industry’s approach to responsible gambling in recent years. That same ideology and determination should be applied here too.

If we offer better – and expect better – we could all create an industry that is truly fun, fair and exciting for everybody.

It’s time to start thinking outside the box.
The article has been embedded from the following link: https://onlinebingo.co.uk/news/why-we-created-square-bingo

We have to stay it is a wonderful story and yet something to learn from in your are in the online bingo affiliate industry and why not the casino or sports betting. Imagine if there would have been bad intentions behind this prank….

Affiliate Announcements

Casino Guru and AffPapa join forces to launch a new course on iGaming affiliate management

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Casino Guru and AffPapa join forces to launch a new course on iGaming affiliate management

 

Casino Guru, the leading information source and online casino database, has recently joined forces with AffPapa, the ultimate iGaming directory connecting affiliates and operators, to deliver a brand-new free professional course on affiliate management. The course, titled iGaming Affiliate Management Essentials, is the latest addition to the Casino Guru Academy and aims to contribute to a broader understanding of affiliate management while sharing best practices with the rest of the industry. Designed for everyone looking to enhance their knowledge of the iGaming affiliate landscape, the course caters to both aspiring affiliate managers and seasoned professionals.

With over 6,200 online casinos in its extensive database, Casino Guru is no stranger to affiliate management. Combined with AffPapa’s role as a facilitator in connecting operators and affiliate websites for a fruitful partnership, the course seamlessly combines the expertise of two prominent figures in the iGaming affiliation sector. In as little as 90 minutes, participants of the course can receive a certificate that not only backs up their knowledge of affiliate management essentials but also showcases their commitment to cultivating affiliate management best practices.

The course is structured into three chapters. While the first chapter aims to explain the fundamental principles of affiliate management, the second one incorporates insights from AffPapa, the ultimate iGaming directory, who drew inspiration from the expertise of their seasoned affiliate managers operating affiliate program management services for casinos. The third and final chapter offers a snapshot of activities related to affiliate management from the perspective of affiliate websites. This includes a detailed overview of how Casino Guru approaches affiliate business, including the company’s philosophy, values, and strategic vision when it comes to building and maintaining relationships with affiliates.

Šimon Vincze, Casino Guru’s Head of Sustainable & Safer Gambling, expressed his enthusiasm over the latest release of Casino Guru Academy: “I’m thrilled to announce the launch of this course and finally get it out there! Working with AffPapa has been a fantastic experience, and I’m glad we were able to bring their expertise with affiliate programs into the mix and offer yet another unique point of view. I’m confident that as individuals engage with the content, they’ll not only gain essential insights but also discover innovative approaches that can significantly impact their affiliate path in the future.”

Levon Nikoghosyan, AffPapa’s CEO & Co-Founder, commented: “We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Casino Guru for the launch of their latest course on iGaming Affiliate Management. The kickoff of our affiliate management service last year was driven by the growing demand from our registered operators, leveraging our expertise in the field. Casino Guru’s commitment to educating the iGaming industry aligns seamlessly with our vision, and we are delighted to contribute our extensive knowledge in affiliate management to enhance this initiative.”

An exciting update accompanies the launch of the course – a brand new look featuring a completely redesigned system that enhances interactivity and flexibility across various devices. This marks a unique opportunity to witness the difference firsthand, as the revamped design will soon be applied to older courses as well. With the latest course now available online, Casino Guru Academy invites participants to uncover the world of iGaming affiliate management through the combined lens of Casino Guru and AffPapa.

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Affiliate Announcements

Catena Media launches online sports betting affiliation in Vermont

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Catena Media launches online sports betting affiliation in Vermont

 

Catena Media, one of North America’s largest sports betting affiliates, launches online sports betting affiliation in Vermont as the north-eastern state opens for licensed sports wagering.

Vermont’s Department of Liquor and Lottery selected three operators to go live on 11 January.

All Catena Media’s national brands are carrying strong Vermont content to coincide with the launch. Complementing this coverage is content published by the group’s media partners, which include NJ.com and TheSportingNews.com.

Vermont, a small state with an adult population of 0.5 million, is the last of the New England states to allow online sports betting and is the first new market to open in North America in 2024. The next slated state is North Carolina, which is expected to launch legal sports betting in the coming months.

Ryan Harper, Catena Media’s Vice President for North America, said: “Initial interest from both the industry and sports bettors in Vermont is strong. Vermonters have enjoyed online daily fantasy sports products and horse-race wagering so are no strangers to the online market.”

Vermont expands Catena Media’s operational footprint in North America to more than 28 US states and Canadian provinces.

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Affiliate Announcements

iGB Affiliate announce One Hundred Shoreditch as new HQ Hotel

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iGB Affiliate announce One Hundred Shoreditch as new HQ Hotel

 

The organising team responsible for iGB Affiliate has announced One Hundred Shoreditch as its new HQ Hotel for February’s event (6-9 February, ExCeL London).

Located in a prominent position on fashionable Shoreditch High Street, One Hundred Shoreditch is an acclaimed independent 258 room hotel offering a choice of places to eat and drink including Seed Library, an attractive rooftop bar and terrace offering panoramic views of the London skyline, a coffee shop, and the Lobby Bar which hosts a curated programme of weekly DJs alongside £10 cocktails. The venue offers five meeting and event spaces including the floor-to-ceiling glass One Hundred Room.

Announcing the new HQ Hotel, iGB Affiliate’s Naomi Barton said: “We were looking for a hotel close to ExCeL and that would connect with the unique personality of the Affiliate community.

“I have to say that One Hundred Shoreditch could have been designed with affiliates in mind! It’s as sassy as hell with great facilities, a roof top bar with amazing views of East London and it’s situated in the social heart of the vibrant East End. The bedrooms and suites provide headspace and calm in contrast to the energy of the ultra-cool hotel bars.

“I am confident One Hundred Shoreditch will resonate with show attendees – it will allow guests to socialise, network and hang out together, continuing the unique iGB Affiliate experience.  We have secured 150 rooms which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so book now and don’t miss out on the chance to be with your peers and friends!”

She added: “The 2024 edition of iGB Affiliate will be the last held in London prior to our relocation to Barcelona the following year. As a consequence, there will be an iGB Affiliate ‘Farewell to London’ party like no other and we will be celebrating alongside our sister show ICE to ensure that we deliver something exceptional. The farewell party, iGB Affiliate Awards and our new Hotel HQ are all part of the social and networking opportunities which are pivotal to the show experience and make iGB Affiliate so special”.

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