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Interview with Luke Cotton, founder of CSGOBetting.com – esports betting

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The earliest known video game competition took place on 19 October 1972 at Stanford University for the game Spacewar. Stanford students were invited to an “Intergalactic spacewar olympics” whose grand prize was a year’s subscription for Rolling Stone, with Bruce Baumgart winning the five-man-free-for-all tournament and Tovar and Robert E. Maas winning the Team Competition. The Space Invaders Championship held by Atari in 1980 was the earliest large scale video game competition, attracting more than 10,000 participants across the United States, establishing competitive gaming as a mainstream hobby.

Fast forward to our times, eSports betting has been born and some affiliates are already taking advantage and ripping the rewards from it. This is the story of eSports Affiliate, Luke Cotton, founder of CSGOBetting.com

GAV: First, we would like to thank you for the opportunity to interview such a highly appreciated professional of the industry. We look forward to this interview and are sure that all our readers also are going to read this with huge interest.

  • Name: Luke Cotton
  • Age: 25
  • Hometown: Haslemere, UK
  • Living in: Birmingham, UK
  • Favorite Food: Seafood Paella
  • Must Read Book: Moneyball – Michael Lewis

GAV: Tell us a bit about yourself, we want to know who Luke really is, founder of CSGObetting.com. Where were you born? What was the key idea of developing this great website?

Skipping the boring, early days, and moving on to how CSGOBetting.com (and our other sites, like LeagueofLegendsBetting.com and Dota2Betting.com) were born, I started playing video games competitively in a team with some friends in early 2004. A couple of summers of not seeing a lot of sunlight later, I started playing at the high end of the competitive esports scene for Battlefield 2, winning a number of events and was fortunate enough to be paid to play throughout college. From then onwards I’ve been involved in esports, running professional teams, leagues and events. Like most Brits, I’ve always had an interest in betting, and was convinced that esports betting could become the next big thing. Back in 2011, I attended LAC and tried to pitch the idea to anyone who would listen, and I ended up working with Paddy Power to test some markets. Whilst initial results were promising, it was something that we couldn’t scale at the time. A couple of years later, we snapped up a lot of esports betting related domains, and now the betting market has matured somewhat, we’ve started launching our network of sites.

GAV: Are you doing this full time? Was there a moment when you have switched from your daily job to being a full time affiliate?

No – currently it’s an evenings and weekends project; currently we are running at a loss as we look to build up our search engine rankings and dominate the space. We’re sure that there will be a point at which esports betting takes off, however currently most is undertaken through black-market skin (virtual item) tote pools, which we have decided to steer clear from, as we only wish to promote legal betting websites.

I am involved in the industry full-time though, I work as Head of Affiliates at Digital Fuel, a marketing agency, running our affiliate network – just on the other side of the table or as an intermediary.

GAV: What are the key markets you are targeting?

We’re English language, as we are native speakers, with a particular focus on the UK & Australia. We intend to remain in regulated markets only, which limits us much further than that. There are a few other countries in mind for the future, at the point that we’re able to hire people who know the languages.

GAV: Since there are thousands of sports betting review websites out there, and the especially the free bets market is quite ruff, where do you think CSGObetting.com?

We’re the first affiliate site focused solely on betting on the video game CounterStrike, which is a market that has only really developed in the past couple of years. I don’t think many professional affiliates understand esports, particularly the intricacies of each game, which means that we have an air of authenticity that is difficult to replicate.

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 since it employs certain news for this popular Counter Strike games.

The knowledge that we have of CounterStrike means that we can write interesting, unique features ourselves, and hire writers who we believe are interesting for our readers, rather than those that churn out pretty generic content. The CSGOBetting.com domain also shows readers that we have been around the industry for a long time.

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

We’ve sat on our domain portfolio for some time and did not have the skills to really develop websites. We took some investment from our employer, Digital Fuel, whereby they are building out our network of sites and providing knowledge in other areas, such as SEO, where personally we have a reasonable knowledge but aren’t experts.

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 your editorials?

It’s a combination of the two. It’s a market that we are very knowledgeable about, so we do write some articles ourselves, but it also helps in finding writers that can create the quality of content that we think our readers will expect. With all the tasks related to running a network of sites, we like to use writers for the day to day content, but will write key articles ourselves where necessary or when we personally have something to say. It’s an industry we are passionate about.

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?

Our content strategy is threefold: tips, where the intention is to be able to create regular content specific to upcoming matches, which our readers are likely to be wanting to bet on; features, which are completely new rather than rehashed from other websites, and informational, where we try to assist with queries like how to bet. It is pretty simple in terms of a strategy, but having people who can write in an interesting way is key.

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?

As I still work as an Affiliate Manager during the day, it’s a difficult question to answer! Personally, I like things to be clear, simple, and with no bullshit. I think affiliates are some of the savviest people in the industry so trying to pull the wool over their eyes is a waste of time, and it annoys me when affiliate managers try and cover up key points that affect my decision to work with them.

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

I can only see growth. Many African countries support online betting, though growth there will be dictated by growth in GDP. In my opinion the USA will regulate at some point in the next five years, as the tax benefits are too great not to. In Asia, it may be further away due to more cultural influences on regulators, and remain grey or black in most key territories for some time.

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

I would like affiliates to be given more access to data around their players’ betting activity. There’s no logical commercial reason not to give affiliates such data; it’s just a question of both the affiliate software providers and operators making technical changes to be able to do so.

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

Find a niche you understand well, and specialize where you can. Outsource the non-essential parts of your business. Do your research into which operators are reputable and make sure you work with those which are trustworthy.

GAV: What about SEO, are the ongoing Google algorithm updates influencing your ranking? If so, is it a positive or negative way?

Given that our website is reasonably new, it’s not something that we’ve closely monitored. We haven’t undertaken any SEO strategies previously that might be affected, and our content is good, so we’re hopeful of winning in the long-term.

GAV: Who is your favorite celebrity?

Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, not for his ski jumping, but thanks to his glorious performance winning awful reality TV series Splash having being punted in from 40/1.

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

I’m a big fan of Hereford Football Club, so it’d be their YouTube channel (youtube.com/channel/UCEiCmSxoZFgiP_XO987CWLg) which has a ridiculous amount of highlights for a club at such a low level. Either that, or this video that I like to refer to as “heaven on earth”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgIz1Add98s

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

I go to LAC each year, and try to make at least one of the other affiliate conferences. It’s always good to catch up and have a beer with people I am working with or friends in the industry. As the events are about the attendees, LAC is the best, as it has the most attendees and is the conference everyone sees as “the one to be at”.

GAV: What is your opinion overall about affiliate conferences such as SiGMA?

Conferences in general are essential: in such a fragmented, yet people focused industry, they provide a chance to get everyone in a room together which doesn’t happen frequently away from the conferences. I wasn’t able to attend SiGMA last year, but from all accounts it was a good event in a good location.

SiGMA-logo

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?

It’s not a region that I’m overly familiar with. Culturally, I think there’s a good fit; at least, Poland is one of the more popular countries for CSGO betting. Mostly, I think it will depend on how the region develops economically. I think it has a good chance of developing into an area that operators and affiliates do well in, due to lower costs and skilled employees in internet and development related areas.

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.

I’m not particularly well travelled, but think the most important part is who you are travelling with. I had a great time in South Korea a couple of years ago, which is the most interesting place I’ve visited. There’s nowhere in particular in Eastern Europe on my list, so I’m open to recommendations! If you offered me a free holiday tomorrow in the region, I’d probably go for Croatia.

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

I’d rather keep to the safer countries, but wouldn’t rule anything out permanently.

GAV: What is your opinion about GAV (Gambling Affiliate Voice – gamblingaffiliatevoice.com)?

It’s always interesting hearing other affiliates’ views, and Gambling Affiliate Voice provides a great platform for that with your interviews.

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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Affiliate Success

Crash course for becoming a master in Casino Affiliate Marketing

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Intro

Online casino culture is immensely popular. With the increasing popularity of online casinos, another profitable device is also getting popular, known as online casino affiliate websites. A casino affiliate works alongside an online casino in promoting their business in return for a commission. In some cases, they may have experience operating an online casino. They provide all the details regarding gambling activities and other relevant information about a gambling site. So, the players can be well aware before taking any action. In this article, we will be discussing the basics, tips, and tricks of becoming an affiliate (casino affiliate).

 

Affiliate programs

Casino affiliates act as a mediator between the casinos and players. The casino affiliates get a tracking link for tracking the players who play or register in the casino. The affiliate program ensures to pay a business partner for bringing the players to the casino. Joining an affiliate program is simple as it does not require any sign-up charges. You are only required to have a website, to promote the various brand of online casinos by setting up banners and other related advertisements. Once the visitors click on the ad, affiliates start earning money. There are some essential factors to consider before joining an affiliate program.

  • You must be sure that you are entering into a partnership with a reliable and reputed casino.
  • Ensure that the number of commissions is processed timely in a safe environment.

 

Features of a casino affiliate

Sometimes it becomes difficult to spot casino affiliates and casino websites. Here are a few features that are applicable for casino affiliates only:

  • Generally, casino affiliates have the same type of imagery and similar language to attract players.
  • Affiliate websites do not have game catalogs like casino websites rather they provide reviews of online casino games and certain free demo games.
  • Casino affiliates usually promote multiple casino brands with various logos, advertisements, and offers.
  • The main goal of casino affiliates is to get players and sign them up for one of their casino partners.

 

Payment arrangements for Casino Affiliates

In terms of payments, there are two models that are very popular for paying affiliates.

  • The first one is the revenue sharing model that ensures payment to a casino affiliate as a percentage of profit earned from the traffic generated by the affiliate in a month. In this case, the higher traffic is equal to the higher payment.
  • The other model is CPA or cost per acquisition model. Here, payment is based on the users’ The online casinos pay the affiliates based on — whether a player signs up for a casino account or signs up and makes the first deposit. But in both the models, the income is based on performance.

Some casino operators provide only one payment option, while others can offer more than two. Before joining an affiliate program, an affiliate should understand certain restrictions, terms, and conditions to keep away adverse effects.

 

How to Become a Casino Affiliate

Casino brands always want customers from all over the world, and that is why they use casino affiliates to improve their prospective reach. It can be advantageous for the casinos to start in a country where a particular casino brand is not well-known. Various live casino sites are attractive to brands that seek information on their operations. After signing up for the affiliate program and getting an affiliate link, you need to get down to work. The affiliate creates content in different forms, such as text links, banners, and more.

 

Conclusion

Casino affiliates employ a wide range of interactive online platforms. They provide offers for attracting and retaining customers. But it is very important to do a thorough background or profile check before joining an affiliate program to understand whether the casino is reliable or a fly-by-night operation. If everything checks out, it is a potentially lucrative business to be involved in.

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Affiliate Success

OMG Affiliates won the Rising Star at iGB Affiliate 2022

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OMG Affiliates won the Rising Star at iGB Affiliate 2022

 

OMG Affiliates, a program developed by Vita Media Group, has won the Rising Star Award at the iGB Affiliate 2022!

The award night took place last night (April 13th, 2022) at the Troxy theater in London.

This is the first award for OMG Affiliates where one of the industry’s finest award organizations, iGB Affiliate, has crowned the team for its performance and achievements. The OMG Affiliates was shortlisted in one more category, Best Affiliate Program.

This is also the first award for Vita Media Group as a company and is a solidifying proof of the quality of the different products and business verticals developed under Vita Media Group. As a total summary of the award night, iGB shortlisted Vita Media Group in the Best Casino Affiliate category as well.

After a year where Vita Media Group grew the OMG Affiliates vertical through strategic acquisitions of the rewarded Trada Casino and Greenplay, a casino formerly owned by Codere, the plan for the future holds optimistic plans.

Through this achievement, Vita Media Group continues to expand as a one-stop solution to growth in iGaming.

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