In this weeks affiliate interview you can get to know Chris from SlotsJack.com, a fresh slots startup providing comprehensive and detailed guides on everything from planning a casino vacation to comparing games!
Name: Chris Bibey
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Living in: Pittsburgh
Favorite Food: Spaghetti
Must Read Book: The 4-Hour Workweek
Profession/Job title: Internet Marketing Consultant
GAV: Tell us a bit about yourself, we want to know who Chris Bibey really is, the person behind the SlotsJack startup. Where were you born? What was the main idea of developing this great online slots and casino platform?
Chris: In short, I was born in the United States and never had much of an interest in casino games until I turned 21. At that point, I took my first trip to Las Vegas. Within a matter of days, I realized that I wanted to be involved in the gaming industry in some way, shape, or form.
After working with several high level brands and affiliates for 5+ years, I decided to branch out on my own to create SlotsJack.com.
The main idea behind the site is simple:
• To provide high quality reviews of slot machine games and casinos. Before writing any piece of content, I see what else is out there. From there, I go above and beyond to ensure that the review provides greater depth and higher quality information.
GAV: Since there are thousands of websites in your niche out there, where do you think Slotsjack.com stands now?
Chris: Right now, SlotsJack is in its infancy. However, we have laid out a plan for robust growth over the next 12 months.
Most importantly, feedback from visitors has been great. They love the depth of the content and the honest approach.
As you know, there are thousands of websites that provide casino related content, however, a lot of it is short, full of fluff, and meant to do nothing more than drive conversions for affiliates. We take a different approach: the player always comes first.
GAV: What are the strong points of Slotsjack.com and what makes it stand out from the other websites/platforms?
Chris: There are several things that allow SlotsJack to stand out from the crowd:
• We make sure every review provides more information than what else is out there. So, if we’re writing a review and the top results show an average of 700 words, we’ll go much deeper by providing 1k+ words on the game or casino.
• Honesty! Let’s face it, not every slot machine is worth playing. We do our best to provide honest reviews, as that is what people want.
GAV: How did you start and what bumps did you have to overcome?
Chris: Due to my years of experience in the field, getting started was pretty simple. That being said, there are a few challenges in the way.
Primarily, competition is stiff in regards to generating search engine traffic. That being said, we’re doing what Google wants: providing nothing but high quality, targeted, unique advice.
With each passing month, SlotsJack traffic continues to grow, thanks to search engine rankings that continue to climb.
GAV: We have browsed your website and found some quality content. Are you writing it by yourself or you have a team writing for you? How many casino reviews do you have on your website?
Chris: This is a great question. Right now, I am the only person writing the content. And to be honest, things will probably stay this way for quite some time. For many years, I’ve been a writer, providing top brands in many spaces with high quality content. So, for this reason, I actually enjoy cranking out content on a daily basis.
Right now, there are about 200 pages on the site, which includes game reviews, casino reviews, and in-depth gaming guides.
GAV: Is it hard for you to keep the content fresh and relevant on your website, when a lot of fluff and nonsense appear on the Internet on a daily basis?
Chris: It really isn’t, to be honest. From our perspective, content is king. We know that this is the most important thing to our success, and that’s why I have no problem devoting the necessary amount of time to this task.
As noted earlier, there is a lot of fluff out there. This is why we review every piece of competing content before starting to write.
GAV: We are pretty sure that you receive messages from Affiliate Managers on a daily basis showcasing their best products. What are your thoughts on how Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationships should be built?
Chris: Once again, it’s all about an open and honest relationship. Through my experience, as long as both parties are getting what they want, as long as both parties are on the same page from the start, things typically work out.
GAV: How do you see the future of the online casino and land based casino industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon?
Chris: This is a difficult question to answer, as a few key markets hold a lot of the power right now.
For example, will the United States legalize online gambling at some point in the near future? If so, I think we can expect an explosion in popularity.
GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the casino affiliate world?!
Chris: As you know, there are quite a few “shady” operations out there. I wish everyone would have a bit more respect for each other. This includes site operators, affiliates, and casinos.
If everyone worked together, as opposed to sometimes against one another, the industry would be much better off in the long run.
GAV: Do you have any advice that you would like to offer to newbies who are looking to venture into this great industry!?
Chris: My one bit of advice is this: find something you are passionate about and then start slow.
It’s easy to burn out in this space, as there is so much going on around you. There’s no reason to be in a big hurry. Sure, you want to generate revenue as quickly as possible, but it will come soon enough if you take the right approach.
GAV: Do you attend any iGaming or casino conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?
Chris: To be honest, I haven’t attended any iGaming conferences in the past. I’ve spent some time at general affiliate conferences, with these always providing a great opportunity to connect with others.
GAV: What do you think the chances are for Eastern Europe on becoming a potential gaming hotspot in the future? Where do you think the region must improve upon?
Chris: In regards to the next gaming hotspot, I definitely think Eastern Europe is in position to succeed at a high level. As noted earlier, there are other regions, such as the US, that are also in position to take advantage of industry growth.
GAV: Do you have a favorite celebrity?
Chris: I’m not big into movies or anything like that, but I’ve been a huge Jim Carrey fan for many years.
GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe?
Chris: Being that one of my clients is located in Bulgaria, I would love to spend some time there in the near future. In fact, it’s been on my radar for quite some time!
GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?
Chris: To be honest, I’m the type who would try anything once when it comes to traveling. SO, for that reason, there is no region off limits!
GAV: What is your opinion about The Gambling Affiliate Voice (GamblingAffiliateVoice.com)?
Chris: I truly enjoy the type of content that is published on a regular basis, such as the news stories. This gives me the opportunity to stay current with the industry, without having to jump from one source to the next. Keep up the good work!
GAV: Thanks for your time and answers Chris, we appreciate it, all the best to you and if you have any newsworthy updates feel free to contact us!
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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