Chris probably needs no introduction to some of our readers, but just in case you still haven’t heard about him you must know that his BDM of the Bitcoin Gambling Guide, he’s continuously helping the the cryptocurrency community but also the online gambling industry!
GAV: Hi Chris, thank you for answering our questions we really appreciate it knowing that you’re pretty busy. For start please share your profile with us so our readers can get a better idea of who you are!
Name: Chris Evans
Living in: Sydney
Favorite Food:Thai (Who doesn’t love a good green curry)
Must Read Book:TED Talks
Profession/Job title: Business Development Manager for www.bitcoingg.com
GAV: Tell us and our readers a bit about yourself! How did your career start in the industry? What determined you to engage in this activity and start working at Bitcoin Gambling Guide?
Chris: Well, I’m born and raised in Sydney, but it was on a business trip to London in early 2012 with my team in DHL, that my career in the bitcoin casino industry firmly had a seed planted. I was amazed to see how developed the online betting bitcoin industry was – although in reality it was at that point still in its infancy – and a friend gave me my first 3 bitcoins to use. I trialed the crypotcurrency, won and lost, all the while looking for an opportunity to get my teeth into. This is when I approached the idea of Bitcoin Gambling Guide to see if I could make it work and spread the word. Bitcoingg is still a project that I’m learning from everyday, and I’m in a perfect position to speak with platform providers, bitcoin casino brands, managers and CEO’s. The industry is constantly evolving and I know we have a great product and service to offer – i couldn’t be happier that I made the move to this industry.
GAV: Could you tell us a bit about the Bitcoin and after that about Bitcoingg.com? What are the strong points of the website and what makes it stand out from the other Bitcoin websites?
Chris: Bitcoin for me is not the future, but the present, its the new way to pay and get paid without the need for unnecessary exchange rate, and credit card fees, plus what really interests me is the technology. Bitcoin is a perfect match for gambling which is backed up by the variety of bitcoin casinos and bitcoin sportsbooks now available. The two industries seem to be growing together very well.
Bitcoingg.com is the main source of information today and here are some of the highlights:
- We have over 600 reviews of games,platforms, brands, people, technologies and more
- A complaint system for players to raise their concern which then goes directly through to the brand.
- A review and ranking system which culminates in the brands being awared the BGG Certificate of Trust – Examples can be seen in footers of mbitcasino.com and bitstarz.com
- An advertising agreement with an external agency that has all the connection sin all of the right places
- Many returning readers that also signup to our mailing list
- External writers from around the globe with more languages currently being added
- Social media presence across all platforms
- My team has lots of knowledge and experience, we are open minded and welcome cooperation’s
Bitcoingg.com is not another review site but a one stop shop for bitcoin gambling.
GAV: How did you start and what bumps did you have to overcome?
Chris: I started with a very small site plan, basic design and no traffic, actually from scratch. It was my intention to always focus on the player providing good information, updated reviews and a ranking/complaints system. This small seed has grown into a site that is trusted by players and brands alike, with now thousands of pages of information.
GAV: We have surfed your website and found some really good quality content. Are you writing it by yourself or you have a team writing for you? How many casinos do you have on your website?
Chris: We have over 400 bitcoin casinos, 100 bitcoin poker rooms, around 50 bitcoin sportsbetting sites plus many more besides – on average we add 8 – 10 a week. More than that we review slot games, software providers, and technologies which are related to the bitcoin industry, this happens by publishing news daily. I write myself, but of course I also have more writers on staff along with a whole host of external journalists wanting to share their experiences with bitcoin and bitcoin gambling.
GAV: How hard is it 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: Myself and my writers are players and bitcoin fans. We read, we check, we investigate, we learn and after that we write. We are also lucky to receive lots of information from partners, customers, and industry professionals.
GAV: We are pretty sure that you receive many 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: I do not deal with affiliate managers as my focus is purely on the content and what value can I add for the players, I left all of that side of the business to an external marketing company to take care of.
GAV: How do you see the future of the online casinos and the Bitcoins? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon?
Chris: This only requires a short answer – these two sectors are a perfect match which is proven daily by the amount of new bitcoin casino brands constantly coming into the industry.
GAV: Can you name one change that you want to see in the Bitcoin ecosystem?
Chris:Yes, I want it to be easier to use and more accessible. For people already using bitcoin, it’s easy for us to buy, sell, and trade, but unfortunately for 8 out of 10 people in the western world they still do not know how to use it. We need to offer better education on the subject.
GAV: What would be your advise to the new affiliates who are looking to venture into Bitcoin?
Chris: New affiliates need to find a niche as the market is already full for the main sports and games. For example there is missing information in golf and F1, so if an affiliate knows these subjects then they should concentrate there as it would be a great niche. It’s the same with specific markets like Latin America which is still developing and Australia which has great potential.
GAV: How do you see the Central and Eastern European affiliate market, do you think that this region is somehow overlooked by brands that are not applying for licenses, etc. ?
Chris: I do not see this as an area that is overlooked personally, like my answer above, it’s all about finding your niche.
GAV: Since SIGMA is almost here, we would like to ask your opinion on these event, are you guys attending these conferences or are you going to be in Malta? How about the London Affiliate Conference?
Chris: I like going to conferences but unfortunately time is never on my side. Luckily this is where my external journalists come to the fore, but i am hoping to make it to LAC in London next year.
GAV: have you got a favorite celebrity and if you’d have to a pick a destination in Eastern Europe, where would you travel?
Chris: Celebrity wise in the bitcoin space, then I would say Roger Ver due to the way he handles the bitcoin industry. Eastern Europe – probably Romania.
GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel?
Chris: I’m ready to visit anyplace with good wine 🙂
GAV: What is your opinion about the GamblingAffiliateVoice.com?
Chris: I love the site and I believe in the added value of talking to the marketers is great for the community.
GAV: Thank you very much Chris it was a pleasure talking to you, we wish Bitcoin Gambling Guide all the best!
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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