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Affiliate Interviews: Oren, Manager of OnlineCasinoReports.com

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For our newest affiliate interview we caught up with Oren, who’s Manager at Online Casino Reports! Their site was launched in 1997 and is online since then,  providing a very sharing community, useful guides, rich-media guides, but also news coverage from across the industry!
GAV: Hi Oren, first we would like to thank you for the opportunity. Could you share with us your profile so our readers can get a better idea of who you are?

Name: Oren
Age: 37
Hometown: Tel-Aviv, Israel
Living in: Tel-Aviv
Profession/Job title: Online Casino Reports Manager

GAV: Since there are thousands of websites and portals in this niche out there, where do you think Onlinecasinoreports.com stands now and what is that plus that the other portals don’t have?

OCR: One of our strong points is our seniority – we’ve been running OnlineCasinoReports.com since 1997, back when the online gambling industry was more or less in its infancy, so in many ways, we’ve grown and matured with this industry, we learned what works and what doesn’t; what players look for, what’s good for them and what’s bad.

GAV: How do you see the online casino market/industry at this moment?

OCR: The industry is at a very good point at the moment – we see brands opening every day and a positive push towards regulation around the world. This regulation means that both operators and affiliates are found in a constant need to adjust to the ever-changing environment, to help players safely navigate – this is where we step in. We’re always adding more content, adapting to the changes and innovations in the industry.

GAV: In your opinion what are the strong points of Onlinecasinoreports.com and what makes it stand out from the other niche websites/directories?

OCR: Apart from our seniority, we’re simply an authoritative site which serves as a guiding light for players; I can say that with the confidence of many players who have gone through our site and had great experiences. We’ve got a good mix of elements that work together in order to enhance that authoritative point, for example – our huge directory which is growing on an everyday basis, with everything related to iGaming covered – from the smallest software developer to the biggest industry events.
We are also very active with iGaming events, forming media partnerships with events all over the globe as well as with lesser known software developers/providers whose names and products we help to get out into the open! Also, our international presence is a strongpoint – as of today, OnlineCasinoReports is available in over 70 locales, in 35+ languages. We provide reviews, news, articles, guides and localized newsletters for readers from all over the world, in their language, the content that is relevant to us.

GAV: Could you tell us a bit about the beginnings of Online Casino Reports?! We know that you (onlinecasinoreports.com) are a very established portal, next year you’ll turn 20 years old! How was the portal started and most of all what difficulties you have to overcome at the beginning?

OCR: The portal started as a news and reviews site for the online casino player, back when the internet was mainly informative and Google had only started; the difficulties we’ve faced were pretty normal for anyone who starts a new site, and we endured. We recognized the need for good, solid info, and filled our site with guides, how-to’s, informative articles and in-depth helpful reviews which were aiming to answer exactly what a player asks.

OCR

GAV: We have surfed your website and found some great quality content. Are you writing it by yourself or do you have a team of people writing for you? You currently have more than 70 local sites in more than 35 different languages, is it hard to maintain all of them?!

OCR: Naturally when supporting so many languages, you need people to provide good content. We have a team of committed writers from all over the world who are led by our Chief Editor Amir, who is also responsible for our 70+ local sites, presiding over a great team of dedicated translators and writers who write in their own language for our readers from all over the world. It’s hard, no doubt about it, but the challenge is always welcome – a sense of self accomplishment is great, as well as the fruits of the hard work which are apparent as well.

GAV: How about the online marketing and SEO of the Online Casino Reports websites, do you have someone in-house for that our you outsourced it?

OCR: We think that SEO as we knew it is gone, this is something quite fresh. All we focus on is providing high quality content that is relevant for the player. This has always been our first priority.

GAV: We are pretty convinced that you receive messages from Affiliate Managers on a daily basis showcasing their best products. You, of course select them by the brands they work with. What are your thoughts on how a real Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationship should be built, and how not?!

OCR: It is of great importance for affiliate managers and affiliates to work together. We do our best to reply to everyone and we try to recognize the affiliate managers that understand that each side has responsibilities and not the affiliate alone or the brand alone can succeed, it’s a team game and if both sides understand that, then a true successful cooperation can be achieved.
An affiliate should have the tools to make the success a reality, but his efforts can go to waste if the affiliate manager does not provide with the substance for the tools. This can range anywhere from being responsive to providing banners and specialized offers. Also, a good affiliate management system is super important! It’s also very important to understand each others needs, like in any relationship.

GAV: As we already mentioned next year, in 2017 Online Casino Reports is gonna celebrate it’s 20th Anniversary, do you have any special events planned for this occasion?!

OCR: Well, we didn’t think about it too much but now that you mention it, we might have a drink for that 🙂 Of course we will do something but at this stage it’s a surprise!

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

OCR: It’s already deep in the process of becoming a truly global phenomenon – we’ve seen and are seeing a tremendous shift towards regulation across the world. Regulators simply cannot sit on the fence anymore; you have to make a decision. We’ve seen this with the Romanian case (for which we’ve received a license from ONJN) and on the other hand, we’re seeing places like South Africa where efforts for regulation come up against a hard wall, again and again.
Besides, we have always been advocates for online gambling becoming a global phenomenon.

GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the online casino industry?!

OCR: We would like to see more regulation – countries lifting their ban on online gambling and becoming regulatory. This is for the benefit of everyone – revenues for governments, safety for players, business for operators and affiliates, and a way to combat and, ultimately eliminate, the abuse of this industry.

GAV: Do you have any advise you would like to offer to newbies who are looking to venture into this majestic industry!?

OCR: It’s like any new business, work hard, investigate, research, learn, provide a quality product and you shall succeed.

GAV: How about iGaming/online casino conferences, do you attend any of them? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?

OCR: Our favorite events are AAC & LAC which we always try always to attend. We enjoy attending these two, even if the days themselves feel like boot camp 🙂 Meetings from dusk till dawn without a lot of time to soak in the sights and sounds which are always fascinating, brimming with innovation for the industry.

GAV: What do you think the chances are for Eastern Europe to become a potential gaming hotspot in the near future? Where do you think the region must improve upon?

OCR: We’ve been seeing a lot of activity in the Eastern European markets in the past few years, it really does seem like something is booming. From many conferences and events to new brands – we think that it’s a wonderful process and excited to see how it progresses. Improvement-wise, regulation is of great importance. Also, we’ve been seeing a rise of Bitcoin usage among players from Eastern Europe – maybe that cryptocurrency can serve as a true bridge between East and West and to push the Eastern European market further.
All in all, we remain optimistic about Eastern Europe – there’s a great movement towards iGaming in that region now which cannot be put down.

GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, any favorite country or region?

OCR: Never thought about it, every new place is interesting; so anywhere in Eastern Europe, really.

GAV: How about a favorite celebrity or a mentor, do you have one?

OCR: Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld.

GAV: Tell us your opinion about the Gambling Affiliate Voice?

OCR: We’ve only just recently learned of your site, when we were approached for an interview, I think it’s a very nice idea to focus on affiliate voices. From what we’ve seen so far, Gambling Affiliate Voice looks like a serious website that puts affiliates in the center. We look forward to seeing the site grow!

GAV: Thanks for your time Oren, we appreciate it, all the best to you and we would like to wish OnlineCasinoReports.com a happy anniversary in advance!!!

Affiliate Success

Ad Fraud and Affiliate Marketing Strategies: How Online Gaming Companies Can Transform Their ROI

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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.

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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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European Gaming Media and Events is a leading media and boutique event organizer in the European Union with a monthly reach of +110,000 readers. The official company (PROSHIRT SRL), has been listed for 4 years in a row among the top 3 Advertising and market research agencies in the local Top Business Romania Microcompanies based on the Financial Reports.

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