In this affiliate success story you’ll get to know Luigi Piromalli, founder and owner of TopClassBet.com, a very interesting site filled with in-depth reviews of bookmakers, rankings based on the services offered, from financial betting to virtual sports and many other curiosities and also insights on sports betting.
GAV: First of all thank you for the opportunity Luigi! Could you share with us your profile so our readers can get a better idea of who you are?
Name: Luigi Piromalli
Hometown: Vibo Valentia, Italy
Living in: Vicenza, Italy
Favorite Food: Fish
Must Read Book: Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist
Profession/Job title: Founder and Owner at TopClassBet
GAV: Hi Luigi, tell us a bit about yourself, we would like to know who Luigi really is, the main person behind Topclassbet.com. What was the key idea of developing this great betting website?
Luigi: Hello, my name is Luigi Piromalli, I was born in Vibo Valentia, a small town in southern Italy on March 25, 1978. After graduating as Data Processor Operator, I received other certificates as expert in the use of the old MS- DOS. A few years later, considering that my passion for the web and for online gaming was growing more and more, i decided to use my experience and my knowledge creating TopClassBet. The basic idea was to offer the end user with all the useful information in choosing the right bookmaker. After more than four years I can be satisfied with the results achieved.
GAV: What were the bumps on your road when you got started and how did you overcome them?
Luigi: Undoubtedly working in the world of online betting is not easy, the biggest obstacle is represented by the multitude of great competitors and by market saturation. All difficulties can be overcome only by offering unbiased real data, putting passion and self denial. I have no problems adding that, contents theft and improper techniques of some competitors, are an obstacle for people like me who started without a big budget and without disturbing those who already worked in this field.
GAV: We have surfed your website and found some high quality content. Are you writing it by yourself or you have a team of people writing for you?
Luigi: I am lucky to work closely with competent people, the articles are mostly created by me and written by my staff. My staff is also involved in translations and online marketing. I can be satisfied and safe from any kind of problems.
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?
Luigi: Let me congratulate for this, it is a question which fully hits the real reason for success or failure. The web offers interesting insights in various fields, particularly, in the world of online betting you will encounter reliable and meticulous sites, but likewise, the risk of finding useless and devoid contents of any practical benefit is very high. The world of online affiliations that revolves around sports betting or betting in general, is full of vultures and unscrupulous people. Just to get that famous click many are ready to write any kind of falsehood or completely invent pumped data. As I said earlier the trick is the one to be honest and impartial while not hiding some sympathies towards particular companies.
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?
Luigi: Yes, I receive lots of requests from affiliate managers, they do their job and I do mine, this means that I can not materially promote every applicant. I choose the bookmakers according to the parameters that I have set, they must be really useful to the bettor. As for my interests, I can safely say that I choose based on the solidity and reliability of the company, in general the commission model is similar for all bookmakers. The relationship created between affiliate and manager must be of mutual respect and maximum cooperation, once started it is important to continue working together to maximize the efforts.
GAV: How do you see the future of the online betting industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon in the near future?
Luigi: Good question, surely the world of online betting is still growing, especially in countries that were once considered poor and backward. Today the Internet has reached many places which were not even served by water and this has helped to increase the turnover of the companies that operate online,especially bookmakers. They are already a global phenomenon and data confirm this. These numbers are expected to increase significantly in the coming years.
GAV: Can you name one change that you want to see in the sports betting affiliate ecosystem?
Luigi: If I could express, this desire would be to have more perspicuity about players data of those who register with bookmakers thanks to my sites. I do not ask to access Personal Data of the individual customer but to be able to know how much he deposited and what he betted on . I ceased collaborations with many companies just for lack of transparency and because figures didn’t add up. Unfortunately, not everyone in this field is honest, in fact I can state that at least 30% of the bookmakers do not deserve any consideration from us affiliates.
GAV: What advise you would like to offer to the new affiliates who are looking to venture into this great industry?
Luigi: I would recommend them not to think about earnings only, but to concentrate on services for their users. I would also recommend to test and discover peculiarities of each company they want to promote, in other words, to choose the bookmaker to be promoted by putting themselves in the gambler shoes. The first step to success is to keep the user a faithful customer, and the only way to earn respect on the web is by showing honesty.
GAV: Who is your favorite celebrity?
Luigi: Keeping on the sport subject, my greatest idol is Zinedine Zidane.
GAV: If you would just open your YouTube search bar, what would you search for?
Luigi: I habitually use YouTube to listen to music, but on several occasions I used it to watch some very interesting tutorials.
GAV: Back to work. Do you attend any iGaming conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?
Luigi: Fortunately I got to know personally some affiliate managers and receive the greetings of their companies, but I have not yet had the opportunity to attend any affiliates conference. In February, however, I should be able to attend the one that will be held in London. I hope I will have fun.
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?
Luigi: Eastern Europe is a good market, but has yet to take off. I know very well that niche and I can tell you that I foresee a very strong growth in 2017. I believe that in general the development should focus on all the countries of Eastern Europe, but if I had to state two names i’d say Croatia and Czech Republic.
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?
Luigi: I’d like to visit Hungary and Bulgaria, i think next year i will visit one of those two. Worldwide, there are many lovely places but if i had to pick just one i would tell you Moscow.
GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?
Luigi: Let’s say I have traveled extensively in Eastern Europe and I have no antipathy towards any country. But if I have to state a name, Romania does not excites me and I do not think I’ll never go. As you know, Italy is a very welcome country to Romanians and I got to know their traditions and their respectable history, but I also know that is not exactly great going to waste a vacation in Romania.
GAV: What is your opinion about GAV (gamblingaffiliatevoice.com)?
Luigi: I’ll answer with pleasure because I find GAV an innovative site and a good meeting point for people like me who work in this field. Have a say in this area is important, to be considered people before numbers is challenging and rewarding. So as well as being honored to have participated in your interview, I’m glad of your work. Thank you.
GAV: Thank you very much Luigi for your time, interest and kind words! We wish you all the best for the year to come!
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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