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Affiliate Success

Affiliate Interviews: Dave Sawyer founder of OnlineCasinoReviewer.com

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Dave of OCR

Today we bring you a truly exclusive interview with a veteran/master of the iGaming industry! Dave Sawyer has a 16 year old background in the online gambling industry, including 3 years at Ladbrokes International as head of the IT Department. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it!?!

Without any further side details, we give you the interview with Dave Sawyer.

GAV: Dave, we would like to thank you for the opportunity to interview such a highly appreciated professional of the industry. Could you fill out the short form below so our readers can imagine your profile?

Name: Dave Sawyer
Age: 42
Hometown: Bath
Living in: Trowbridge
Favorite Food: Italian
Profession/Job title: Company Director

GAV: Hello Dave, first of all tell us and our readers a little bit about yourself. How did your career start in the online gambling industry? What was the key idea of developing this great online gambling casino guide/community ?

DS: My career in the iGaming Industry started way back at the beginning of October 2000, when I started work for Ladbrokes out in Gibraltar. The week of my start date with Ladbrokes also coincided with the launch of their Online Casino product. Back then the Ladbrokes International Offices were responsible for their telephone betting call centre, online sports book, online casino and then hosted other iGaming products such as Poker, Games etc over the forthcoming years.

During the 2001 Budget, UK betting shop tax duty was scrapped in a deal with the major UK bookmakers who had facilities offshore. Hence as part of the deal we went from a staff of over 200 in Gibraltar to less than 20, once the Call Centre and support staff were relocated to the UK. As I was part of the IT Team, I was kept on, as the casino and subsequently online poker sites were still to be hosted on the Rock.

Soon afterwards both my Managing Director (Ed Ware now CEO of 32Red) at Ladbrokes and the IT Controller (Graham Campbell – Founding Director of 32Red) left. I was then subsequently appointed the IT Services Manager for the Ladbrokes Gibraltar IT Department. It was Graham’s idea for me to enter the affiliate sector in 2003, as at the time he and Ed along with a few others had set up 32Red.com in April 2002. I had been running a pretty active political forum, which was receiving good exposure in the search engines, in particular Google. So eventually after much persuasion from Graham I bit the bullet and in August 2004 I registered the domain name OnlineCasinoReviewer.com. It took about 9 months before the site started to generate revenue or receive exposure in Google search – this was during the time when new sites would be placed in the dreaded ‘Sandbox’. But by June 2005, I decided to take the plunge and work on the site full time, handing in my resignation in June 2005. Leaving Ladbrokes at the end of August 2005, after serving a 3 month notice period and after working for them for nearly 5 years.

As a player as well as an affiliate, I offer our visitors the information that I as player need, to make an informed decision as to where to play at online. Having had nearly 5 years experience working for an iGaming Operator in the form of Ladbrokes, I am also able to offer my own views, opinions and advice from my own unique perspective. Online Casino Reviewer is not a directory, meaning it does not list every single site available to play at online. Indeed, currently there are only 29 recommended casinos on the site. With each one I have personally played at and experienced.

In short, OCR is a resource for players written by players.

 

OCR logo

 

GAV: Since there are thousands and thousands of websites in your niche out there, where do you think Onlinecasinoreviewer.com stands now?

DS: Unlike the majority of ‘affiliate’ sites targeting the online casino space, OCR as mentioned above is a resource for players, written by players. Instead of the general reviews of casinos and games found on the majority of sites, which sugar coat everything, the real pitfalls of any of the properties featured on OCR are spelled out. This in addition to our helpful guides such as on Reverse Withdrawals, Casino Bonuses, Fast Paying Casinos to name but three articles, allow players to make an informed choice before opening an account at online casino.

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

DS: This industry never ceases to amaze me and is still growing at a fast pace. The operators working in this space are some of the most innovative that you can find online. The potential for growth is still very real and this has seen an influx of ‘Super Affiliates’ enter the space and compete for a slice of the revenue available.

GAV: How did you start and most of all what bumps did you have to overcome at the beginning?

DS: As stated above, I was working at Ladbrokes in Gibraltar when I launched OCR. Thus had the luxury of a regular salary coming in before I started to earn revenue from the site. The main issue at the time was dealing with the dreaded ‘Google Sandbox’.

GAV: We have analyzed Onlinecasinoreviewer.com and found some great quality content. Are you writing it by yourself or do you have a team of people writing for you? How many reviews are there on your website? How about the news and the software categories, tell us a bit more about it?

DS: The vast majority of the content is written by myself. However, I have outsourced some of the slot game reviews to players who I know through my participation on the Casinomeister Forum.

GAV: How do you manage to keep the content fresh and relevant on your website, when a lot of fluffy and nonsense appear on the Internet on a daily basis?

DS: The key is to provide information that you as a player would want to read. Sugar coated reviews do not hold the visitors interest and as such visitors are more inclined to hit the back button on their browser.

GAV: Another thing that we like is your YouTube Channel, please be so kind and tell us more about it!

DS: When I redesigned OCR at the beginning of 2016, I realized video content is becoming more and more important. Hence our YouTube Channel was born. The purpose of the channel is to complement the site and also act as an independent resource in it’s own right. As well as videos of slot games in play, I also provide reviews of the casinos and cover various topics which I feel are important for players. Such as the dreaded ‘Reverse Withdrawals’ which many online casinos employ. After watching our Reverse Withdrawal Video, you will realize I am not a fan! In addition I also provide videos relating to my experiences as a webmaster, a fairly popular set of videos was when I detailed what happened to OCR after I implemented SSL on the site and the brief drop in rankings in google that occurred as a result.

GAV: We are pretty sure 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; but what are your thoughts on how a real Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationship should be built?

DS: The good relationships in my view are those which leave you to get on with your day to day job running your sites, rather than being badgered and pestered for what seems like every five minutes. I am lucky to have built up a good relationship with all the affiliate managers representing the online casinos we work with.

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

DS: I believe it already is. Obviously there are barriers such as individual countries regulation. There are also areas such as Asia and South America which has vast potential. The key is resolving issues with payment processors, so players in those territories are able to fund and withdraw from their accounts without any big issues.

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

DS: More transparency. Although how that is achieved is the big issue. As affiliates we are blind with regards the stats generated by the players we refer. Ideally it would be good to have an independent body that can go in and audit the affiliate programs. As it stands there are only a couple of programs I can trust 100% and one of them was set up by a very good friend of mine, with the CEO being my former MD ( 32Red ). I hate to even begin to think how much has been ‘shaved’ off our earnings over the past 13 years.

GAV: Do you have any advise you would like to offer and share with the newbies who are looking to venture into this great industry!?

DS: This is not a get rich quick scheme. Particularly so now, with many venture capitalists joining the affiliate space. If you provide good content and are passionate about playing at casinos online, you should have a chance of making a success of your site. You also need to see what players want. Join a players forum such as Casinomeister and also if you can, attend one of the many affiliate conferences which are held throughout the year. Networking with your peers is crucial as you can then build great relationships with other webmasters. In turn helping each other out. Whether it be advise, or exchanging links.

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

DS: My favourite of all time used to be the Casino Affiliate Convention held in Amsterdam. I got engaged to my wife during the 2006 conference and I also spoke on the end of session Beer Forum Panel in 2007. Plus the small memory of escaping the Ash Cloud affected conference of 2011. That was fun. Getting a train with Alex Pratt of iGaming Business, from Amsterdam to Dunkirk. Then the ferry back to Dover courtesy of Wael – An affiliate manager from the casino Box24.

I’ve also spoken at LAC back in 2011, where I was on panel with Michael Corfman from CasinoCity and JTodd of the APCW. I would consider going to a Vegas conference, but I am worried I would literally lose my shirt! So as of yet I still am to make the trip there.

GAV: How did you see this year’s edition of ICE compared to previous years? Did you attend LAC (London Affiliate Conference) as well?

DS: I only attended the ICE and also the annual Casinomeister Meet. I have produced a couple of videos covering both. 2 nights in London is enough for me. The ICE just continues to get bigger every year. Back in 2006 which was the first ICE I attended, iGaming was only afforded a small area of space at Earls Court. Now the stands for iGaming rival the space afforded to their land based cousin.

 

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

DS: Again, I believe this is another lucrative market and whilst in the past there have been issues with fraudulent player activity, it does seem to be an area for potential growth.

GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe?

DS: Funnily enough I have always wanted to go to Russia. But, I won’t be going there for the World Cup in 2018!

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

DS: I like travelling, so I’m quite adventurous. There is honestly no where I wouldn’t go if provided the opportunity.

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

DS: To be honest, no I don’t.

GAV: Do you have a favorite quoute?

DS: It is what it is.

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

DS: A good resource for webmasters in the industry. Well worth bookmarking.

 

If you would like to suggest subjects for future interviews, be sure to send your suggestions to: [email protected] .

Affiliate Program News

AskGamblers Awards: Boomerang Partners Among “Best Affiliate Program” Nominees

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AskGamblers Awards: Boomerang Partners Among "Best Affiliate Program" Nominees

 

Boomerang Partners, the rapidly growing affiliate program, has been named among the notable finalists for the highly coveted “Best Affiliate Program” category at the 2024 AskGamblers Awards

Boomerang Partners has been selected to the top 10 for the ‘Best Affiliate Program’ category at the 2024 AskGamblers Awards. This major nomination highlights Boomerang’s dedication to delivering excellent value and innovative solutions for affiliate partners in the iGaming industry.

The AskGamblers Awards, established in 2006, hold immense prestige as selections are based directly on real player feedback and opinions. Earning a finalist spot is a significant achievement that affirms Boomerang’s status as a trusted source for superior affiliate opportunities within the industry.

“We deeply respect AskGamblers as an important voice in our industry,” said Vitalii Prokofev, CEO at Boomerang Partners. “Being nominated alongside other top programs shows our focus on positive interactions and impact for our valued affiliate partners.”

Given the brand’s many advantages and high standards, Boomerang invests resources in launching new initiatives and tries to improve the market. Like the global Golden Boomerang Awards traffic championship, offering real-world awards for best affiliates in the market. This approach helped Boomerang expand its affiliate network by 135% to over 5,200 partners worldwide in over 70 countries.

Highlighting its industry significance and recognition by industry leaders, last year Boomerang Partners earned prestigious accolades, such as the “Casino of the Year” at the SiGMA BALKANS/CIS Awards, the “Commission Offer Of The Year” at the AffPapa iGaming Awards, “The Best PPC Affiliate” at the SiGMA Europe Awards, along with special recognition at the BiS SiGMA Americas 2023 for enhancing the iGaming & Betting ecosystem in Brazil.

While voting for the AskGamblers Awards remains open until June 12th, the “Best Affiliate Program” category which Boomerang Partners is nominated is not open for public vote, as stated by AskGamblers. Check out the full list of nominees and vote for your favorites at AskGamblers.com

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Affiliate Success

MyAffiliates is officially the most used affiliate marketing software by the iGaming industry.

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MyAffiliates is officially the most used affiliate marketing software by the iGaming industry

 

MyAffiliates is officially the most used affiliate marketing software used in the gaming industry.

The exercise was conducted on a sample of 1,100 affiliate programs with data provided by Statsdrone revealing that MyAffiliates is used by almost 16% of gaming operators, followed by Affilka (11.8%), Income Access (10.5%) and NetRefer (7.8%).

The findings of the recent exercise, based on a sample of 1,100 affiliate programs, affirm MyAffiliates’ position as the preferred choice among gaming operators. With nearly 16% of operators utilizing our software, we are honoured to be entrusted with facilitating their affiliate marketing efforts.

While we celebrate this achievement, we also recognize the evolving landscape of the industry. The fact that 17% of gaming operators still rely on proprietary software presents significant opportunities for ready-built solutions like MyAffiliates to further expand our market share and empower more operators to optimize their affiliate marketing strategies.

Considering this significant milestone, we at MyAffiliates extend our heartfelt gratitude to our clients and partners for their unwavering trust and support. This achievement underscores not only the effectiveness of the MyAffiliates platform but also the dedication of our team to continually innovate and provide unparalleled service to our users.

John Wright, CEO of Statsdrone, expressed his insights regarding MyAffiliates’ dominance in the iGaming industry, stating, “We know that MyAffiliates has an advanced platform for operators and is one of the reasons we know that MyAffiliates has become the most popular affiliate platform in iGaming. We hear from affiliates it is one of their preferred platforms to work with so for us it isn’t much of a surprise to see why operators choose MyAffiliates. In the last 6 months, we’ve noticed more MyAffiliates brands being requested on our platform, and I can’t see why that trend won’t continue.”

Clemence Dujardin, MyAffiliates Group CEO added: “As the leading affiliate marketing software in the iGaming industry, MyAffiliates remains committed to delivering cutting-edge solutions that empower gaming operators to maximize their affiliate programs’ performance and ROI.”

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Affiliate Success

ReferOn is shortlisted for two significant nominations in the AffPapa iGaming Awards 2024

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ReferOn is shortlisted for two significant nominations in the AffPapa iGaming Awards 2024

 

ReferOn, a state-of-the-art affiliate program management system, recently celebrated one year of the project since its launch in February 2023 and has been shortlisted in 2 significant categories of the AffPapa iGaming Awards 2024.

The ReferOn team is confirmed as the leader in the Affiliate System of the Year and Rising Star Provider of the Year categories – mention in these categories simultaneously proves the rapid growth of the platform, including the achievement of outstanding affiliate performance thanks to its flexible, clear, and transparent functionality.

ReferOn has quickly taken the lead in the affiliate gaming industry by offering a full suite of tools and services designed to simplify and empower affiliate marketing. Among its features are transparent data reporting and a range of management and reporting functions.

David Harris, B2B Affiliate Team Manager of ReferOn, noted the importance of the platform being mentioned in the nominations, “ReferOn’s inclusion on the shortlist for the AffPapa awards proves the result of hard teamwork and a commitment to innovation. We are committed to delivering the services our partners demand, and these nominations confirm that we are on the right track.”

The AffPapa iGaming Awards 2024 is the authoritative event from the leading iGaming directory AffPapa and is attended by operators, affiliates, and b2b providers. This year’s event will take place in Malaga, Spain during iGaming Club’s flagship event.

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Offering comprehensive coverage on all aspects of the gaming sector, our daily posts include online and land-based gaming, betting, esports, regulatory and compliance updates, and technological advancements. Regular features encompass daily news articles, press releases, exclusive interviews, and insightful event reports.

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