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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 Success

ReferOn Shortlisted with ‘Affiliate Program of the Year’ by Gambling Insider

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ReferOn Shortlisted with ‘Affiliate Program of the Year’ by Gambling Insider

 

ReferOn, a state-of-the-art affiliate program management system, was recognized alongside MioMedia affiliate program by the reputable Gambling Insider publication on the Affiliate Program of the Year 2024 shortlist.

The MioMedia affiliate program has seen significant growth over the past year, with first deposits up 190%, deposits up 76% and marketing spend up 147%. This growth in performance is due to transparent conditions and the attractiveness of brands such as MyEmpire, Neon54 and Slotspalace, known for their attractive gamification and design.

David Harris, B2B Affiliate Team Manager at ReferOn, noted the achievement: “Our partnership with MioMedia has played a significant role in their success. Thanks to ReferOn’s comprehensive analytics, we have enabled flexible affiliate models, which is one of the keys to growth.”

Helen Reginia, Head of Affiliates at MioMedia, commented on the nomination: “Implementing ReferOn into our processes has been a game changer. The platform has given us the tools to provide competitive commissions to our affiliates, ensuring a stable partnership based on trust, commitment and support.”

MioMedia plans to continue its growth and is preparing to launch new projects, which you can learn about at iGB Affiliate London 2024 from 6 to 8 August on stand E40. In turn, the Referon team will talk about upcoming technical innovations there, at the stand Q10.

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Affiliate Success

Golden Boomerang Awards 2024: Annual Global Traffic Tournament

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Golden Boomerang Awards 2024: Annual Global Traffic Tournament

 

Boomerang Partners launches the prestigious Golden Boomerang Awards 2024 traffic tournament for affiliates worldwide. The competition will be held on a special landing where participants can demonstrate their expertise in driving high-value traffic while contending for grand prizes

The Golden Boomerang Awards is the first tournament organized by Boomerang Partners to reward affiliates who drive high-quality traffic to its online gambling platforms. Running from February 14th to May 14th, 2024 this exclusive tournament offers affiliates a prime opportunity to showcase their traffic generation skills, with the potential to secure booming rewards, including cash prizes, VIP benefits, stylish merchandise, and real gold trophies.

The tournament welcomes both existing and new partners of Boomerang. The new partners must submit an online application and receive a unique ID instantly. This ID ensures transparent evaluation of the traffic driven and sets the stage for a merit-based competition, as the Golden Boomerang Awards emphasizes a performance-based scoring system focusing on the quality and volume of first-time deposits (FTDs). Showing points tally rather than raw FTDs — there’s a leaderboard to track and reward affiliates’ efforts with prizes. The tournament also includes a bi-weekly rewards system with prizes like sleek new MacBooks, Semrush Business subscriptions, Go Pro UAVs, and other hot rewards for hitting key traffic milestones — all incentivizing participant results.

Additionally to these rewards, the most active participants will also be spotlighted across special categories:

  • ‘Best Sportsbook Traffic 2024’, Awarded to the affiliate that drove the highest quality and volume of sportsbook traffic,
  • ‘Best Casino Traffic 2024’, Awarded to the affiliate that drove the highest quality and volume of casino traffic,
  • ‘Best Quality Traffic 2024’, Awarded for delivering overall exceptional quality traffic to Boomerang Partners’ brands,
  • ‘Rising Star 2024’, Honors a newer affiliate who showed outstanding growth and performance — overall four additional categories recognizing more winners with golden statuettes,
  • and much more.

The prize distribution will culminate with the three top golden statuettes: all finishers in the Golden Boomerang Awards tournament will each receive a lustrous, heavyweight Gold Boomerang statue — an industry representation of joining the top tier of affiliate marketing talent, — along with a VIP access pass to the glamorous invite-only Boomerang Awards Grand Ceremony!

As Boomerang Partners CEO Vitalii Prokofev notes, “Making balanced and fair rules in our tournament, we aim to measure an affiliate’s ability to bring value to any partner program effectively. The Golden Boomerang Award thus objectively recognizes those with true best-in-class traffic generation skills — a mark of top-tier affiliate talent. Winners of the Boomerang Award are revered as high-performance leaders, setting a standard for the industry.”

But the best part is reserved for last: the Golden Boomerang Awards on June 1st, 2024 will host the top 30 finalists — highest-performing participants based on tournament results — inviting them for an unforgettable Grand Ceremony experience in Cyprus. Beyond the glamorous accommodations, these VIPs can expect incredible networking with the industry’s best, a brilliant awards ceremony, an A-list entertainment lineup, and an afterparty with unbeatable presents and surprises, as well as many other activities before and after the main event. The invite-only grand finale promises to be the highlight of the year, celebrating the annual Golden Boomerang Awards tournament in a spectacular style.

The Golden Boomerang Awards 2024 intends to bring together world-class affiliates in a competitive yet collaborative setting that rewards driving quality traffic on an annual basis. The tournament signup opens on February 14th and continues past the finale on May 14th, 2024. While later registration is possible, joining earlier allows more time to drive traffic and boosts chances of success. Interested partners can join the exciting journey, demonstrate their expertise, and claim their share of rich rewards at GoldenBoomerangAwards.com

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Affiliate Success

Checkd Group and William Hill claim Marketing prize at iGB Affiliate Awards 2024

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Checkd Group and William Hill claim Marketing prize at iGB Affiliate Awards 2024

 

Checkd Group and William Hill took home the top prize in the Marketing Campaign of the Year category at last night’s iGB Affiliate Awards 2024.

The team picked up the award for the ‘No Tippy Tappy Football with Sam Allardyce’ video series, which has been a major hit across its 50 episodes with its high-profile guests presenting insight, opinions and anecdotes.

Star guests on the show have included Graeme Souness, Duncan Ferguson, Robbie Fowler, Karl Robinson and Simon Jordan, with the judges impressed by the way that the content reached an audience of over 26 million during the judging period.

Will Tyrrell, Director of UK Media at Checkd Group, said: “‘No Tippy Tappy Football with Sam Allardyce’ has been a big hit for audiences and William Hill alike and the formula of insightful chat and opinion has worked very well. It’s fantastic to gain recognition for our efforts once again and we look forward to taking the show forward to even greater heights in the future. “

The iGB Affiliate Awards celebrates the best innovations, successes and contributions from across the industry.

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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.

The platform also hosts industry-relevant webinars, and provides detailed reports, making it a one-stop resource for anyone seeking information about operators, suppliers, regulators, and professional services in the European gaming market. The portal's primary goal is to keep its extensive reader base updated on the latest happenings, trends, and developments within the gaming and gambling sector, with an emphasis on the European market while also covering pertinent global news. It's an indispensable resource for gaming professionals, operators, and enthusiasts alike.

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