Affiliate Affairs: Interview with Klas Winberg of Catena Media
Klas Winberg is the Chief Commercial Officer at Catena Media and proud father of two. We have managed to catch Klas to pick his brain about what makes Catena Media be Catena Media.
EEGReport Magazine: Hi Klas, tell us a bit about yourself, how did you venture into the gaming industry and what are your key activities within the niche?
Klas: I’m a proud father of two with very stereotypical interests such as travelling, sports and good company. I ventured into this industry in 2004 when a good friend of mine recruited me into Expekt.com. This was back in the days when Expekt.com was enjoying market shares of probably around 60% of the Nordic market and poker was the new black. My role, however, was Head of PR and I started to feel I wanted to move into a clear marketing role. Betfair was able to provide me with that and I had seven great years with Betfair. Before coming to Catena Media I was Head of Marketing at a new brand called Luck.com.
EEGReport Magazine: In the past you’ve also worked for Expekt.com as Head of PR, and for Betfair as well! What were the main elements/take homes that you’ve gained at these companies?
Klas: Having been on the operator side for 12 years before coming over to the affiliate side is a great benefit for me as I understand how the operators reason and plan around their affiliate strategies. I think too many times people with affiliate-only experience see the relationship as a zero sum game with only one winner whereas I always try to bring a win-win perspective to the table.
EEGReport Magazine: How did you make the transition to Catena Media?!
Klas: It all started with a meeting with our CEO, Robert Andersson. I was not at all convinced that this challenge would be something that would interest me until I met with Robert. It was quickly clear to me that this was a company with the ambition to change how the affiliate industry works. Once up and running with Catena it did not take long to see what a great experience I had signed up for even though it is not always easy to keep up with the giant strides we keep taking, but that is what always keeps you on your toes.
EEGReport Magazine: In the past year you’ve been really strengthening your market positions, with a few very good acquisitions, like: Casino UK (casinouk.com), SBAT, AskGamblers, but also Playnj.com and Uspoker.com ! Do you have any new acquisitions planned?
Klas: It is no secret that we will keep looking at acquisitions aggressively. It is a central part of our strategy and as long as there remains to be interesting objects out there to buy we will consider them. The coming years will see a substantial consolidation on the iGaming affiliate market, faster than it has happened among the operators.
EEGReport Magazine: It’s clear that you’ve really strengthen your position on the UK an US market, do you have any new markets insight, if yes what would be the main reason to enter those markets?
Klas: I believe that the acquisitions we do in the coming year will primarily be on markets we are currently active on rather than to get into additional markets. We need to consolidate our positions and not be a small operator on very many markets. When we think diversification it is more out of a product perspective.
EEGReport Magazine: It seems like you also would like to venture more deeper into the esports, daily fantasy sports and sports betting sectors/verticals!?!
Klas: With the acquisition of Spelbloggare.se and SBAT we have clearly shown our ambition to grow into the sports betting sector. We are very excited about expanding our product portfolio and will look to do so even further. We want to get to a place where a portfolio operator does not have to turn to five different affiliates in order to cover sports and casino in Sweden, UK and Norway but that we can provide substantial traffic in all of those boxes. In terms of e-sport and daily fantasy sports, suffice to say we are following the development closely. I think fantasy sports have yet to prove that it can be properly monetized before it becomes really interesting.
EEGReport Magazine: Does this mean that you’re really betting on the explosion of esports and daily fantasy sports in the near future?
Klas: For strategic reasons I would not like to comment on this right now.
EEGReport Magazine: With the acquisition of SBAT(UK-based social media sports news, betting and tips website) you’ve strengthen and diversified your position within Paid media by adding social media advertising too. How do you see the future is it gonna be “viral/organic” or “paid”?
Klas: I think the long game is organic. That is where our strength and background are and it is where we have an upper hand on the competition through expertise required over several years. SBAT does do paid but they also have a very good position to grow organically. Having said that I think paid may resurface in different shapes as in building brands out of our sites.
EEGReport Magazine: With a new president in the US, how do you see that market evolving…?
Klas: I think it is anyone’s guess really. I am not even sure that Trump himself has given it a proper thought yet. One fact is that he is the first US president ever to own a casino. That could indicate a protection of his positions on that market. In general, however, I think he will be open to look into the changes proposed by the American Gaming Association who are arguing for fewer regulations and the legalization of sports betting.
EEGReport Magazine: Are there any new trends that we should look out for? In which direction do you think that the European and UK markets are heading?
Klas: Unfortunately, the European markets are out of a gambling perspective becoming more isolationists in my opinion. The good news is that local licenses are to be gained in more and more countries, moving the operator’s presence from grey to white. There will be a period of adjustment between the expectations and demands from the local legislators and the commercial realities of the operators, but I think in the long run these interest will converge in a agreeable position that can work for all.
EEGReport Magazine: Next to the acquisitions, you’ve also been doing some heavy recruitment. Do you plan to open new offices or you’re just really strengthening your position?
Klas: We are not looking to add more offices for the sake of adding more offices. In reality if it was feasible to have everyone sitting in one location that is what we would have opted for. We just happen to have acquired very talented people in different locations and the success of these sites rests on the fact that they are present on those locations. But indeed, we do have a lot of open positions so we are nowhere near fully staffed meaning that we are very grateful for the interest of talented people looking for a new challenge in a very expansive and exciting company.
EEGReport Magazine: Thanks for your time, and we’d like to wish Catena Media good luck for the iGB Affiliate Awards!!!
Klas: Many thanks! We are very much looking forward to it.
This interview appeared first on EEGReport Magazine.
Fiat & Crypto: King Billy players get the best of both worlds
See how the casino players can deposit in crypto and play in fiat.
Since the dawn of e-gaming robust payment systems have been crucial for the success of any online casino, as they are a key factor in creating a positive and satisfying gaming experience. Moreover, the availability of different payment options allows players to choose the method that works best for them, whether it be classical fiat money or cryptocurrency.
But is it possible for an operator to give its players the best of both worlds, fiat and crypto at once? Yes, it is, with the King Billy feature “deposit in crypto, play in fiat”. The concept is simple. A casino player deposits in crypto (choosing among 4 cryptocurrencies King Billy supports). Then, the system automatically shows them their balance in the currency of their choice (among the 14 currencies King Billy supports, used by more than 3 billion people worldwide). When the players withdraw, their transaction takes place back in crypto.
What are the advantages of this system? Ruslan Legenzov, King Billy Casino Head of Affiliates (or “Lord of Affiliates” as the internal etiquette demands) has the answers: “Good things come in threes, and there are certainly 3 very good things about our “deposit in crypto, play in fiat” feature.
First of all, depositing in crypto means less hassle and paperwork for the player and elimination of the dreaded “transaction not coming through” issue. This has been a problem and actually a torment for many of our players in remote areas of the world. As a global casino, we are happy to act in ways that give peace of mind to our players.
Secondly, this system offers a greater player experience to the King Billy Citizens and Nobles, as they can now take advantage of our numerous promotions and offers in fiat. For example, players who deposit in crypto can now participate in our extremely popular fiat-only “Slot of the Month” offer, that’s been a staple of our casino since our launch.
Finally, with “deposit in crypto, play in fiat” our players, especially the not so cryptocurrency-savvy have a much clearer understanding of their wins or losses. I am sure that a player, let’s say from Vietnam, prefers to see, in real time, how much his slot win is worth in the Vietnamese Dong than running in parallel a crypto converter tool to do the math!”
Well said and well done your Majesty.
For those interested in the “deposit in crypto, play in fiat” feature, King Billy Casino accepts the following currencies: Euro (€), US Dollar ($), Canadian Dollar (C$), Australian Dollar (A$), New Zealand Dollar (NZ$), Norwegian Krone (kr), Indian Rupee (₹), South African Rand (R), Vietnamese dong (₫), Indonesian rupiah (Rp), Malaysian ringgit (RM), Thai baht (฿) and the Philippine peso (₱). King Billy also accepts the following cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Tether (USDT).
King Billy Casino is a new-generation online casino, launched on St. Patrick’s Day in 2017. It is available in 4 languages (English, German, French and Finnish) and it has an impressive record in awards with 25 wins, shortlists and other distinctions, and an amazing variety of features and games. King Billy has prioritized the creation of a superb user experience, focusing on the myth of King Billy and his Kingdom and treats all players with the specialness they deserve.
Rightlander wins “Best Tech for Affiliate Programmes” at IGB Affiliate Awards 2023
Following the launch of their innovative Smart Workbench, Rightlander, the advertising and affiliate compliance monitoring specialist, have won the award for ‘Best Technology for Affiliate Programmes’ at this year’s IGB awards ceremony in London. The annual award, dubbed the Oscars of the iGaming affiliate market, recognises the most successful businesses in the gambling industry.
Rightlander is a state-of-the-art advertising and affiliate compliance platform that allows advertisers and networks to identify potentially non-compliant content across different territories. It does this by scanning affiliate content from within the target market, looking for events or conditions defined by clients and regulators, and sending alerts when it finds content that meets those conditions.
According to the judges, who praised the submission’s clear evidence and figures showing customer adoption and cost savings, Rightlander’s offering is “a very strong piece of technology which leads the industry in protecting affiliates, operators and ultimately players and ultimately makes the industry better for being in it.”
Ian Sims, Founder of Rightlander said “We are extremely happy to have won the Best Tech for Affiliate Programmes and this is a milestone moment for Rightlander. We developer/marketing folks love to throw around words like “game changing” and “AI-driven” but when you win an award for “Best Tech for Affiliate Programmes” and it’s one of the judges calling it a “game changer”, that is quite an endorsement.”
Over the past 5 years, Rightlander has scanned tens of millions of webpages to help advertisers identify non-compliant advertising by their marketing partners to protect their brand and regulatory licenses.
Casino Guru wins IGB Affiliates Safer Gambling Initiative of the Year
Casino Guru has won the IGB Affiliates recognition in the Safer Gambling Initiative of the Year category.
Casino Guru has won the IGB Affiliates Awards distinction in the Safer Gambling Initiative of the Year category, an award granted to affiliate services with an unfaltering track record in their commitment to raising player protection standards and contributing to the industry’s ability to better understand gambling-related harm.
Casino Guru underwent a thorough review, which included a look into how the company sought to educate and protect players beyond statutory requirements and the active steps taken to introduce players to a safer gambling journey in every market they engage with.
The assessment distinguished Casino Guru for its comprehensive efforts in responsible gambling and gambling harm prevention as captured by the Gamtegrity, the unifying home of all responsible gambling and consumer protection projects and initiatives launched under the Casino Guru banner and name.
Spearheaded by Šimon Vincze, Casino Guru’s Sustainable & Safer Gambling Lead, Gamtegrity reunites some of the company’s most impactful projects and initiatives geared towards raising standards for the entire industry insofar as problem gambling, player behavior, and harm protection are concerned.
Vincze hailed the IGB Affiliates distinction as a deserved and important milestone in the company’s ongoing efforts to provide the industry with guidance on how to better protect consumers and provide players with assistance on their journey to picking the best and most responsible industry operators.
“QUOTE by Šimon”
I am thrilled from this recognition as it includes most of the projects that I work on. However, this achievement is a reflection of work throughout the departments of Casino Guru and I feel honored to translate it to the rest of the industry. Safer Gambling is undersized in affiliate space, and it is great that iGB motivates companies to compete in it.
Casino Guru’s Gamtegrity project reunites the company’s Global Self-Exclusion System (GSES), an ambitious cross-border initiative designed to create a comprehensive global mechanism that enables players to exclude themselves from regulated gambling markets and focus on recovery.
Casino Guru has similarly focused on creating tools that assist and help vulnerable players to address their problem as well as find help, extensive global information and easy access to treatment options.
The company has also leveraged its industry expertise to create the Casino Guru Academy, an ambitious undertaking which understands how important it is to educate industry professionals about best practices in customer support, casino bonuses, safer gambling, and other important areas.
Not least, Casino Guru’s ample effort and experience in maintaining responsible gambling standards that go beyond national legislation have led the company to set up the Casino Guru Awards which seeks to distinguish prominent operators that share the company’s core values in providing consumers with the safest gambling possible.
The Safer Gambling Initiative of the Year distinction is evidence of the strong and meaningful impact Casino Guru has had in bettering responsible gambling standards and seeking to actively assist players who may struggle with gambling-related problems or suffer gambling-related harm.
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