Seven Star Digital (SSD) was founded by Luke Eales in 2016 with the aim to provide better gambling comparison services to consumers in the UK and beyond. Since then, SSD’s first website TopRatedCasinos.co.uk has consolidated a very strong position in both PPC and SEO channels within the UK Casino industry, delivering thousands of FTDs to licensed casino operators every month. With a vision for creating a truly comprehensive global online gambling comparison site across all verticals, the company launched Compare.bet in October 2017. Seven Star Digital currently employs a dozen talented marketers and technologists in its London HQ.
Name: Luke Eales
Living in: London
Favorite Food: Italian
Must Read Book: The Pig That Wants To Be Eaten by Julian Baggini
Job title: Founder & CEO
GAV: Hi Luke, tell us and our readers as well, a little bit about yourself, we want to know who Luke really is. How did your career start in the industry? What was your first job?
Luke: This is my first real activity in the gambling industry. But if we’re talking digital marketing, I got started back in 2003. Personal SEO projects made for a nice side earner while studying – at the time I had no inkling that it’d become a career.
GAV: Do you still remember when you first heard about gambling or online casinos?
Luke: It was probably about fifteen years ago – I set up a very small and unsuccessful affiliate site with my brother called Bonkers Betting! It’s hard to avoid the industry when working in digital. Partly because it’s an incubator for bleeding edge acquisition tactics.
GAV: Since there are thousands of websites and portals in this niche out there, where do you think your websites stand at this moment and what is that plus that the other comparison portals don’t have?
Luke: One of our strengths is we’ve come from outside the industry with a fresh perspective. Our inspiration also comes from outside the industry – the big travel and insurance comparison sites for starters. They’re a long way ahead of gambling comparison, but we’re aiming to catch up fast – in terms of content, user experience and brand.
GAV: Tell us about your team a bit!
Luke: We’re based in Shoreditch – hipster central in London. The area has a great buzz, full of startups, as well as vibrant bars, restaurants and galleries. There are currently around a dozen of us at the company, spanning marketing, commercial and tech. We’ve got a great bunch of people all striving to take gambling comparison to the next level. Also, we’re hiring!
GAV: What kind of SEO, digital marketing or affiliate techniques do you follow this year, and how about any new upcoming trends?
Luke: For us, the definition of good digital marketing doesn’t necessarily change monthly or even yearly. Paid search, paid social, organic search – the platforms and behaviours evolve, of course. We’re less focused on the next new thing, tactical marketing trick or short-term win. For us the differentiation is in execution, organisational agility and deep understanding of our lines of business. This allows us to adapt to the evolving landscape, including from a regulatory perspective. Of course, the big change happening right now for data/permission marketers is GDPR. We’re hopeful that this will succeed in ensuring users’ interests and personal data is protected.
GAV: What are the challenges that you and your team face in regards to affiliate marketing in 2018.
Luke: Put simply, the ever-increasing ferocity of competition in the sector. Everyone wants a piece of the pie – we are acutely aware that in order to maintain and grow ours, we have to earn it. This keeps us at the top of our game. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
GAV: How do you manage to keep the websites fresh and relevant, when a lot of fluffy and nonsense appear on the Internet non-stop?
Luke: The crusade for ‘fresh content’ has created a cottage industry of content churners who prioritise volume over quality. We take a different approach – while we do aim to create vast and comprehensive sites, we’re not fans of expansion for expansion’s sake. We find that writing for people rather than search engines acts as an automatic fluff filter.
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?!
Luke: Trust, transparency and sharing of insights. When you’re providing a quality service and valuable traffic, there is no need for smoke and mirrors in the partner relationship. This honest and open approach makes everything easier and is best for all in the long run.
GAV: Next to the UK market, which are the other ones that you already target or want to expand into?
Luke: We have our eye on several regulated/soon-to-regulate markets in Europe. We’re also growing Compare.bet with a global scope – the recent US news creates great potential, but we expect to pick up traffic from a real long tail of geographies.
GAV: How do you see the Nordic market?
Luke: Having been a fairly stable and attractive region for some years, things are starting to change – with regulation in Sweden and moves to restrict in Norway via payment blocking etc.
Our first step into Scandinavia is with our Swedish comparison site ToppOnlineCasinon.se – we already work with most of the top operators in the region but are being very careful not to make assumptions about user behaviour and what will work over there. Our eyes and ears are open to the requirements of Swedish players and operators alike, and we expect the user experience to diverge from our UK sites based on what we learn about specific local needs over time.
GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the online gambling industry?!
Luke: We want running a ‘gambling affiliate site’ to be as well respected as running a ‘finance comparison business’. This will only happen with the industry taking more of a user focus and thinking bigger. There are certainly signs that this is starting to happen.
GAV: Do you have any advice for newbies who are looking to venture into this majestic industry!?
Luke: Get into the data. Not only will it allow you to improve your own metrics, but it will create transparency with partners and the opportunity to work together to grow based on real insights.
GAV: How about iGaming/online casino/gambling conferences, do you attend any of them? If so, which one is your favourite and what is your most fun experience?
Luke: We try to attend as many as possible. It’s rare to leave without a killer insight or two, at least. Face time with partners is also invaluable We’re looking forward to Lisbon this autumn – the weather should in theory be better than Berlin, which is a plus!
GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, any favourite country or region?
Luke: I haven’t seen much of it, so I’d have quite a long to-do list! In particular, I’ve heard great things about Slovenia.
GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?
Luke: I wouldn’t rule anywhere out!
GAV: How about a favourite celebrity or a mentor, do you have one?
Luke: I’m not a big follower of celebrity. I have however been fortunate enough to have worked with a range of experienced and knowledgeable senior colleagues throughout my career, all of whom have had a great influence.
ReferOn celebrates SiGMA presence with 5 Star Award!
SiGMA is time for celebration as ReferOn wins Rising Star of the Year award from 5 Star Media!
ReferOn, the state-of-the-art affiliate management platform for the iGaming industry, celebrated its first presence at SiGMA Malta Europe with numerous partners and client meetings and is delighted to announce that it won the Rising Star of the Year award from 5 Star Media for 2023!
Exhibiting at an iGaming conference and expo for the first time since launching in February, ReferOn welcomed clients and prospects at its stand and showcased the Rising Star of the Year award it won from 5 Star Media’s Starlet Awards.
David Harris, Tech Team Lead at ReferOn, commented: “SiGMA Malta Europe was a fantastic event for ReferOn. The event was not only valuable for the significant potential arising from the meetings held, but also because SiGMA fosters an environment where like-minded individuals can deeply understand the market and discuss all its aspects in an ideal setting. This can be in relation to the iGaming market’s weaknesses or areas for growth and it generates a continuous flow of ideas for improvement on all sides. ReferOn was no exception to this and this gave us plenty of food for thought to grow into 2024.”
ReferOn’s platform is focused on ease-of-use, speed and leveraging its state-of-the-art technology for the benefit of affiliates. By joining the platform, affiliates benefit from ReferOn’s brand new features such as Dynamic Reporting, user-friendly dashboards and Instant API Reports.
Boomerang Media is the Best PPC Affiliate at SiGMA Europe Awards 2023
Boomerang Media claimed “The Best PPC Affiliate” nominee at the recent SiGMA Europe Awards 2023, reinforcing its position as an industry leader
Boomerang Media, part of Boomerang Partners, won “The Best PPC Affiliate” at the SiGMA Europe Awards 2023, demonstrating its competitive strength among top industry players. The award ceremony was held on the opening day of the SiGMA Europe Malta event on November 14. Boomerang Media was honored after an open vote and jury decision, beating out fellow nominees Identi and RevenueLab.
“We are thrilled to have secured this prestigious SiGMA Europe award this year,” said Vitalii Prokofiev, CEO of Boomerang Partners. “It validates our team’s dedication and commitment to offering best-in-class experiences tailored for each market we operate in.”
Not just a contender for prestigious awards, Boomerang Partners has also appointed its leading brand – Boomerang Sportsbook, a sponsor of the ‘Best East Europe Affiliate 2023’ category. This underscores their commitment to emerging European markets. With a strong presence in these regions already, Boomerang offers affiliates extensive opportunities to expand globally, including into both Europe and Latin America.
“We applaud Boomerang Partners’s dedication to expanding across Europe and beyond,” Denis Dzyubenko, CIS Region Director at SIGMA Group. “Earned win for Boomerang Media in the “The Best PPC Affiliate” nominee and Boomerang Partners’s sponsorship of the “Best East Europe Affiliate” category demonstrates a strategic understanding of key growth regions and a commitment to supporting the entire ecosystem. Operators like Boomerang, who foster industry development while delivering innovative platforms, are vital to our sector’s success”.
SiGMA Europe is a premier global gaming event and forum for industry experts and affiliates. It convenes over 800 sponsors, 200 exhibitors, 200 speakers, and 25,000 delegates to discuss gaming trends, share ideas, and network. SiGMA has raised over €300,000 for charity since 2020 through its global events. For 2023, the SiGMA Foundation aims to launch significant initiatives, including an educational facility in Ethiopia for 1,000 students, two Camino de Santiago hikes with €70,000 targets each, summiting Mount Toubkal, and continuing the Kilimanjaro Challenge, which has raised €1 million since 2004 – all guided by principles of transparency and impactful philanthropy.
“It’s great to be recognized by the industry’s best. We are glad that our initiative to develop professional sports around the world did not go unnoticed,” stated Vitalii Prokofiev, CEO of Boomerang Partners. “We will continue to push the envelope and deliver the best products in our categories experience globally.” At the SiGMA Europe in Malta, Boomerang Partners is represented by the booth of its flagship brand Boomerang Bet.
SPOTLIGHT SPORTS GROUP NAMED AFFILIATE OF THE YEAR AT THE EGR OPERATOR AWARDS
Spotlight Sports Group Triumphs with the Affiliate of the Year Award, Solidifying Position as Industry Leaders
Spotlight Sports Group (SSG), a world-leading technology, content and media company specialising in sports betting, was named the winner of the EGR Operator Award’s headline category, Affiliate of the Year. This achievement underscores SSG’s successful development and growth of its four leading sports betting affiliates.
The winning submission included data on differentiation and quality of offering, quality and scale of traffic, audience growth innovation and strong partner relationships, including a particular focus on the promotion of safer gambling measures.
The Affiliate of the Year award is the first award that SSG has received recognising the success of its affiliate brands on a global scale. In the UK, SSG is led by the Racing Post, which is the unrivalled leader in horseracing news and tips, in addition to being the largest horseracing affiliate in the world.
In North America, SSG’s flagship brand is Pickswise, which has grown the largest audience of any affiliate launched in the market since the repeal of PASPA in 2018.
Spotlight Sports Group also owns and operates leading affiliates, myracing and Free Super Tips. Myracing is a trusted resource for every horseracing and greyhound race in the UK and Ireland. Free Super Tips specialises in providing football tips for matches and leagues around the world and has developed large audiences in the UK, Ireland and other regulated markets globally.
Combined, the four properties provide operators with a hard-to-match combination of platforms that boast extensive and loyal audiences in a variety of markets.
Discussing the award win, Spotlight Sports Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Renshaw, said: “We are thrilled to have won this award from EGR. In addition to it being an especially prestigious award, it is something that our entire company can take pride in and look to as proof that our hard work is being recognised by our industry peers. The award win helps solidify SSG as one of the few super affiliates in the industry as all of our affiliate brands have taken major strides forward in the past year by growing their audiences and increasing engagement.
He continued: “We are also honoured that this is our second industry award win of the year from EGR, following being named winner of the Sports Data Supplier award at their B2B ceremony in June. We look forward to continuing to go above and beyond the odds for our audiences and unlocking audience value for our partners through all of our products and services.’’
The EGR Operator Awards winners were announced on Thursday, 26th October, at the Grosvenor House in London.
Navigating the Challenges: The Impact of UKGC Regulations on UK Casino Affiliates
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been instrumental in shaping the landscape of gambling in the UK, including...
Boomerang Media is the Best PPC Affiliate at SiGMA Europe Awards 2023
Boomerang Media claimed “The Best PPC Affiliate” nominee at the recent SiGMA Europe Awards 2023, reinforcing its position as...
Ukrainian Cyber L&G team belonging to Alona Shevtsova Launches Exclusive Merchandise Line
Ukrainian e-sports team L&G is thrilled to announce the launch of their exclusive merchandise line, available for purchase...
OlyBet Launches Affiliate Program in Spain and Slovakia with Income Access
Income Access is excited to announce that OlyBet has recently launched its affiliate program in Spain and Slovakia with...
Rightlander partners with HAPPYBET to comply with Germany’s evolving advertising regulations
Enhancing regulatory adherence and ensuring ethical affiliate marketing in the licensed gaming industry Rightlander, a leading provider of affiliate...
SPOTLIGHT SPORTS GROUP NAMED AFFILIATE OF THE YEAR AT THE EGR OPERATOR AWARDS
Spotlight Sports Group Triumphs with the Affiliate of the Year Award, Solidifying Position as Industry Leaders Spotlight Sports Group...
Betting on New Customers: Are Returning Users Damaging Sportsbooks’ CAC Strategies?
By: Richard Metcalf In the fast-paced, highly competitive world of sports betting, operators have to ensure they’re maximising Return-On-Investment...
One of the cyber athletes of the L&G team belonging to Alona Shevtsova was transferred to the youth team of the best CS team
According to the Ukrainian ua.news portal, Vladislav Leen Stepanov, who is a CS:GO player of the Ukrainian L&G eSports team...
FAVBET partners with BETER Live in major boost to its live casino offering
BETER Live’s suite of premium games is now available to all of FAVBET’s users in Ukraine, Croatia, and Romania...
Better Collective acquires Danish sports media Tipsbladet.dk
Digital sports media group Better Collective strengthens its position in Denmark through the strategic acquisition of Tipsbladet.dk, one of...
News6 years ago
Paddy Power departs the Italian market
Affiliate Success2 years ago
Blexr has been crowned Best Casino Affiliate at this year’s IGB Affiliate Awards
News7 years ago
Use of Social Media for Online Gambling Affiliates
Affiliate Announcements4 years ago
How to Stand Out on Georgia’s Profitable Gambling Market? Leading Experts to Discuss Best Practices at Georgia iGaming Affiliate Conference
Affiliate Success7 years ago
Affiliate Interviews: CasinoDaddy (Mathias, Anton, and Erik Joelsson)
News5 years ago
Casino Games for Real Money – Choosing One to Play
Affiliate Success4 years ago
iGaming Focus Areas and СРА Selection to Be Discussed at Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference
News5 years ago
Henrik Persson Ekdahl announces sale of stake in Catena Media