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Lindar Media played an April’s fools joke on Affiliates in the UK online bingo industry, we love it!

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You don’t hear this story everyday and most important, you don’t hear about April’s fools jokes on such level. Well, the guys at Lindar Media, who operate a couple of popular bingo affiliate sites such as onlinebingo.co.uk and twolittlefleas.co.uk, as well as actual bingo brands: circusbingo.com and pixiebingo.com, did it. They have managed to fool the top online bingo affiliates with the launch of a new bingo model called Square Bingo.

The story of the new brand’s launch is incredible and even managed to be quoted and mentioned by many. The games played and Imitation Game and managed to pull it off.

Below you can find the details of this prank and the outcome of it:

WHAT SQUARE BALLS SAY ABOUT THE FUTURE OF ONLINE BINGO

After weeks of anticipation, Square Bingo finally launched on April 1, 2016. Except it didn’t.

Square Bingo was actually an April Fool’s Day experiment created by Lindar Media (that’s us) to gauge how the online bingo industry would react to a new, unknown and untested brand.
With just a few social media posts and a simple ‘Coming Soon’ page to the Square Bingo name, we were able to create a small but meaningful buzz among the country’s leading bingo affiliate sites.

But what does that tell us? Did a fictitious site shed light on some of the key issues affecting online bingo in 2016, and what did we learn about its treatment of the players that fund it?

THE IMITATION GAME

According to recent statistics from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), bingo sites had a Gross Gambling Yield (earnings retained by the operator after winnings had been paid) of £82m between November 2014 and March 2015. With such great rewards available, it is really any surprise that new bingo sites are launched on a monthly basis?

Well, we say new, but the majority of bingo sites are simply re-skins of older designs, intended to funnel players from one site to another with the promise of bigger bonuses and ‘original’ themes.

An overview of bingo site distribution by software in 2015

An overview of bingo site distribution by software in 2015

We operate a selection of networked sites ourselves and are also guilty of falling into this rinse and repeat cycle. But starting with the launch of Circus Bingo last July, and continuing with Pixie Bingo and Wild Spins, we are now trying hard to put our own unique mark on network software through the creation of distinguishable brands.

While Circus and Pixie are admittedly similar to each other, they are together much different from the 170+ other Dragonfish products – a trait that has been widely acknowledged by the industry:

“…to be fair they have tried to make it different and it looks totally different to anything else on this tried and tested network.” – Circus Bingo review, WhichBingo.co.uk

“…the site uses Dragonfish software but there is no way that we would be able to tell by looking at it. The new site uses a completely new template, and we have to say the site looks fantastic.” – Circus Bingo review, Bingoport.co.uk

“Circus Bingo is a Dragonfish network bingo site but is about as far from a standard Dragonfish skin as you could possibly imagine. The design of this circus and nuts themed site is absolutely stunning…” – BestNewBingoSites.co.uk

There’s plenty of room for operators to be adventurous if they want to be. Are players really crying out for another Welcome Bingo? We don’t think so.

Small steps, not giant leaps

PlayTech’s bingo variants and Tombola’s proprietary software aside, it has been years since an operator has offered a truly original approach, leading to genuine excitement when something slightly different arrives on the scene.

As a precursor to Square Bingo, PlayTech’s newest game, Cash Cubes, highlighted how even relatively simple changes continue to be celebrated as groundbreaking when it launched in March.

Cash Cubes: Bingo with cubes, not cards

Cash Cubes: Bingo with cubes, not cards

 

Then in April we saw 888Ladies launch playing card based, Flash Fives. Both of these games are essentially still bingo at their core; replacing the standard bingo card with a different object and speeding things up a bit.

How many more times will this concept be copied?

content_flash_fives_bingo_banner

Flash Fives: Bingo with (playing) cards, not cubes

 

A SQUARE PEG IN A ROUND HOLE

Probably the biggest surprise about Square Bingo was that the domain wasn’t already taken.

After all, the formula for dreaming up a bingo site name is fairly simple:

1. Think of any everyday object, event, location, shape, colour… anything
2. Add ‘Bingo’ to the end of it

Square Bingo was no different. We deliberately chose it to be as plain and uninspiring as possible. Other names on the shortlist included Ironing Bingo, Paint Drying Bingo, Car Park Bingo and Grey Bingo.

Despite the boring name (Boring Bingo, anyone?), and with little to show besides the suggestion of more angular balls, journalists and affiliates began to take notice…

square-bingo-tweet

Making Square Bingo look real was actually quite easy. As well as the compulsory ‘Coming Soon’ page, we used a selection of channels to actively build community excitement. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Set up Facebook & Twitter profiles for Square Bingo (5 mins)
  • Posted one Tweet per day – usually including a square-based pun (30 secs per day)
  • Followed every bingo affiliate account we could find (5 mins)
  • Retweeted the occasional piece of bingo news (10 secs)
  • Set up a basic coming soon page (1.5 hours)

Our marketing even received compliments:

“This new site has a brilliant marketing scheme by keeping us all in the dark while at the same time giving us just a tiny bit of information to keep us coming back for more.

“According to the site… it’s going to completely change the online bingo world” really? Seriously, talking about dangling a carrot in front of us and then pulling it away!” – latestbingobonuses.com

Truth is, it probably totaled less than two hours work. Compare that to a real bingo brand in the weeks before its launch:

A Tale of Two Twitters: Square Bingo vs Tip Top Bingo (Pre-launch)

A Tale of Two Twitters: Square Bingo vs Tip Top Bingo (Pre-launch)

No history? No problem.

Thanks to our rather basic promotional strategy, we were offered affiliate and advertising deals for Square Bingo in March. Sites were willing to promote an unknown bingo brand with almost no confirmed information about the site.

Remember, Square Bingo was to run on a completely new platform (Shapesoft) and be operated by a company that even Google had no record of (CBWFL Media). Would there have been quality checks before our campaigns went live to safeguard players or was their experience being overlooked by the hundreds of affiliate sites desperate to cash-in on their deposits? It would certainly seem so.

The extent of our communication with affiliates before April 1

The extent of our communication with affiliates before April 1

World First Features

We updated Square Bingo on the first of April to include a list of (fake) world-first features, including the much-predicted square bingo balls, a spin the square bonus game and an exclusive partnership with a famous London landmark.

content_square_bingo_feature_overview

Revealed: The full list of Square Bingo features

We sent a version of this press release to hundreds of people in the bingo industry, published news on OnlineBingo.co.uk and Two Little Fleas, and updated the Square Bingo social profiles. We were fortunate that our work in the lead up to 1st April kept people invested in the launch and allowed the scenario to play out in full. The whole thing could have immediately been called out as a joke, so why wasn’t it? We put this down to two reasons:

1. People were actually excited about the unlikely ‘innovation’ of square bingo balls

2. Affiliates didn’t want to harm their chances of doing a deal with us should the site not be fake – our players are worth money, after all

Above: Tweet (since deleted) by WhichBingo.co.uk

Tweet (since deleted) by WhichBingo.co.uk

 

April Fools!

 

Sticking to the traditions of April Fool’s Day, we finally revealed the truth about Square Bingo at 12 noon.

Our reveal included a message to affiliates and an exclusive Circus Bingo deposit code, designed to appease any players who felt robbed of a new site. Then, something strange happened: coverage of Square Bingo began to disappear.

We were accused of everything from having ‘more time on our hands than we know what to do with’, to conducting a ‘publicity stunt to get new players though the virtual doors of the site’.
These were the same people who just hours earlier were outwardly expressing their excitement for the features being teased.

News update by PlayingBingo.co.uk

News update by PlayingBingo.co.uk

We were disappointed (but not surprised) that the exclusive Circus Bingo offer was ignored, despite it being live for a significant part of the day.

Many of our affiliates were informed of the promotion, but not one updated their site to let their players know. Surely if sites were truly offering the best deals for players, they would have actually told them about it? Apparently not.

People simply turned their backs on Square Bingo because it was no longer a way to make money.

Square Bingo reveal page with Circus offer

Square Bingo reveal page with Circus offer

THE FUTURE OF ONLINE BINGO

Square Bingo has reaffirmed our two major predictions for the future of online bingo:

1. The replication of tired experiences will lead to sites failing to build sustainable brands and loyal audiences.
2. Players will eventually resent being funneled between identical sites and flock to those with truly exceptional features, putting smaller sites at significant risk of closure.

We don’t know when the bubble will burst, but it’s surely only a matter of time, especially given ever-tightening rules and regulations.

UK Chancellor, George Osborne, recently unveiled plans to extend the General Betting Duty which would see operators paying tax on free bets like no deposit bonuses.

While the plans are still to be confirmed, they have the potential to immediately cut the profits of operators, leading to the possible abolition of bonuses altogether – one of the key differentiators between bingo sites in the current environment.

Some sites are already receiving negative feedback from disgruntled players over hefty wagering requirements; how long before they start rejecting them completely? What will attract players to a new site if there is no monetary incentive? This is the question that operators will need to answer.

The influence of affiliate deals on reviews

Affiliates are also responsible for driving the industry forward, but very few bingo portals offer genuinely honest and trustworthy reviews of bingo sites.

Reviews are instead based on the deals negotiated between sites and brands, leaving players without the insights they need to make informed decisions and making the ratings effectively worthless.

hat incentives are there for operators to create a new site of real value when its ultimate quality is determined by affiliate deals and welcome bonuses? Will we only see a rush of new ideas before the general betting duty is extended or will more forward-thinking operators step up earlier?

If the bonus culture was suddenly stopped, operators and networks would be forced to condense their portfolios and refocus on just a handful of sites.

Building new sites and moving players around comes at a hefty cost, so it makes sense to offer fewer higher quality sites and build a database of genuinely loyal players.

Who will take the first step and revolutionize the online bingo scene?

A BETTER DEAL FOR PLAYERS

The reaction to Square Bingo and its world first bingo balls highlights just how desperate the industry is for change.

We believe that it’s possible for operators and affiliates to provide a better and more rewarding experience for players in a way that remains profitable.

We’ve seen huge progress in the industry’s approach to responsible gambling in recent years. That same ideology and determination should be applied here too.

If we offer better – and expect better – we could all create an industry that is truly fun, fair and exciting for everybody.

It’s time to start thinking outside the box.
The article has been embedded from the following link: https://onlinebingo.co.uk/news/why-we-created-square-bingo

We have to stay it is a wonderful story and yet something to learn from in your are in the online bingo affiliate industry and why not the casino or sports betting. Imagine if there would have been bad intentions behind this prank….

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Affiliate Announcements

Manchester Betting Affiliate Aims To Take The US By Storm With Launch Of GamingUSA.com

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Manchester Betting Affiliate Aims To Take The US By Storm With Launch Of GamingUSA.com

 

Following their success in the UK betting affiliate market, Manchester based firm Moneta Communications have taken their business stateside with the launch of their first American website, GamingUSA.com.

With casino, slots, horse racing and sports websites in the pipeline, GamingUSA.com is the first of what will be many sites that will be geared towards the American market.

The team embarking on a new project will be using their expertise in website and content creation to spearhead multiple sites that will appeal to the betting fraternity.

The sites users will be provided with all the latest information on online gaming and betting availability by state, allowing them to make well informed decisions.

GamingUSA.com is being backed by Fred Done, the renowned businessman and owner of industry giant Betfred.

Speaking on entering the US market, Fred said: “GamingUSA is one of our most exciting projects. The speed at which many states are looking to legalise betting shows that this is a lively new frontier for our industry. With many sports shows now openly incorporating betting lines, it is becoming evident that people are starting to embrace betting on sports and we intend to be at the heart of that.”

The determination to enter the American market was sped up by the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the 1992 Federal Law that prohibited most states from implementing their own betting laws.

This ruling means that more people will be able to bet legally and already more than half the individual states have bills in their respective state legislatures to open up betting opportunities online.

GamingUSA Chief Operations Officer Natalie Merrison said of the launch of the website: “Myself along with Moneta’s experienced CEO Daniel Campbell and our talented team here at GamingUSA.com, are excited to enter the US betting affiliate market.

“Our collective experience and knowledge of the industry means that we are confident that this will be a very prosperous project for all involved. We are thrilled to be bringing a unique betting experience to an American audience.”

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Affiliate Announcements

Commission Magazine Launches Issue 1

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Commission Magazine Launches Issue 1

 

Commission Magazine is a new digital magazine that is focused on affiliate marketing, online marketing, business and entrepreneurship. The magazine has just launched issue 1 for February 2019 and is filled with articles ranging from affiliate marketing and search engine optimization (SEO).

The magazine was created by John Wright and co-founder of StatsDrone where he felt there were not many magazines around in the affiliate marketing space aside from online gaming.

In my experience, I’ve been able to learn learn more by getting out of my comfort zone and venturing into other industries within affiliate marketing and online marketing. I felt there are a lot of igaming magazines around but not a lot that cover other aspects of online marketing. My goal of the magazine is to have articles that educate and help you with your business but also to share stories from successful entrepreneurs. ” – John Wright, Editor & founder of Commission Magazine

Featured articles in Issue 1

  • Profit First interview with Mike Michalowicz
  • Interview with Erik Bergman: Founder of Great.com
  • White Hat Link Building by Dan Ray
  • Cryptocurrency: Lessons from the bear market
  • iGaming vs Blockchain

Profit First Interview with Mike Michalowicz

Mike Michalowicz is the author of best selling books Profit First and recently released book Clockwork. In this interview, Mike dives deep into why his system for running a successful business works and explains why most entrepreneurs fail. His Profit First book is certainly a book that anybody should read that wants to start a business and work for themselves.

Interview with Erik Bergman: Founder of Great.com

Erik Bergman is is the founder of Great.com and in this interview he shares his passion for not just business but his charity work. Erik’s story is one where he achieved a high level of success and financial freedom but he was looking to do something bigger and more meaningful. Find out what Erik is up to and what he is creating behind the scenes with Great.com.

Featured Article: White Hat Link Building Systems with Dan Ray

Dan Ray is an SEO that focuses on white hat link building. He shares his story of why he builds his fail safe systems for building links. He takes it a step further by teaching these systems to anybody that wants to learn and buy his courses. He has a Facebook SEO group that has over 3600 members that are screened before they join. His site and courses can be found at danray.me

Get featured in the magazine

If you have a story you want to share or to be featured in the magazine, you can email read@commissionmagazine.com .

 

About Commission Magazine:

Commission Magazine is a marketing magazine that was created by the people at StatsDrone.com . The magazine is produced quarterly and is free for users to read or download. You can read the latest issue of the magazine at commissionmagazine.com.

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Affiliate Announcements

Intertops Affiliates Celebrates 20 Years

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Intertops Affiliates Celebrates 20 Years

 

1st affiliate to draw 1 of 20 prizes in hourly Apple giveaway at London Affiliate Conference

 

This year Intertops celebrates the 20th anniversary of its ground-breaking affiliate program. To mark the occasion, Intertops Affiliates will be giving away stacks of Apple products at the London Affiliate Conference February 7th and 8th. The pioneering company’s very first affiliate – who still receives monthly commissions for players he introduced way back when – will draw the final winner.

Hourly draws over the two days of LAC will award 4 iPhones, 6 Air Pods, 4 iPads, 5 iWatches and 1 Macbook Air.

“We’ve got 20 prizes for 20 years,” said an Intertops spokesperson. “One Apple product every thirty minutes. For a chance to win, just come by stand C1 and drop your business card in the bowl.”

Intertops is the most trusted online gambling brand in the world and is famous for taking the very first online sports bet in 1996. Two years later the pioneering company ventured into the casino business and added a poker room in 2003.

One of Intertops’ first affiliates was ‘Suchknecht’. 20 years ago, he was delivering the daily post to the Intertops office. One day he sat down for a coffee with the company founder and learned about the igaming industry. He invented a search engine and started promoting Intertops. Twenty years later, he continues to receive monthly commissions for the players he referred in those early days.

‘Suchknecht’ looks forward to talking about the good old days of affiliate marketing at the London Affiliate Conference.

Intertops Affiliates pays an up to 35% commission for the lifetime of the player. The company operates a sportsbook with esports and live betting as well as two casinos and a poker room. Affiliates earn revenue for players across all products. There is no negative carryover and there are never retroactive changes to terms. Over the last two decades, Intertops has earned a reputation for paying affiliates like clockwork.

 

ABOUT INTERTOPS AFFILIATES:
One of the first operators in the igaming industry, Intertops rolled out its affiliate program in 1999, three years after accepting the world’s first ever online bet. The world’s fastest paying affiliate program has understood from the very start that relationships with partners must be based on mutual trust. The affiliate team tried to establish long-term business deals from the word go and many affiliates have been working with the company since the beginning.

ABOUT INTERTOPS CASINO:
Intertops launched its first online casino in 1998. There are more than 300 casino games from Real Time Gaming (RTG) in its main casino and another 200 games from Wager Gaming Technology in the Intertops Casino Classic. Several slots have progressive jackpots currently well over $1,000,000. Intertops’ most popular games are available in its new enhanced instant play online casino and new mobile casino. Intertops players compete against each other for top weekly bonuses.

ABOUT INTERTOPS SPORTSBOOK:
Intertops accepted the world’s first ever online sports bet and is still one of the globe’s largest sites for sports betting, casino, poker and games. Over the last three years the company has paid out over 500 million dollars in winnings to its customers around the world. It offers one of the lowest minimum stakes on the internet and has built a reputation as a dependable and serious partner for all types of wagering enthusiasts.

ABOUT INTERTOPS POKER:
Intertops Poker is the busiest poker room on the Horizon Poker Network offering Texas Hold’em, Omaha ring games and tournaments of all stakes and levels 24/7. The active poker room also offers a suite of online casino games from Worldmatch, Betsoft and Lucktap.

 

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