In this weeks affiliate interview you can get to know Chris from SlotsJack.com, a fresh slots startup providing comprehensive and detailed guides on everything from planning a casino vacation to comparing games!
Name: Chris Bibey
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Living in: Pittsburgh
Favorite Food: Spaghetti
Must Read Book: The 4-Hour Workweek
Profession/Job title: Internet Marketing Consultant
GAV: Tell us a bit about yourself, we want to know who Chris Bibey really is, the person behind the SlotsJack startup. Where were you born? What was the main idea of developing this great online slots and casino platform?
Chris: In short, I was born in the United States and never had much of an interest in casino games until I turned 21. At that point, I took my first trip to Las Vegas. Within a matter of days, I realized that I wanted to be involved in the gaming industry in some way, shape, or form.
After working with several high level brands and affiliates for 5+ years, I decided to branch out on my own to create SlotsJack.com.
The main idea behind the site is simple:
• To provide high quality reviews of slot machine games and casinos. Before writing any piece of content, I see what else is out there. From there, I go above and beyond to ensure that the review provides greater depth and higher quality information.
GAV: Since there are thousands of websites in your niche out there, where do you think Slotsjack.com stands now?
Chris: Right now, SlotsJack is in its infancy. However, we have laid out a plan for robust growth over the next 12 months.
Most importantly, feedback from visitors has been great. They love the depth of the content and the honest approach.
As you know, there are thousands of websites that provide casino related content, however, a lot of it is short, full of fluff, and meant to do nothing more than drive conversions for affiliates. We take a different approach: the player always comes first.
GAV: What are the strong points of Slotsjack.com and what makes it stand out from the other websites/platforms?
Chris: There are several things that allow SlotsJack to stand out from the crowd:
• We make sure every review provides more information than what else is out there. So, if we’re writing a review and the top results show an average of 700 words, we’ll go much deeper by providing 1k+ words on the game or casino.
• Honesty! Let’s face it, not every slot machine is worth playing. We do our best to provide honest reviews, as that is what people want.
GAV: How did you start and what bumps did you have to overcome?
Chris: Due to my years of experience in the field, getting started was pretty simple. That being said, there are a few challenges in the way.
Primarily, competition is stiff in regards to generating search engine traffic. That being said, we’re doing what Google wants: providing nothing but high quality, targeted, unique advice.
With each passing month, SlotsJack traffic continues to grow, thanks to search engine rankings that continue to climb.
GAV: We have browsed your website and found some quality content. Are you writing it by yourself or you have a team writing for you? How many casino reviews do you have on your website?
Chris: This is a great question. Right now, I am the only person writing the content. And to be honest, things will probably stay this way for quite some time. For many years, I’ve been a writer, providing top brands in many spaces with high quality content. So, for this reason, I actually enjoy cranking out content on a daily basis.
Right now, there are about 200 pages on the site, which includes game reviews, casino reviews, and in-depth gaming guides.
GAV: Is it hard for you to keep the content fresh and relevant on your website, when a lot of fluff and nonsense appear on the Internet on a daily basis?
Chris: It really isn’t, to be honest. From our perspective, content is king. We know that this is the most important thing to our success, and that’s why I have no problem devoting the necessary amount of time to this task.
As noted earlier, there is a lot of fluff out there. This is why we review every piece of competing content before starting to write.
GAV: We are pretty sure that you receive messages from Affiliate Managers on a daily basis showcasing their best products. What are your thoughts on how Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationships should be built?
Chris: Once again, it’s all about an open and honest relationship. Through my experience, as long as both parties are getting what they want, as long as both parties are on the same page from the start, things typically work out.
GAV: How do you see the future of the online casino and land based casino industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon?
Chris: This is a difficult question to answer, as a few key markets hold a lot of the power right now.
For example, will the United States legalize online gambling at some point in the near future? If so, I think we can expect an explosion in popularity.
GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the casino affiliate world?!
Chris: As you know, there are quite a few “shady” operations out there. I wish everyone would have a bit more respect for each other. This includes site operators, affiliates, and casinos.
If everyone worked together, as opposed to sometimes against one another, the industry would be much better off in the long run.
GAV: Do you have any advice that you would like to offer to newbies who are looking to venture into this great industry!?
Chris: My one bit of advice is this: find something you are passionate about and then start slow.
It’s easy to burn out in this space, as there is so much going on around you. There’s no reason to be in a big hurry. Sure, you want to generate revenue as quickly as possible, but it will come soon enough if you take the right approach.
GAV: Do you attend any iGaming or casino conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?
Chris: To be honest, I haven’t attended any iGaming conferences in the past. I’ve spent some time at general affiliate conferences, with these always providing a great opportunity to connect with others.
GAV: What do you think the chances are for Eastern Europe on becoming a potential gaming hotspot in the future? Where do you think the region must improve upon?
Chris: In regards to the next gaming hotspot, I definitely think Eastern Europe is in position to succeed at a high level. As noted earlier, there are other regions, such as the US, that are also in position to take advantage of industry growth.
GAV: Do you have a favorite celebrity?
Chris: I’m not big into movies or anything like that, but I’ve been a huge Jim Carrey fan for many years.
GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe?
Chris: Being that one of my clients is located in Bulgaria, I would love to spend some time there in the near future. In fact, it’s been on my radar for quite some time!
GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?
Chris: To be honest, I’m the type who would try anything once when it comes to traveling. SO, for that reason, there is no region off limits!
GAV: What is your opinion about The Gambling Affiliate Voice (GamblingAffiliateVoice.com)?
Chris: I truly enjoy the type of content that is published on a regular basis, such as the news stories. This gives me the opportunity to stay current with the industry, without having to jump from one source to the next. Keep up the good work!
GAV: Thanks for your time and answers Chris, we appreciate it, all the best to you and if you have any newsworthy updates feel free to contact us!
Mr Gamble is the fast growing iGaming affiliate taking the world by storm
Player-friendly approach to casino comparisons sees audience grow to new highs
In January 2019, two iGaming enthusiasts from southern Finland, Paavo Salonen and Jonas Kyllönen, created an affiliate site which follows a different path to competitors in the sector – Mr-Gamble.com was conceived to provide a user-friendly service that details the key benefits for different online casinos.
In a little over a year, the team at Mr-Gamble (owned by CashMagnet Ltd) has grown from two to sixteen people, and their site is attracting millions of views and an audience of thousands, eager to find a more discerning comparison site for online casinos. With such impressive growth, the company is now moving to bigger offices in their adopted home town of Tallinn, Estonia.
Putting the players first has been key to this success, with the team’s focus to build a casino comparison site which highlights the various benefits from leading online casino operators. Easy-to-use filters allow players to match specific search criteria to their needs, such as high quality casino bonuses, with a brand promise to help users “find a 200% bonus in under one minute”.
Moreover, with responsible gaming high on regulators agendas for 2020, not least due to COVID-19, Mr-Gamble’s onboarding policies for new casinos include strict criteria to ensure player protection. Time-out periods, self-exclusion options, financial limits, and more are all in place to reassure players that beyond the entertainment factor, their well-being is key.
Jonas Kyllönen explains, “While our competitors focus simply on the bonus offer and a select few aspects of gaming, Mr-Gamble.com highlights things like hidden T’s & C’s and other small details that make up the overall quality of a casino’s service and the bonuses they offer. We even include a section purely for casinos that offer free spins, allowing players to find free spin offers without deposits. This sets us apart from old school affiliates and builds trust with our audience, resulting in a high proportion of returning visitors.”
Kyllönen, who leads on all aspects of marketing for Mr-Gamble, also realises that staying plugged in to media platforms such as Twitch and Instagram enable the company to attract some of their users from the elusive millennial market.
“In just six months”, says Kyllönen, “we became the most watched slots channel on Twitch in Finland, and alongside our Instagram following, this allows us to stay in touch with our audience across multiple touch points – it’s been key to our growth. We still see SEO and PPC as the main pillars of the casino affiliates sector, but complimentary channels like Twitch are both entertaining and good for business.”
This well-rounded approach to the casino comparison sector is both innovative and forward-thinking, standing the company in good stead for the coming decade, during which adapting to change and staying on top of market trends will separate the men from the boys.
Mr Gamble’s affiliate offering is already well-established in Finland, and in April 2020 Mr-Gamble expanded operations to more English-speaking markets including the UK and Canada. The company also plans to target the US market, with licensing currently underway, and is looking at opportunities in Asia.
Alongside Finnish casino enquiries, the company invites English language operators from international markets, particularly in the UK and Canada, to contact email@example.com for more information on deals and listings.
Exclusive Q&A with Marinos Shiapanis, CEO at Campeón Gaming Partners
We shall begin with the iGB award. How do you feel after winning this award? Had you expected this award?
We really didn’t. This was our very first time being nominated at the iGB Affiliate Awards and, given the fact that the competition was really high, we were not expecting to hear our name. Needless to say, we were – and we still are – overwhelmed and very excited. It was a team effort, and this is why we celebrated as a team after receiving the award in London.
This is the first time Campeon has been nominated for iGB Awards. And you hit the bull’s eye in the first instance itself. How do you see this honour: as a reward of your hard work or as a stepping stone for future innovation?
I think it is a little bit of both: it is definitely a reward and a recognition of the whole Campeón Gaming Partners team’s hard work and effort, but, at the same time, this is a stepping stone for us to do more, invest more in innovation, expand and further develop across all sectors. The whole team, and especially the Affiliate & Partnerships team, really devoted themselves to the company and they are the reason we have managed to win this award. Such an award is extremely important for us, as it shows how far we have gone in such a short period of time; we have managed to slowly establish ourselves in the iGaming industry, become a familiar face for affiliates in the market, expand our network and grow as a team and a brand. However, winning this award doesn’t mean we stop here; this is not just a motivation for us, but an obligation as well to work harder, focus more and deliver even better results. I think you will hear more of us the coming months.
The award recognises how Campeon stood out in terms of “transparency, inclusiveness and continuous support”. What are the things unique to the affiliate program of Campeon Gaming Partners?
Since the beginning, our vision was to create an affiliate program that would not only attract affiliates, but it would also keep them engaged. We started off with a small network and as we were building it up, we were also improving our program. Today, our network is comprised of over 1,000 affiliates and our affiliate team has managed to establish personal relationship with each and every one of them. To us, it’s crucial to put a face to the name; it’s not just about numbers, it’s about having a person who you know will listen to you and deal with your issues no matter how big or small. This is our way of thinking: we treat each affiliate’s request as equal, and I believe that our affiliates appreciate this.
In early 2019, our team dedicated themselves into redesigning the program’s strategy, aiming at building stronger, more interpersonal relationships with our partners, and providing them with better models in order to maximize their profits. At the same time, we optimized the affiliate experience, from the registration of the player, all the way to the affiliate statics’ analysis we have successfully merged, integrated, and incorporated all of the Campeón Gaming Partners’ brands into new platforms, ensuring that no affiliate activity was ever disrupted.
The award also mentions how Campeon offered tailor-made program to the affiliates. Could you shed more light into the deeply customizable affiliate programs of Campeon Gaming Partners?
Each affiliate has his or her own needs that looks into serving through a program. At Campeón Gaming Partners, we understand that, and every time we onboard an affiliate, we go into deep discussions with him or her to understand what they are looking for in our program. I think the most important fact for our affiliates is that we assign them their very personal point of contact, who is there for them whenever they are in need. So, when we onboard a new affiliate, we first assign him or her their point of contact, who makes sure to talk to him or her, understand his or her needs and goals and together they create a program tailor-made to the affiliate’s needs.
What are the qualities that you look forward to in an affiliate? Not all affiliates are likely to become successful, right? Based on your experience, what separates the successful affiliates from the rest?
We want our affiliates to treat us the same way we treat them: with respect and transparency. We always do our best to accommodate our affiliates’ needs, so we are looking into building partnerships based on trust. I think this is the most important part for us.
Regarding the second part of your question, I believe that definitely industry knowledge and audience play a significant part in separating successful affiliates from the rest. But besides these, I think that players are looking for affiliates who will be honest with them, affiliates they can trust; I believe it is the only way to build up a players’ audience.
New new social media platforms are increasingly micro-targetting the end customers and automated CRM tools are getting more and more advanced. In this scenario, how do see the future of affiliate marketing evolving?
I believe that affiliate marketing is already changing and with these new tools it will change even more in the future. We are now entering a new era: the digital and customized era. Customers are increasingly becoming more and more demanding; they now know they don’t have to compromise anymore with mass solutions, so they are asking for customized ones. They demonstrate their needs and preferences and demand for an experience tailor-made to them. I believe this is where affiliate marketing will focus in the future, and all the new or upcoming tools available, will give us the advantage of analysing the customers’ behaviours and providing the best solutions to them. Affiliate marketing of the future will evolve around customized player’s experience, in my opinion.
Finally, tell us about any big announcement in the near future. Expanding to more countries? Launching or integrating new products? Or a new marketing campaign? Our readers will be eager to read something first here.
A couple of weeks ago, we launched our first Pay N Play platform for the Scandinavian market, SvenPlay. In a few days, we will be launching our brand new, themed platform, Sons of Slots. This is a challenge for us, as it will be the first time we are introducing such a themed platform to our players. The Sons of Slots story goes back to the motor gangs of the US and it all evolves around that; rough street battles, leather jackets and ripped jeans, long hair, and endless road trips on their Harleys. This is what inspired us and we wanted to bring something very exciting to our players. Entering the Sons of Slots platform, our players will be transferred to a new world, the world of American motor gangs; they will play their favorite games in a new, adventurous environment, with exciting features, which will take their gaming experience to a whole new level. To bring this project to life, we have invested heavily in technology and this is why we partnered with a major agency, MaxCreate, specialized in bespoke front-end design, in order to be able to offer more flexible and versatile platforms to our players and to our affiliates.
I think 2020 is our year, and people will hear more of us: exhibitions, PR, awards… We will make it happen.
Meet Reza Shojaei, the founder of multinational CasinoTop.com
Value Marketing is a successful iGaming affiliate company that has its base set in Malta. Reza Shojaei, the founder of the company has spent years patiently building the company up, reaching multiple markets around the globe. The journey is not even nearly finished yet, and there is much more to come. Shojaei is excited for 2020 and what it will bring for Value Marketing’s two major brands: CasinoTopp.net and CasinoTop.com.
Who is Reza Shojaei?
Reza Shojaei is the founder of Value Marketing. Here, we will meet Reza.
Name: Reza Shojaei
Living in: Norway
Job title: Founder of Value Marketing
Favorite hobby: Playing poker and taking my dog, Bofflee, to long walks, racing cars on track
Tell us about Value Marketing
Value Marketing used to operate within face-to-face sales industry, but I personally was not passionate about it. So, after some time, I decided to take the company to another direction. In 2017, we discussed about getting into iGaming, because it was of interest to me and also because we saw a problem in the industry that needed to be solved.
I have been playing poker for over 15 years, so I was familiar with the industry already. As the online casino market is ever-growing, there are more and more iGaming related companies and especially online casinos opening all the time. The problem is that there are so many casinos that it is hard for players (especially new ones) to choose a reliable casino that is also high quality.
I founded Value Marketing and its two brands, CasinoTopp.net and CasinoTop.com, to provide honest and transparent information about reliable casinos. We never recommend any casinos that do not meet our standards and our readers respect us for that. Also, we provide other valuable information for players, such as casino guides and up-to-date casino news.
Frankly, we never got into this business purely for money and that is not our first priority. The top priority is to put our readers first and make sure that they are happy with our content. In fact, we even give our readers the chance to contact us and share their casino experiences. So, in a way, we build our brand with the help of our readers and also take their opinion into account.
What is the ultimate mission of Value Marketing?
We want CasinoTop.com to operate all over the world and have the biggest casino affiliate network across the globe. Currently, we operate in 12 countries. They include, for instance, Finland, Norway, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, and India.
Why is Value Marketing different from other casino affiliate sites?
The number one reason why Value Marketing is different from others is that we do not work with any casinos that do not meet our standards. For us, it is important to provide 100 percent accurate content and write articles that are valuable for our readers. We also offer the readers a chance to be in touch with us, which is something that many sites do not do.
Why did you decide to launch Value Marketing and its brands?
I was tired of field marketing/face-to-face sales and wanted to do something that I had a passion for. I love playing poker, so transitioning to the iGaming world was only natural. Also, we saw a need for a big casino affiliate company that covers multiple markets and also offers honest opinions and reviews. This way, our readers know that they can trust us, and we can build a great reputation globally.
How do you see the iGaming market in the next years in Europe?
In Europe, online casinos are a big thing. There are constantly more and more casinos and rules and regulations change. One of the biggest things recently was the Swedish license, and we hope to see such a change in other countries too, for instance, in Norway and Finland, though it may not happen very soon.
What would you like to change in the gambling industry?
The mission of Value Marketing is to provide excellent and honest reviews that are transparent, and we hope that other sites take that approach as well. Though there are not many rogue casinos out there, there are casinos that are more reliable and better quality than others. Those are the casinos that should get the traffic and the attention from affiliates and players.
What is the hardest thing about running Value Marketing?
At the moment, we have launched 12 markets and we have copywriters, editors, designers, and developers in our roster, all from around the world. Keeping in touch with everyone in a timely manner can get challenging because of time zone differences. But overall, I love what I do and look forward to my work every day.
What do you expect from the gambling industry in the next year?
We can definitely see more pay & play casinos, as they have been trending among players recently. Also, we can only expect even better-quality games and especially NetEnt and Wazdan has really been on top of it. 3D graphics and more interactive games are great and perhaps virtual reality takes off, too, in the iGaming industry. Some rules and regulations might relax as well, considering that the US already opened a few states for online gaming and Sweden has their own license now.
What do you expect from Value Marketing in the next year?
In 2020, we are hoping to open more markets in addition to the ones that are already open. Also, improving our current content and redefining goals is always on my plate.
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