In this weeks affiliate success story you’ll get to know Chris Trenka, CEO and web developer of Allfreechips.com, a great website which gives you insights on the operators, but it’s also a good source to get latest no deposit bingo and casino bonuses!
GAV: First of all thank you very much for the opportunity Chris! Could you share your profile with us so our readers can get a better idea of who you are?
Name: Chris Trenka
Living in: Hudson
Favorite Food: Ribeye
Must Read Book: The Stand
Profession/Job title: Pretend CEO and web developer
GAV: Hi Chris, first of all, tell us and our readers as well a little bit about yourself. How did your career start in the industry? What was the key idea of developing this great online gambling casino guide/community ?
CHRIS: It all started in 2004, I found you can play slots online with no deposit. This was the coolest thing and I cashed out $350 from a Micro gaming casino plating the double magic slot from a $10 bonus. At this same time 1and1 was offering a free domain name and web hosting as their promotion for just launching and a co-worker told me to get it, its free! Well this started a thought of what kind of website do I want to have as I had no idea how to make one. Then it hit me, I can make a site telling people how to plat casinos for free, and I hoped if I sent them players I could maybe get a few more free plays from them. At this point I had no idea what an affiliate was so things were going to change real fast. I got the Allfreechips domain name and learned how to make a table on the web with the casinos, a link and the amounts. The rest is databases and history.
GAV: Since there are thousands and thousands of websites in this niche out there, where do you think Allfreechips.com stands now?
CHRIS: I think I have really made a brand name. I have a monthly contest I run that pays out $300 to $500 each month for my members. My forum Mod Catlicker does a great job coming up with new contest each month and making the forum a fun family feeling area. So between the great loyalty of my members and great SE rankings on Google we keep moving forward.
GAV: How do you see the online slots market/industry at this moment?
CHRIS: I see it getting overwhelmed with white labels and fly by night operators. I also see retention falling with so many options out there. Do people get tired of going to new casinos for $5 bonus at this point is the question. Also the affiliate community is growing of course, many great people from 2004 are no longer in the game but many many more are. We also see a lot of blackhat operations that come and go that take up a lot positions that I just can’t compete with doing things cleanly but then again I have done well since 2004.
GAV: How did you start and most of all what bumps did you have to overcome at the beginning?
CHRIS: Getting users obviously and learning what html is. Users was a funny thing as back then there were a lot of casino forums on free hosts, and they had a lot of friends on the forum pages. This was great as I would drop little posts in there and add something about their site to my 2 page website. Also seems like simply making a site ranked in Google pretty easily then as I had no deposit poker and bingo in top 10 pretty fast for some reason. The next big bump was updating offers, what a pain it is to update a static table all the time!
GAV: We have analyzed Allfreechips.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 slots are there on your website? How about the forum, tell us a bit more about it?
CHRIS: I was very stubborn about anyone doing anything with my site forever, but once I started adding slots I needed help. A good friend now, my content writer Doug has done a great job of writing for my 4200 slot machines now on Allfreechips. I keep thinking I’ll catch up to them all one day but it seems impossible. The forum is remnant of the old days, but that is what really turns Allfreechips into a family, its amazing what you learn about people and the real life bonds that are formed there.
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?
CHRIS: Well with new bonuses and new slots appearing all the time the content is pretty fluent. Right now I have 35 slot reviews I need to add so there is very little time to not have new content. I also added a daily list of casino promotions that runs on the homepage and leaves the last 10 on each casinos review page to give my players all the possible info I can. I also started posting the games and bonuses to Facebook, Google plus and Twitter.
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?
CHRIS: Well I have a group of managers I consider friends now, and that goes a long way. I don’t respond well to emails as they get lost really. I also won’t update a casino every 2 days, or work real hard for one that is not converting. If they want my attention Skype is the way to go.
GAV: How do you see the future of the online casino/gambling industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon?
CHRIS: I do believe its already global, what I am more afraid of is more local run operations like New Jersey, they not only want a piece they want a monopoly, a true government operation. East Europe will hopefully continue to grow and hopefully Canada becomes more open.
GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the casino affiliate ecosystem?!
CHRIS: Real regulators. I mean I want them to ensure the software can not be manipulated for payouts to protect the players, and also insure the affiliate numbers are not editable by they operators. I have had 3 very large whales since 2004, all 3 times they deposited 50K plus in one month and either decided not to play anymore or asked to have their accounts closed. I can see that happening but not all three, and I would also assume since they came from me they would re-appear at some point?
GAV: Do you have any advise you would like to offer for the newbies who are looking to venture into this great industry!?
CHRIS: Today you better know what your doing, when I started it was not difficult to get players and conversions. I think today you better have a solid plan, knowledge and real expectations to produce something competitive. I am building multiple other sites still but my main focus is still Allfreechips because it does take that much time and resources to keep going.
GAV: Do you attend any iGaming/online casino conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?
CHRIS: With 2 kids in school I nerve had much of a chance to travel a lot, and 4 years ago I had a real job. I have managed to go to the CBG Canadian get together twice, both times I had a great time meeting the people in person.
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?
CHRIS: As I stated before I think that’s the big new area, Russia can be very large as they become more open. I think the industry really needs more structure and proof that it is not the crooked sham that many people still think it is today.
GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe?
CHRIS: I would love to visit Germany and Russia, I think the old architecture is amazing, and married to an architect we would have a great time. At this point with the refugees in Germany I think I will wait a few years before traveling though.
GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?
CHRIS: I’m up for anything as long as its safe, see some Rugby games and have fun.
GAV: How about a favorite celebrity, do you have one?
CHRIS: I don’t really waste a lot of time with TV or movies, I also think the celebrity mindset of you should do what we think because were famous is a real turn off. I would like to hang out with the boys from ‚Trailer Park Boys‘ something my son got me into watching when I need a break.
GAV: Tell us your opinion about the Gambling Affiliate Voice?
CHRIS: I think it is a great idea to focus on the affiliates, we are a great bunch of people that are all very helpful with each other. We of course have our secrets and strategies we wont share but when in need its a great group. Giving a voice and view into the personal side is a great idea.
GAV: Thank you very much for your answers and time Chris, we appreciate it! All the best to you and if you have some news or updates that you’d like to share, feel free to contact us!
If you would like to suggest some more questions or subjects for future interviews, be sure to send your suggestions to: email@example.com .
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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