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Affiliate Interviews: Dave Sawyer founder of OnlineCasinoReviewer.com

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Dave of OCR

Today we bring you a truly exclusive interview with a veteran/master of the iGaming industry! Dave Sawyer has a 16 year old background in the online gambling industry, including 3 years at Ladbrokes International as head of the IT Department. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it!?!

Without any further side details, we give you the interview with Dave Sawyer.

GAV: Dave, we would like to thank you for the opportunity to interview such a highly appreciated professional of the industry. Could you fill out the short form below so our readers can imagine your profile?

Name: Dave Sawyer
Age: 42
Hometown: Bath
Living in: Trowbridge
Favorite Food: Italian
Profession/Job title: Company Director

GAV: Hello Dave, first of all tell us and our readers a little bit about yourself. How did your career start in the online gambling industry? What was the key idea of developing this great online gambling casino guide/community ?

DS: My career in the iGaming Industry started way back at the beginning of October 2000, when I started work for Ladbrokes out in Gibraltar. The week of my start date with Ladbrokes also coincided with the launch of their Online Casino product. Back then the Ladbrokes International Offices were responsible for their telephone betting call centre, online sports book, online casino and then hosted other iGaming products such as Poker, Games etc over the forthcoming years.

During the 2001 Budget, UK betting shop tax duty was scrapped in a deal with the major UK bookmakers who had facilities offshore. Hence as part of the deal we went from a staff of over 200 in Gibraltar to less than 20, once the Call Centre and support staff were relocated to the UK. As I was part of the IT Team, I was kept on, as the casino and subsequently online poker sites were still to be hosted on the Rock.

Soon afterwards both my Managing Director (Ed Ware now CEO of 32Red) at Ladbrokes and the IT Controller (Graham Campbell – Founding Director of 32Red) left. I was then subsequently appointed the IT Services Manager for the Ladbrokes Gibraltar IT Department. It was Graham’s idea for me to enter the affiliate sector in 2003, as at the time he and Ed along with a few others had set up 32Red.com in April 2002. I had been running a pretty active political forum, which was receiving good exposure in the search engines, in particular Google. So eventually after much persuasion from Graham I bit the bullet and in August 2004 I registered the domain name OnlineCasinoReviewer.com. It took about 9 months before the site started to generate revenue or receive exposure in Google search – this was during the time when new sites would be placed in the dreaded ‘Sandbox’. But by June 2005, I decided to take the plunge and work on the site full time, handing in my resignation in June 2005. Leaving Ladbrokes at the end of August 2005, after serving a 3 month notice period and after working for them for nearly 5 years.

As a player as well as an affiliate, I offer our visitors the information that I as player need, to make an informed decision as to where to play at online. Having had nearly 5 years experience working for an iGaming Operator in the form of Ladbrokes, I am also able to offer my own views, opinions and advice from my own unique perspective. Online Casino Reviewer is not a directory, meaning it does not list every single site available to play at online. Indeed, currently there are only 29 recommended casinos on the site. With each one I have personally played at and experienced.

In short, OCR is a resource for players written by players.

 

OCR logo

 

GAV: Since there are thousands and thousands of websites in your niche out there, where do you think Onlinecasinoreviewer.com stands now?

DS: Unlike the majority of ‘affiliate’ sites targeting the online casino space, OCR as mentioned above is a resource for players, written by players. Instead of the general reviews of casinos and games found on the majority of sites, which sugar coat everything, the real pitfalls of any of the properties featured on OCR are spelled out. This in addition to our helpful guides such as on Reverse Withdrawals, Casino Bonuses, Fast Paying Casinos to name but three articles, allow players to make an informed choice before opening an account at online casino.

GAV: How do you see the online casino market/industry at this moment?

DS: This industry never ceases to amaze me and is still growing at a fast pace. The operators working in this space are some of the most innovative that you can find online. The potential for growth is still very real and this has seen an influx of ‘Super Affiliates’ enter the space and compete for a slice of the revenue available.

GAV: How did you start and most of all what bumps did you have to overcome at the beginning?

DS: As stated above, I was working at Ladbrokes in Gibraltar when I launched OCR. Thus had the luxury of a regular salary coming in before I started to earn revenue from the site. The main issue at the time was dealing with the dreaded ‘Google Sandbox’.

GAV: We have analyzed Onlinecasinoreviewer.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 reviews are there on your website? How about the news and the software categories, tell us a bit more about it?

DS: The vast majority of the content is written by myself. However, I have outsourced some of the slot game reviews to players who I know through my participation on the Casinomeister Forum.

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?

DS: The key is to provide information that you as a player would want to read. Sugar coated reviews do not hold the visitors interest and as such visitors are more inclined to hit the back button on their browser.

GAV: Another thing that we like is your YouTube Channel, please be so kind and tell us more about it!

DS: When I redesigned OCR at the beginning of 2016, I realized video content is becoming more and more important. Hence our YouTube Channel was born. The purpose of the channel is to complement the site and also act as an independent resource in it’s own right. As well as videos of slot games in play, I also provide reviews of the casinos and cover various topics which I feel are important for players. Such as the dreaded ‘Reverse Withdrawals’ which many online casinos employ. After watching our Reverse Withdrawal Video, you will realize I am not a fan! In addition I also provide videos relating to my experiences as a webmaster, a fairly popular set of videos was when I detailed what happened to OCR after I implemented SSL on the site and the brief drop in rankings in google that occurred as a result.

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?

DS: The good relationships in my view are those which leave you to get on with your day to day job running your sites, rather than being badgered and pestered for what seems like every five minutes. I am lucky to have built up a good relationship with all the affiliate managers representing the online casinos we work with.

GAV: How do you see the future of the online casino/gambling industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon?

DS: I believe it already is. Obviously there are barriers such as individual countries regulation. There are also areas such as Asia and South America which has vast potential. The key is resolving issues with payment processors, so players in those territories are able to fund and withdraw from their accounts without any big issues.

GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the online casino affiliate ecosystem?!

DS: More transparency. Although how that is achieved is the big issue. As affiliates we are blind with regards the stats generated by the players we refer. Ideally it would be good to have an independent body that can go in and audit the affiliate programs. As it stands there are only a couple of programs I can trust 100% and one of them was set up by a very good friend of mine, with the CEO being my former MD ( 32Red ). I hate to even begin to think how much has been ‘shaved’ off our earnings over the past 13 years.

GAV: Do you have any advise you would like to offer and share with the newbies who are looking to venture into this great industry!?

DS: This is not a get rich quick scheme. Particularly so now, with many venture capitalists joining the affiliate space. If you provide good content and are passionate about playing at casinos online, you should have a chance of making a success of your site. You also need to see what players want. Join a players forum such as Casinomeister and also if you can, attend one of the many affiliate conferences which are held throughout the year. Networking with your peers is crucial as you can then build great relationships with other webmasters. In turn helping each other out. Whether it be advise, or exchanging links.

GAV: Do you attend any iGaming/online casino conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?

DS: My favourite of all time used to be the Casino Affiliate Convention held in Amsterdam. I got engaged to my wife during the 2006 conference and I also spoke on the end of session Beer Forum Panel in 2007. Plus the small memory of escaping the Ash Cloud affected conference of 2011. That was fun. Getting a train with Alex Pratt of iGaming Business, from Amsterdam to Dunkirk. Then the ferry back to Dover courtesy of Wael – An affiliate manager from the casino Box24.

I’ve also spoken at LAC back in 2011, where I was on panel with Michael Corfman from CasinoCity and JTodd of the APCW. I would consider going to a Vegas conference, but I am worried I would literally lose my shirt! So as of yet I still am to make the trip there.

GAV: How did you see this year’s edition of ICE compared to previous years? Did you attend LAC (London Affiliate Conference) as well?

DS: I only attended the ICE and also the annual Casinomeister Meet. I have produced a couple of videos covering both. 2 nights in London is enough for me. The ICE just continues to get bigger every year. Back in 2006 which was the first ICE I attended, iGaming was only afforded a small area of space at Earls Court. Now the stands for iGaming rival the space afforded to their land based cousin.

 

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?

DS: Again, I believe this is another lucrative market and whilst in the past there have been issues with fraudulent player activity, it does seem to be an area for potential growth.

GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe?

DS: Funnily enough I have always wanted to go to Russia. But, I won’t be going there for the World Cup in 2018!

GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?

DS: I like travelling, so I’m quite adventurous. There is honestly no where I wouldn’t go if provided the opportunity.

GAV: How about a favorite celebrity, do you have one?

DS: To be honest, no I don’t.

GAV: Do you have a favorite quoute?

DS: It is what it is.

GAV: Tell us your opinion about the Gambling Affiliate Voice?

DS: A good resource for webmasters in the industry. Well worth bookmarking.

 

If you would like to suggest subjects for future interviews, be sure to send your suggestions to: george@gamblingaffiliatevoice.com .

Affiliate Success

AffiliateINSIDER delivers practical skills to complement ‘on the job’ training

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AffiliateINSIDER delivers practical skills to complement ‘on the job’ training

 

The launch of the bespoke Affiliate Manager Coaching Academy from AffiliateINSIDER means that affiliate managers in the iGaming sector now have an opportunity to access over two decades of affiliate marketing strategies, tactics and expertise.

Founded by Lee-Ann Johnstone, the CEO of news, training and events business AffiliateINSIDER , this new academy aids skills development for affiliate managers and graduates entering the digital marketplace.

Delivered in exclusive training venues to provide bespoke and tailored classes, it is built around proven strategies for helping affiliate programmes grow. Only up to a maximum of 10 delegates are permitted to enable significant 1 on 1 time within an intense learning schedule.

The advanced one-day program is tailored according to a pre-course questionnaire designed to customise content delivery to the delegates in the room. It is then backed up with a 90-day action plan from the tactics learnt on the day and includes a 30-minute personal Skype coaching call, while a detailed workbook and course notes are available to take away.

Johnstone commented: “ The affiliate coaching academy is an extension of the strategy and skills I’ve learnt working in this industry for almost two decades. It’s about helping promoting best practice and continued skills development coupled with a practical implementation of affiliate marketing techniques.”

She continued: “Our course content gives candidates the skills they need to grow their affiliate programme reach, negotiate the right commercials and build successful affiliate relationships.

“Affiliate marketing is an exciting constantly changing digital medium, but one that has predominantly been led by on the job training, which means skills are passed down and can become dated. It’s therefore vital that we create content and course structures that promote skills development and digital learnings for affiliate managers to remain at the top of their game!”

Rasmus Sojmark is the founder and CEO of SBC , a leading news and events company for the sports betting industry that joined forces with Johnstone in November of last year to launch the AffiliateINSIDER.

Sojmark added: “The Affiliate Coaching Academy is a natural extension of the AffiliateINSIDER ethos to promote skills development and knowledge sharing in the affiliate space. For this reason, launching this exclusive academy made sense on so many levels.

“Our clients and partners can now benefit from tailor made learning opportunities and access a level of skills development not offered anywhere else. Lee-Ann has a vast amount of experience working across a wide range of industries, which is what makes this opportunity so unique.

“We are very excited to offer this service to both individuals and companies who wish to grow their affiliate business and improve their affiliate partnerships .”

For more information about the course content and booking dates, please contact AffiliateINSIDER sales team: sales@affiliateinsider.com 

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Affiliate Announcements

Meet the first four speakers of Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference!

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Meet the first four speakers of Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference!

Speakers of Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference: discussion of gaming affiliate programs and traffic in Russian and foreign networks

On November 15, Kyiv will host iGaming Affiliate Conference. The industry representatives will discuss the latest gambling and affiliate marketing trends as well as take an opportunity to establish new business partnership within the networking area. Meet the speakers of the event that have already confirmed attendance. They are e-business professionals and world-class experts on affiliate marketing.

The event will gather representatives of iGaming business and affiliate marketing. The platform consists of a conference, an exhibition, and a networking area. It will take place at Vsi. Svoi D12 (12 Desatinna St.), a popular center of cultural and business life in the city’s old town section.

Conference: space for expert’s presentations addressing affiliate marketing and iGaming.

Exhibition: a venue for iGaming representatives from across the globe. The companies will present software and hardware products.

Networking: business representatives will enjoy the enjoyable atmosphere with a VIP zone available to special guests.

 

Conference speakers and their presentations

iGaming is a highly competitive niche, which has to be taken into account while developing marketing strategies. Vladimir Luchaninov, Head of Acquisitions at Firelink Media, will tell about the pitfalls of eSports affiliate programs and provide the criteria of affiliate program choosing. He will also touch upon the challenges of risk assessment as well as advise on how to reach the highest profit from an affiliate program.

Kostiantyn Novofastovsky, Head of ClickFrog, will also cover the peculiarities of gaming websites. In his presentation titled ‘Buying traffic in gambling. How to avoid bots’, the speaker will feature the popular resources and compare CPM banners with ClickUnder.

Dmitry Petrenko, Head of SEO at Edu-cash.com Ukraine, will dwell on promotion in foreign networks. The speaker took part in website promotion to top positions in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Austria, and the CIS. He will reveal the secrets of leadership on foreign competitive websites emphasizing on grey promotion and organic traffic.

Myroslav Liaskovez, Founder at LeadMarketing and an author of the online course ‘Facebook Without the Fluff’, will shed light on traffic arbitrage techniques in social networks. The attendees will have a chance to find out about the frequent mistakes made by beginning arbitrage managers and effective advertising strategies for Facebook.

 

New speakers are coming soon! Visit the website Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference to follow the announcements.

Register to keep up with the trends of gambling affiliate marketing.

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Affiliate Success

Esports Entertainment Group Accelerating Affiliate Marketing Agreements With Additional 42 Esports Teams, Bringing Total To 176 Esports Teams

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Fwd: Esports Entertainment Group Accelerating Affiliate Marketing Agreements With Additional 42 Esports Teams, Bringing Total To 176 Esports Teams

Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (OTCQB:GMBL) (or the “Company”), a licensed online gambling company with a specific focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming, is pleased to announce Affiliate Marketing Agreements with 42 additional esports teams as the Company continues to ramp up affiliate marketing activities in support of its recent launch of vie.gg, the world’s first and most transparent esports betting exchange.

SIGNIFICANT ACCELERATION IN ESPORTS TEAM ADOPTION OF P2P WAGERING MODEL

This announcement, along with the announcement of 36 additional esports teams earlier this week, signifies a significant acceleration in adoption of the company’s P2P esports wagering platform by global esports teams. Teams are overwhelmingly pointing to the P2P model as highly desirable for their fans due to the fact “at VIE.gg a fan always wins”, as opposed to pitting fans against the “bookie” in the traditional model where the odds are heavily stacked against fans.

The addition of these 42 esports teams brings the total number of esports team affiliates to 176 since the Company’s first announcement on April 5th, representing a major milestone for Esports Entertainment Group.  The Company anticipates many more Affiliate Marketing Agreements with esports teams throughout 2018.

NEWEST ESPORT TEAM AFFILIATES FURTHER EXPAND GLOBAL REACH INTO SOUTH AMERICA

The addition of the 42 esports teams below represents further significant geographical penetration into the South American market.  The geographical distribution of our most recent esports team affiliate partners is as follows:

  • Brazil: 26
  • Peru: 6
  • Chile: 2
  • Venezuela: 2
  • Colombia: 1
  • Bolivia: 1
  • Mexico: 1
  • Guatemala: 1
  • Paraguay: 1
  • Dominican Republic: 1

Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group, stated, “The acceleration of our esports team affiliates is quantifiable and unequivocal validation that our VIE.gg P2P model is best suited for esports teams and their fans.  I want to thank these new esports teams for their support and I look forward to working with them as VIE.gg affiliate partners.”

 

ABOUT VIE.GG

vie.gg offers bet exchange style wagering on esports events in a licensed, regulated and secured platform to the global esports audience, excluding jurisdictions that prohibit online gambling. vie.gg features wagering on the following esports games:

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO)
  • League of Legends
  • Dota 2
  • Call of Duty
  • Overwatch
  • PUBG
  • Hearthstone
  • StarCraft II

 

About Esports Entertainment Group

Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. is a licensed online gambling company with a specific focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming. Esports Entertainment offers bet exchange style wagering on esports events in a licensed, regulated and secure platform to the global esports audience at vie.gg.  In addition, Esports Entertainment intends to offer users from around the world the ability to participate in multi-player mobile and PC video game tournaments for cash prizes. Esports Entertainment is led by a team of industry professionals and technical experts from the online gambling and the video game industries, and esports. The Company holds licenses to conduct online gambling and 18+ gaming on a global basis in Curacao, Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada. The Company maintains offices in Antigua, Curacao and Warsaw, Poland. Esports Entertainment common stock is listed on the OTCQB under the symbol GMBL.  For more information visit www.esportsentertainmentgroup.com
.
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
The information contained herein includes forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or to our future financial performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond our control and which could, and likely will, materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Any forward-looking statement reflects our current views with respect to future events and is subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. We assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. The safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 protects companies from liability for their forward-looking statements if they comply with the requirements of the Act.

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