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Affiliate Interviews: Luigi of TopClassBet.com

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luigi of topclassbet

In this affiliate success story you’ll get to know Luigi Piromalli, founder and owner of TopClassBet.com, a very interesting site filled with  in-depth reviews of bookmakers, rankings based on the services offered, from financial betting to virtual sports and many other curiosities and also insights on sports betting.

GAV: First of all thank you for the opportunity Luigi! Could you share with us your profile so our readers can get a better idea of who you are?

Name: Luigi Piromalli
Age: 38
Hometown: Vibo Valentia, Italy
Living in: Vicenza, Italy
Favorite Food: Fish
Must Read Book: Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist
Profession/Job title: Founder and Owner at TopClassBet

GAV: Hi Luigi, tell us a bit about yourself, we would like to know who Luigi really is, the main person behind Topclassbet.com. What was the key idea of developing this great betting website?

Luigi: Hello, my name is Luigi Piromalli, I was born in Vibo Valentia, a small town in southern Italy on March 25, 1978. After graduating as Data Processor Operator, I received other certificates as expert in the use of the old MS- DOS. A few years later, considering that my passion for the web and for online gaming was growing more and more, i decided to use my experience and my knowledge creating TopClassBet. The basic idea was to offer the end user with all the useful information in choosing the right bookmaker. After more than four years I can be satisfied with the results achieved.

GAV: What were the bumps on your road when you got started and how did you overcome them?

Luigi: Undoubtedly working in the world of online betting is not easy, the biggest obstacle is represented by theTopClassBet multitude of great competitors and by market saturation. All difficulties can be overcome only by offering unbiased real data, putting passion and self denial. I have no problems adding that, contents theft and improper techniques of some competitors, are an obstacle for people like me who started without a big budget and without disturbing those who already worked in this field. 

GAV: We have surfed your website and found some high quality content. Are you writing it by yourself or you have a team of people writing for you?

Luigi: I am lucky to work closely with competent people, the articles are mostly created by me and written by my staff. My staff is also involved in translations and online marketing. I can be satisfied and safe from any kind of problems.

GAV: How do you keep the content fresh and devoid of clutter when a lot of fluff and nonsense appear on the Internet on a daily basis?

Luigi: Let me congratulate for this, it is a question which fully hits the real reason for success or failure. The web offers interesting insights in various fields, particularly, in the world of online betting you will encounter reliable and meticulous sites, but likewise, the risk of finding useless and devoid contents of any practical benefit is very high. The world of online affiliations that revolves around sports betting or betting in general, is full of vultures and unscrupulous people. Just to get that famous click many are ready to write any kind of falsehood or completely invent pumped data. As I said earlier the trick is the one to be honest and impartial while not hiding some sympathies towards particular companies.

GAV: We are sure that you receive daily messages from Affiliate Managers showcasing their products. You of course select them by the brands they work with; but what are your thoughts on how Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationships should be built?

Luigi: Yes, I receive lots of requests from affiliate managers, they do their job and I do mine, this means that I can not materially promote every applicant. I choose the bookmakers according to the parameters that I have set, they must be really useful to the bettor. As for my interests, I can safely say that I choose based on the solidity and reliability of the company, in general the commission model is similar for all bookmakers. The relationship created between affiliate and manager must be of mutual respect and maximum cooperation, once started it is important to continue working together to maximize the efforts.

GAV: How do you see the future of the online betting industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon in the near future?

Luigi: Good question, surely the world of online betting is still growing, especially in countries that were once considered poor and backward. Today the Internet has reached many places which were not even served by water and this has helped to increase the turnover of the companies that operate online,especially bookmakers. They are already a global phenomenon and data confirm this. These numbers are expected to increase significantly in the coming years.

GAV: Can you name one change that you want to see in the sports betting affiliate ecosystem?

Luigi: If I could express, this desire would be to have more perspicuity about players data of those who register with bookmakers thanks to my sites. I do not ask to access Personal Data of the individual customer but to be able to know how much he deposited and what he betted on . I ceased collaborations with many companies just for lack of transparency and because figures didn’t add up. Unfortunately, not everyone in this field is honest, in fact I can state that at least 30% of the bookmakers do not deserve any consideration from us affiliates.

GAV: What advise you would like to offer to the new affiliates who are looking to venture into this great industry?

Luigi: I would recommend them not to think about earnings only, but to concentrate on services for their users. I would also recommend to test and discover peculiarities of each company they want to promote, in other words, to choose the bookmaker to be promoted by putting themselves in the gambler shoes. The first step to success is to keep the user a faithful customer, and the only way to earn respect on the web is by showing honesty.

GAV: Who is your favorite celebrity?

Luigi: Keeping on the sport subject, my greatest idol is Zinedine Zidane.

GAV: If you would just open your YouTube search bar, what would you search for?

Luigi: I habitually use YouTube to listen to music, but on several occasions I used it to watch some very interesting tutorials.

GAV: Back to work. Do you attend any iGaming conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?

Luigi: Fortunately I got to know personally some affiliate managers and receive the greetings of their companies, but I have not yet had the opportunity to attend any affiliates conference. In February, however, I should be able to attend the one that will be held in London. I hope I will have fun.

GAV: How do you rate the chances of Eastern Europe becoming potential gaming hotspot of the future? Where do you think the region must improve upon?

Luigi: Eastern Europe is a good market, but has yet to take off. I know very well that niche and I can tell you that I foresee a very strong growth in 2017. I believe that in general the development should focus on all the countries of Eastern Europe, but if I had to state two names i’d say Croatia and Czech Republic.

GAV: Alright, here comes the fun part…., where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, some part of the region maybe that you haven’t visited yet and favorite destination around the world?

Luigi: I’d like to visit Hungary and Bulgaria, i think next year i will visit one of those two. Worldwide, there are many lovely places but if i had to pick just one i would tell you Moscow.

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

Luigi: Let’s say I have traveled extensively in Eastern Europe and I have no antipathy towards any country. But if I have to state a name, Romania does not excites me and I do not think I’ll never go. As you know, Italy is a very welcome country to Romanians and I got to know their traditions and their respectable history, but I also know that is not exactly great going to waste a vacation in Romania.

GAV: What is your opinion about GAV (gamblingaffiliatevoice.com)?

Luigi: I’ll answer with pleasure because I find GAV an innovative site and a good meeting point for people like me who work in this field. Have a say in this area is important, to be considered people before numbers is challenging and rewarding. So as well as being honored to have participated in your interview, I’m glad of your work. Thank you.

GAV: Thank you very much Luigi for your time, interest and kind words! We wish you all the best for the year to come!

Affiliate Success

Exclusive Q&A with Jeton Kodia Co-Founder at Oddspedia

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Let’s start with a few words about yourself. Our readers love top executives talking about themselves.

My name is Jeton Kodia and I have been in the gambling business since 2009. I became an iGaming affiliate when I turned my hobby into my profession. Gambling is part of my life – I love betting, casino games, and poker. Additionally, with my first name Jeton, it was somehow destiny that I had to step into this industry. I am addicted to football, and I had to lose quite some bets on my favorite team until I learned that when you want to take betting seriously, you need to refrain from your emotional attachment to a particular team and turn your attention more to comparing the odds. Besides football and pro sports in general, I bet on pretty much anything with my friends. This ranges from prop bets about winning at Playstation games to whether my first child will be a boy or girl. There is always something going on in my life which we can bet on.

Now on to Oddspedia. What led to the founding of Oddspedia?

As I already hinted at before, I wanted to focus more on the odds at sports betting. Therefore, I teamed up with Jan, whom I know since we were 18 years old, and who is equally passionate for sports in general and football in particular. Together, we co-founded our company and website Oddspedia. The main goal of our company is to provide valuable, competitive and user-friendly services for sports betting fans, players and publishers. Since its inception and over the course of several years, Oddspedia established itself as one of the biggest international affiliates in the sports betting world.

Could you elaborate on the cutting edge that Oddspedia possesses? There are other companies that offer similar services. What makes Oddspedia “the number one sports companion” of punters?

The website aims to provide as much value to the user as possible, and the information is conveyed in a manner to ensure a great user experience. It starts with guaranteeing a reliable odds comparison – odds on Oddspedia are being scanned in real-time across more than eighty bookmakers to ensure that only the most up-to-date data is displayed. This is complemented by features not commonly found in competing websites, such as geolocation to show only relevant betting sites for the user, direct links to bookmakers’ betslips, full odds movement history and various betting tools. This is part of what makes Oddspedia one of the best sites for odds comparison. But as a matter of fact Oddspedia offers much more than that. The website has amazing sports coverage as well, providing livescore information on more than 30 different sports. Users can also explore sports statistics, bonuses and promotions, or read the latest news on their favourite leagues, teams and matches. All of this wrapped in an app-like web experience, with quick performance and a state-of-art modern design makes it easy for Oddspedia to stand out from its competitors.

You recently overhauled the Oddspedia website. What are the new features that have become user favorites?

In August Oddspedia had the biggest makeover yet with its relaunch. The new version was in development for more than a year, and enabled the development team to apply new tools and technical innovations that were simply not possible on the old site. Major front-end and back-end changes were done to improve the user experience, and the new UI provides much more natural and polished user flow. To ensure seamless operation, updates regarding back-end software, systems,  processing odds nodes, and new integrations are introduced almost on a day-to-day basis.

You have also launched widgets for webmasters and digital publishers which help them monetize their website through affiliate marketing? Tell us more about the widgets and process of monetizing.

One of the main issues from editors, publishers and affiliates is providing real time data to their customers. Is extremely hard to find a proper way to do it. The Oddspedia Widgets fill the gap between the sports data feeds and the operators.

For editors, the Oddspedia Widgets have been developed as a real “all-in one” solution. These tools can be implemented into any site by simply pasting their code, providing that site’s users with real time odds data. Publishers can benefit from the live information by not only providing their users an odds comparison widget for free, but they can include their affiliate link to the respective bookmaker. Clicks are simply shared on a 50/50 basis. The way the split works is that the widgets rotate with two links, one for the publisher and the other for Oddspedia which will be applied with equal chance.

 Publishers will get real time sports data without any cost for them, at same time they offer that to their customers and readers.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the betting and gambling companies, especially the traditional forms of betting and gambling. It is not yet done yet. How have the lock-down and social distancing measures affected your business?

In every crisis there’s an opportunity. The coronavirus outbreak has had a devastating impact all over the world and on our daily lives, with many businesses in almost every industry feeling the pinch. That’s no different with the gambling industry, as most major sports were suspended in the first lockdown during spring time.

At Oddspedia we expected that the interest in sports will even grow bigger in times of social distancing and isolation. But with the vast majority of sports canceled we had to find a way to react to the situation. We focused on increasing our sports portfolio and cover almost any event going on worldwide. As crazy as it sounds, the matches from a Table Tennis tournament in Russia were checked over a million times on Oddspedia.

There are still positives that can emerge from the pandemic, with virtual sports and esports being one of them. Virtual Sports truly boomed in interest. Esports betting is a vertical in the industry that was already rising in popularity before the outbreak. But now, it’s well on its way to establish itself as a major offering for operators and affiliates, which is set to continue even after we come out the other side of virus lockdowns.

It has been seven years since Oddspedia was launched. Most of these times, you focused mainly on Europe, especially the German-speaking countries. You are now venturing in to South America. How has the user response so far from the Latin American countries, who certainly love their football? Any plans to start operations in Asia?

Our entry into the South American market has been very successful. The audience there is extremely passionate about sports and betting, and they show a great demand for our product. Of course, we provide local users with well-targeted information from local bookies in their native language. We began with the integration of Spanish and Portuguese languages for our product, then we structured our content to be as engaging as possible for local users. It’s no secret, that for users from Brazil, as well as for other Latin American countries, football is the most popular sport. So when entering our website, we meet users with the most interesting football matches from their local leagues. These are shown first and then followed by popular worldwide championships.

This personalized approach is very successful and we have good and stable traffic coming from these countries

Several Asian countries, like Japan for example, are very interesting for oddspedia, as well. However, we deem it highly important to find the right partner when entering a country like that. It is crucial to have the right partner who is fond of the language, can translate and adapt to the correct betting terminology, and possesses local SEO knowledge. We envision to grant sublicenses for oddspedia if the right company to partner with comes knocking on our door.

The technology is moving at an unimaginably high speed. How do you think artificial intelligence and machine learning would impact the betting industry, and specifically the odds comparison

Automation based on machine learning has been key within ecommerce for years and the igaming industry should apply insights gained in other sectors. Offering a personal user experience in a responsible environment comes from understanding and catering to each individual player’s needs from an entertainment point of view. AI is a type of software or hardware that learns – and it could be programmed to learn mostly about users and their behavior and utilize those insights to drive the developments of new, hyper-personalised gaming and internet betting experiences. The technology is being applied to learn our habits, our likes, and our relationship patterns. Online gaming is an industry that runs on data, such as results, stakes, percentages, odds, stats, and so on. All of these numbers are constantly crunched, calculated and analysed behind every major gaming platform. For this reason, ML is actually playing a growing influential role in the sector, changing the game for both online gaming businesses and their players

Finally, what would be your key advises to any new entrepreneurs starting something new in the gambling industry or affiliate marketing sector?

Don’t start something just on your own if you are a newbie. First, dip your foot in the water and gain some experience in the industry. I would recommend starting with a job at a bigger affiliate company or in affiliate marketing at an operator. If you are smart, you can learn a lot quickly and avoid a bunch of costly mistakes you might have made otherwise. In the next step, you can try out your own ideas. By then, you already have a sound understanding of the industry, which allows you to make even better products right from the beginning and the timeframe until you are able to realize a return on your investment is likely to be much shorter, as well.

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Affiliate Announcements

Bojoko crowned Casino Affiliate of the Year 2020

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Bojoko crowned Casino Affiliate of the Year 2020

 

Online casino comparison site takes home its first EGR Operator Award off the back of a hugely successful year

 The party is continuing at Bojoko after the online gambling comparison site was named Casino Affiliate of the Year at the prestigious EGR Operator Awards 2020.

Bojoko fought off stiff competition from some of the biggest names in the affiliate industry, including Gambling.com Group, Catena Media and Blexr, to take home the trophy.

EGR judges said that Bojoko had showed “very strong growth” over the past three years having been the first to use the Airbnb and Trip Advisor model in the online casino sector.

The EGR judges said: “They continue to be innovative with a number of new features which has allowed them to grow to 26,000+ registered members.

“I really like the concept, it’s a true affiliate giving customers choice who to choose, growth looks decent and operators managing the page ensures compliance and cost control.

“It is a clever idea and model and shows good growth,” the judges added.

Bojoko allows online casino operators and game developers to create their own listing and tell their story through their own words, images and videos.

Bojoko members then rate and review online casinos and games based on the experience they receive, with Bojoko’s member base now standing at 26,000+.

Joonas Karhu, Chief Business Officer at Bojoko, said: “We are thrilled to have been named Casino Affiliate 2020 at the EGR Awards and for Bojoko to be recognised as a true leader in the space.

“The Covid-19 pandemic saw operators pivot to casino as part of efforts to mitigate the impact of the global sports blackout, making the casino comparison sector even more competitive than normal.

“The Bojoko team rose to this challenge and I am so pleased that their efforts have been recognised by EGR and its panel of esteemed judges.

“Our mission from day one has been to help players find the best casinos for them while also meeting the highest possible standards when it comes to responsible gambling and safe gaming.

“We continue to innovate and introduce new tools and features to help players filter and compare the 160+ casinos and 40+ game developers listed on Bojoko.

“We have ambitious plans for the coming 12 months, including expanding into the US market, and look forward to doing this with our first EGR award in the bag.”

 

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Affiliate Announcements

Karhu launches Professional Gambling Affiliates Association

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Karhu launches Professional Gambling Affiliates Association

 

Bojoko’s Chief Business Officer launches industry group with the aim of creating contractual security between affiliates and operators for the first time

Joonas Karhu, Chief Business Officer at Bojoko.com, has launched the Professional Gambling Affiliates Association (PGAA) to help improve the relationship between affiliates and operators and create contractual security for the first time.

Karhu formed the association after becoming concerned with the imbalance in the relationship between affiliates and operators. The PGAA will address this with affiliates coming together as one in order to push for contractual security and fair terms and conditions when promoting operator brands.

At present, there is no contractual security for affiliates who are forced to sign agreements that are one-sided and subject to change at any time. This can see life-time revenues slashed and fees increased with little to no notice.

This is not the case in other B2B industries and makes running an online gambling affiliate business incredibly difficult. Operating an organisation without a secured contract is unsustainable, making it impossible to invest in growth and putting jobs at risk.

The PGAA intends to create a contract that provides the security its members need to be able to promote operator brands now and moving forwards. The contract will be signed by PGAA members and their operator partners.

Bojoko will handle the initial communication between the PGAA and operators, and will also cover the legal cost associated with creating the PGAA contract. This includes any potential reviews or amendments required now and in the future.

Karhu is now calling on affiliates of all sizes to join the Professional Gambling Affiliates Association. Those interested in signing up can do so by requesting to join the dedicated Professional Gambling Affiliates LinkedIn Group here.

Joonas Karhu, Chief Business Officer at Bojoko, said: “The situation online gambling affiliates face is unprecedented when compared with other industries and sectors. Running a business without a secured contract is simply unsustainable and puts organisations and their employees at great risk.

“By creating the PGAA, I hope to be able to provide the contractual security that affiliates need to be able to promote operator brands and be confident that the players they send and the revenues they generate are secured over time.

“I am now calling on all affiliates to join the PGAA and for operators and other industry stakeholders to support the association and its mission to level the playing field for affiliates and to provide the contractual security they need and deserve.”

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