Connect with us

Affiliate Success

Affiliate Interviews: Tom Lasten, Editor-in-Chief at CasinoBonusesIndex.com

Published

on

We have browsed around and have found a casino bonus comparison site that indexes the best bonuses from the most reputable online casino operators all over Europe and the Rest of the World. It seems that this website has been around for quite a while and it’s run by a great team which has a front man who has been writing about gambling professionally over 10 years. So, without any delays, here is our interview with Tom Lasten, Editor-in-Chief at CasinoBonusesIndex.com

GAV: First, 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: Tom Lasten
  • Age: 35
  • Hometown: London, United Kingdom
  • Living in: London
  • Favorite Food: Japanese
  • Must Read Book: Beat the Dealer by Edward O Thorpe

GAV: Tell us a bit about yourself, we want to know who Tom Lasten really is, Editor-in-Chief at CasinoBonusesIndex.com. Where were you born? What was the key idea of developing this great website?

Tom: I was born in London but have travelled most of Europe, Asia and America and I’ve lived in Las Vegas and Malta for what I would call an influential period of time.  The idea behind the website came from a mix of my days of playing blackjack and my degree in Journalism.  I played at a pretty decent level and casinos are what I know, I’ve written about gambling professionally now for well over 10 years.  I wanted to give players a great resource with which to learn the games, but from someone who actually plays them, not simply a nameless face spinning an article.  So I’m the Editor-in-Chief at www.casinobonusesindex.com but the face behind all of our brands is Blue Window Ltd, we’re an agency of around 15 people based in Malta and we operate our sites in many different languages, across 20+ countries such as France, Sweden, Germany, Finland etc. 

GAV: Since there are thousands of casino review websites out there, where do you think CasinoBonusesIndex.com stands now?

Tom: I think the beauty of this website is that it has a younger, more relevant take on online casinos.  Gambling is seen as such an old mans game, but in reality its the younger generations who spend 24/7 online, they’re on their smartphones constantly and are always looking for the next big thing. We have the exact same hunger for the newest tech and the latest games, exactly like our players.

GAV: What are the strong points of the website and what makes it stand out from the niche websites?

Tom: It’s easy to navigate and there are a lot of exclusive bonuses on there, this is thanks to the great partnerships we’ve built over the years with all the different online casinos.  We’re fiercely honest with all our reviews as well, I think it’s still nice to have a bit of integrity in this business, if something doesn’t fit with a game or casino we’ll let our players know about it straight.  It’s the same concept in play across all of the language versions of this particular brand.

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

Tom: Not very many to be honest, I guess like most you have little experience of the actual money side of the business when you first start out, so negotiating can be tricky not knowing how much everything is potentially worth, other than that we took a very measured approach to the business and building the website so as such it built up over time, anything that required extra attention or any problems we just made sure was resolved so we felt no negative impact.

casino-bonus-index-logo

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

Tom: A lot of the content such as the news, casino reviews and casino game guides on the site were written by me, mainly because I have a lot of actual gambling and online casino experience, especially blackjack.   I also have a great writer who specializes in online slots.  She actually writes great slot reviews because she plays the games so much herself.  For the other languages there are separate teams all within Blue Window Ltd working on each of the websites and they all have a similar setup with multiple writers and main editors.  It’s a truly international agency in that sense.

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?

Tom: As an editor, it’s a question of choosing content that you think your audience will love and also content that you can write with authority about.  I’m very honest when I write, I see a lot of articles written for the sake of traffic and it’s obvious the person writing the article doesn’t know the subject at all.  Our content is good for both attracting new traffic and satisfying our existing audience plus we’re complete geeks when it comes to the subjects we cover! so we write with passion as well as relevance and authority.

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?

Tom: There needs to be a bit of give and take of course, but I’ve met both sides of the coin.  I work with some great affiliate managers who are very down to earth and we do business easily because there’s no bullshit.  On the reverse I’ve worked with many in the past that come across all ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and I’m just not interested.  My advice is just be a normal human being with your clients, business doesn’t need to be painful for either parties, it should ideally be mutually beneficial and a good working relationship leads to a better and healthier business for both in the long term.

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

Tom: I think it’s always been a global thing on the whole but now you will definitely see a second explosion in online gambling, there are so many markets opening up around the world, in countries where everything is very new so there’s lots of potential for fast growth and a chance for more product diversity in those newer markets.

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

Tom: More parties? Haha, I think this is a tough one to answer because it constantly evolves but I was thinking the other day how cool it would be to see more direct interaction with the software developers than just at trade shows.  It’s always fun to try new tech or new games before they’re released and get some proper advanced previews out for the players, at the moment it’s a side of the industry that has great crossover potential but developers tend to be a shy and secretive bunch.

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

Tom: For your sites you need to find your own voice and be true to it, sounds simple but it’s hard sometimes not to just rubber stamp everything that comes through.  For the business side if it’s something you’ve never done before then there are plenty of very good resources and on the whole the affiliate community is quite approachable for general advice, just don’t ask about any trade secrets and you’ll be fine!

GAV: Who is your favorite celebrity?

Tom: (Chelsea Footballer) John Terry

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

Tom: Usually some really good jazz funk or house music for while I’m working, for actual videos I tend to watch a lot of old football matches from the 80’s on YouTube and older WSOP tournaments are also a personal favorite at the moment.

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

Tom: We do go to a few of them, I really enjoy ICE for all the cool new games and tech previews, the London Affiliate Convention is always fun to catchup with old acquaintances and the newer SiGMA summit of igaming in Malta was a really good event last year.

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?

Tom: I think there’s a lot of great potential in these markets, but care must be taken by the relevant authorities to ensure the players are looked after before the casinos, not the other way around.  I think improvements like this go a long way to building trust in new brands and especially trust in new markets which is very important.  Good reputation is everything after all.

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.

Tom: One of the places I would love to go to still is Poland, but I’d love to take a few weeks to really explore the country a bit and get to know the history from the people’s perspective.  My favorite destination? At the moment I love Mexico and it may sound cheesy but also Las Vegas, there’s just something special about Vegas.

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

Tom: I don’t know if there’s anywhere I wouldn’t go, I’m always up for adventure and experiencing new cultures and places.

GAV: What is your opinion about EEG/GAV (Eastern European Gaming – eegaming.org)/Gambling Affiliate Voice – gamblingaffiliatevoice.com?

Tom: I have followed you guys for a while, I read your website regularly for insights into the Eastern European markets to get a better idea of what’s going on currently in that sector so I really like what EEgaming.org does for the industry, you really bring something relevant to the niche.  Gambling affiliate voice in particular is a great resource, especially for newer affiliates.  There are many pitfalls out there if you’re not careful and this site can go a long way to helping them get started, talking to reputable affiliate managers and other key people in the industry can help to answer many important questions newer affiliates may have.

Affiliate Success

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

Published

on

 

 

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.

Continue Reading

Affiliate Announcements

Bojoko crowned Casino Affiliate of the Year 2020

Published

on

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.”

 

Continue Reading

Affiliate Announcements

Karhu launches Professional Gambling Affiliates Association

Published

on

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.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Latest News

Casino Horse - Your Reliable Source Of Everything Online Gambling!

 Casino Horse - Your Reliable Source Of Everything Online Gambling!


News3 days ago

Casino Horse – Your Reliable Source Of Everything Online Gambling!


  Casino Horse is an online casino affiliate website, established in 2020 with the sole aim of providing trustworthy, unbiased,...

News3 weeks ago

Slothino Casino Bestows Players With Their Gameplay With A Slow Gambling Approach

Wagering in gambling variants is fun when you have found a website worthy of playing in. In case you are...

News1 month ago

Why Are Slot Tournaments Super Exciting?

  More and more people are taking part in slot tournaments. But what are they and why is there so...

Free Bets the Most Common Bonus Type for UK Betting Operators Free Bets the Most Common Bonus Type for UK Betting Operators
News1 month ago

Free Bets the Most Common Bonus Type for UK Betting Operators

  We are spoilt for choice when it comes to the selection of bonus types at UK betting operators. You...

Topsy Turvy AskMania Affiliate Race Has Its Winners Topsy Turvy AskMania Affiliate Race Has Its Winners
Affiliate Announcements2 months ago

AskGamblers’ Topsy Turvy AskMania Affiliate Race Has Its Winners

  Organised by AskGamblers, Topsy Turvy AskMania is a social race, made for affiliate managers and casinos exclusively. Starting on...

News2 months ago

Is Investing in Online Gambling Still Viable?

  It is not hard to realize why many have noticed the online gambling industry when it comes to investments....

News2 months ago

The Easiest Casino Games For Newbies

If you someone new to online casinos–which means, you don’t have any experience in playing in a land-based casino either–you...

News2 months ago

All you Need to Know about Casino Christmas Bonuses

Every business wants more awareness during the holidays and casinos are no different, that’s why during every Christmas season they...

How to find casinos with your favorite games How to find casinos with your favorite games
News2 months ago

How to find casinos with your favorite games

  No matter if you like poker, slots or maybe even the obscure online scratchcards, there is a game provider...

What To Look For in An Online Casino If You Are A Newbie What To Look For in An Online Casino If You Are A Newbie
News2 months ago

What To Look For in An Online Casino If You Are A Newbie

  So, you have decided to try out online gambling. Naturally, an online casino is a place where you would...

Trending