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.
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.
LeoVegas really is making dreams come true this Christmas
LeoVegas is giving away 5 nights under the Northern Lights!
It’s that festive time of year when our customers begin to dream of log fires, Christmas trees and dashing through the snow on a reindeer-drawn sleigh with mince pie crumbs in their laps. Well, good tidings are here as LeoVegas would like to spread the festive cheer by making two of these lucky customers’ dreams come true this New Year!
We will send two players and their plus ones to the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Lapland on a once in a lifetime trip where they’ll sleep under the stars in glass roofed igloos – and may even see the Northern Lights flickering above while tucked up cosy and warm in a comfy bed as the snow falls around them.
This incredible trip also includes six activities which winners can choose themselves. These include a 4-hour husky safari, Aurora hunting on a horse drawn sleigh, visiting reindeer on a snowmobile or learning how to master Nordic skiing.
To be in with a chance of winning, new customers just need to deposit and wager 50 in the Live Casino or Casino (from 10/12/18 to 01/01/19) on any game to get one ticket into the raffle. The winners will then be drawn randomly on 2nd January.
A geo-targeted landing page promoting the campaign will be available by end of this week. Please contact your account manager or AffiliateTeam@leovegas.com for the media ID or if you have any queries. This campaign will be live in all markets except Italy from 10th December.
Leo really is making dreams come true this Christmas at LeoVegas!
The LeoVegas Affiliate Team
Affiliate Interviews: Steven Hubbard, of SweGaming and BettingLounge
This is our second interview with Swegaming. We are checking how they are doing right now.
GAV: Hi Steven, first off we’ve been talking with you before, around 2 years ago to be exact, and first wanted an update on what Swegaming and BettingLounge have been up to since then.
The last two years have been hectic for Swegaming as a company, and since I joined this year we’ve been ramping up our efforts towards the UK market with our site BettingLounge.
We’ve launched a completely new look and feel to the site while adding new sections including our popular betting tips. We have also added new functionality and content to help our visitors make the right decision when choosing which betting sites to use.
GAV: Could you tell us some quick facts about you?
Name: Steven Hubbard
Living in: Gothenburg
Favourite Food: Pizza
Must read book: Running: The Autobiography
Best dart player: Phil Taylor
GAV: Tell us more about yourself, we want to know exactly who Steven is, the product owner of Bettinglounge. How was it to move to a new country? How is it to work at a big affiliate company as Swegaming?
Well, I grew up in a small town in Norfolk, England. I spent most of my working life as a Lifeguard and Swimming teacher but decided to go travelling for a change.
There I met my Swedish girlfriend and moved to Gothenburg, where I met Andreas and David (founders of SweGaming AB). Moving to Sweden was a lot harder than the travelling I had done, but I had great support from my girlfriend and her family.
Working at SweGaming has been a wonderful opportunity to learn and develop new skills. They have a lot of valuable experience in the Swedish market and exciting ideas for the UK.
GAV: What would you say is the biggest competitive advantages for Bettinglounge? What makes Bettinglounge stand out from the crowd?
We are looking to change the affiliate industry by offering an honest, transparent and personal product. All while promoting safe and responsible gambling.
We have some really exciting long-term projects that I think will add a lot of value to BettingLounge, while continuing with our personal touch instead of hiding behind a brand name.
GAV: What is the biggest challenge for you as a product owner?
The need for constant innovation is the biggest challenge facing us. There are a massive number of affiliates in the UK, and we have to offer something special to stand out.
GAV: We have done some reading at your site and found out some really interesting betting tips, how can you know so much!?
Well, I am in no way a betting tipster or expert. But, I have been following sports, mainly football and darts for most of my life. Of course, you learn a lot from that over the years.
But, the most valuable information is gained by a bit of research. All of our tips are well researched with key stats and facts for the match. It is not a foolproof way of betting, but it will help in your decision making.
See our betting tips as a guide, or if you agree, of course, you are welcome to back them. But, remember to do so in a fun and responsible way.
GAV: Steven, who is your favourite model? Is it Zlatan or David Beckham?
Ah, that’s a tough one. Of course, David Beckham is my favourite model. I mean his boxers are not great, but what a man he is!
GAV: What betting tip has been your best in ROI?
The best betting tip so far has been a 12/1 win treble with Betway. Three away wins, Lincoln City, Leicester and Doncaster.
Although, Doncaster finished 3-2 and we had a nervy 7+ minutes of extra time that was not appreciated.
GAV: What is the best with TheGamblingAffiliateVoice?
The best thing is definitely to find new gaming conferences and read comprehensive articles . You are doing a great job writing about the conference Sigma on Malta. More affiliates and operators should definitely go to Sigma which is the best conference in my opinion.
AEToken Affiliate Platform Wins Blockchain Pitch Competition for Best ICO 2018
Blockchain based affiliate platform AEToken has won the best ICO pitch competition at the Malta Blockchain Summit. Held at the InterContinental Hotel Malta on November 1 and 2, 2018, the summit is a marquee event in the ICO/Blockchain sector, playing host to over 8,000 delegates and a speaker list that includes the Who’s Who of the Crypto industry including the Winklevoss twins and John McAfee. The highlight of the summit, the ICO pitch contest saw 19 blockchain startups in a head to head battle for two cheques, each worth 25,000€.
Eventually a panel of judges, led by Investor Mark Hamade, judged AEToken (represented by CEO Vadim Fedotov) the best ICO pitch for its unique platform, which is designed to address shortcomings limiting the affiliate marketing industry.
The industry has long struggled with systemic problems including lack of enforceable contracts, fraud (traffic size verification/traffic value skimming), slow payments for services performed, and high minimum payouts. Now, for the first time, using blockchain and smart contract technology, AEToken ensures affiliate deals are secured through smart contract, payments are instant, fees are lower, and scalability is a non-issue.
Founded by Vadim Fedotov, Gene Hoffman and Jason Fernandes, AEToken has a particularly stellar team of advisors including 2017 Ycombinator partner Marcus Segal, Eman Pulis (Founder, SIGMA Conference), iGaming expert Michael Caselli, Walter Komarek (Forbesfone) and Dr. Evan Luthra of Almora Crypto Investment Group.
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