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Interview with Duncan Garvie about ThePOGG’s new announcement

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ThePOGG.com approved for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Service by UKGC 

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has approved ThePOGG.com as an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service. A spokesperson for ThePOGG.com stated:

[blockquote style=”2″]We have been successfully managing player and casino disputes for over three years and our tally of complaints managed is now nearing 500. We are extremely proud of the fact that the UKGC has recognised the value of the service we provide and the integrity of our team. We look forward to working closely with the UKGC to continue mediating and acting as a conduit between players and operators.[/blockquote]
ThePOGG.com is one of the first affiliate sector organisations to be granted ADR status by the UKGCand the individual responsible for managing the complaints side of ThePOGG has recently attained mediation and arbitration qualifications from The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, further adding to the quality of service ThePOGG can provide. Notably the ADR service provided by ThePOGG.com differs markedly from the services provided by all of the other ADR service operators in that there is absolutely no charge for utilising the experience the team at ThePOGG has. No ADR charges players for use of their service but ThePOGG is unique in providing a cost free service to operators wishing to call upon its team’s 10 years of experience in the online gambling industry. The ethos behind ThePOGG is to provide the best possible support service to those requiring dispute resolutions and to ensure that cost is not prohibitive – hence why the service is free to all.

The full license and it’s text can be viewed here: http://thepogg.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ThePOGG-approved-ADR-service-UKGC.pdf

We have managed to interview the manager of ThePOGG, Mr. Duncan Garvie, a well respected affiliate which has been in the industry for quite a while.

TheVoice: Wow, this is huge news for you guys, ThePOGG.com has been approved for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Service by UKGC. You are the first affiliate to be granted this license. How does it feel?

Duncan: In a word – fantastic! A significant amount of time was invested in getting the site ready to submit our application and seeing that work pay dividends is very very satisfying.

TheVoice: What was the main idea behind applying for this license and was this included in the masterplan when building ThePOGG?

Duncan: When ThePOGG was first started, the UKGC license hadn’t come into place yet and most of the market was still unsure of exactly what form it was going to take. So the ADR structure that exists today wasn’t a factor in the initial development of our business plan. That said, as soon as we became aware of the ADR system that the UKGC intended to implement it seemed like a natural extension of what we do already.

The primary objectives behind ThePOGG.com has always been to offer players a genuine service and resource to players. Our focus has always been on ensuring that we provide players with a wealth of information to help them make the best decisions regarding who to play with. To do that though, we need to ensure that player complaints are being taken care of appropriately. This focus on quality information has been continued in our newest product – POGGStrategies.com – which looks to offer the highest quality information on mathematically sound strategies for all casino games. Unlike so many other affiliates who focus on SEO and marketing, the player is our focus.

Initially we did have concerns that the UKGC license was going to restrict operators to ONLY discussing complaints with their listed ADR providers – this would have significantly impacted our complaint service making gaining ADR status essential to our ongoing business relationship with many UKGC accredited operators. As ThePOGG places such a strong emphasis on maintaining a positive reputation, ranking operators by their treatment of players rather than their willingness to pay upfront advertising fees, not being able to actively resolve complaints for our well placed operators would have significantly undermined our model.

Fortunately those concerns turned out to be unjustified. However that didn’t change our opinion of the value such an accreditation would bring. At the present time I’m confident that most people on both sides of the table in the online gambling industry would agree that the UKGC represent the most credible regulatory force in the market. Achieving ADR status involved significant work on our part and required us to answer a lot of questions regarding potential conflicts of interest for the UKGC. I feel that being the first affiliate operator to gain ADR status demonstrates how well our system holds up to external scrutiny and our commitment to integrity.

TheVoice: Can you shortly explain the process on which these disputes are received on your end and how are they disputed?

Duncan: From this point there will be minor differences between the way complaints are managed depending on whether the operator being complained about lists us as one of their ADRs. The essential difference is that an operator that lists us as an ADR has a responsibility to discuss complaints fully with us, whereas an operator that does not hold a UKGC license, or chooses not to list us as an ADR has the choice whether or not they will discuss the complaint. An operator choosing not to engage automatically results in a negative status for the final report and at that point we will often assist the player taking their complaint to whatever regulator body or ADR service the operator will talk to.

Beyond that difference the process for dealing with complaints is essentially the same. When a player submits a complaint firstly we review and publish the complaint, acknowledging that we have received the complaint. At this stage the complaint is published in such a manner that it is not publically available – only the submitting player and ThePOGG complaint team have access to the complaint thread. This system is set up this way to ensure that any accusations that are made are based in fact or removed before publication to prevent any unjustified damage being done to an operator’s reputation.

We then contact the operator that is being complained about to get there feedback on the issue. At this stage the process isn’t rigidly defined. There can be several rounds of back and forth communication between our team, the player and the operator, as we try to establish exactly what both parties feel the issues have been and whether terms and conditions have been adhered to.

Finally, once we feel we have all of the relevant information, where appropriate we will try to guide both parties to a reasonable middle ground and where there is one party that is clearly right we will provide the involved parties with our conclusion the justifications for those conclusions. The only exceptions to this is where there’s security concerns suggesting that a player has been engaged in illegal activities at which point we provide the conclusions without the justifications so as not to educate others as to how to circumnavigate security procedures.

To date I would consider the process remarkably successful as we rapidly approach the point where we’ve returned over half a million dollars to player!

It’s also worth point out that within the next two weeks we will also be launching a similar service for affiliates – POGGWebmasters.com. This service won’t fall under our UKGC ADR remit, but will provide affiliates with a dedicate complaints service run by the same team.

Affiliate Success

Blexr has been crowned Best Casino Affiliate at this year’s IGB Affiliate Awards

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Blexr has been crowned Best Casino Affiliate at this year’s IGB Affiliate Awards

The IGB judges said the company’s innovative work with SEO “helped Blexr stand out as a winner, and we liked the deposit guarantee that they offer to their customers”.

The judges added: “Their selective way of working means Blexr only collaborates with top quality partners, which judges felt had helped contribute to their impressive growth over the last 12 months.”

IGB also mentioned how “Blexr’s charitable work within the community helped them stand out as an affiliate to be highly commended”.

Blexr is a lead generation company which operates in the iGaming, sportsbook and forex affiliate markets. It also owns the Home Grounds website, which serves a community of home baristas.

Ian Hills, Blexr’s general manager in Malta, said: “We’re delighted and thrilled to be recognised by IGB this way.

“We pride ourselves on recruiting smart people with innovative ideas and winning a prestigious award like this one is a lovely way for the whole team to be rewarded for their hard work and dedication.”

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Affiliate Success

GiG Media reaches top 3 in EGR Power Affiliates Ranking

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GiG Media reaches top 3 in EGR Power Affiliates Ranking

 

Gaming Innovation Group’s media affiliate business, GiG Media has been given industry recognition as one of the top three power affiliates within the gaming industry in this year’s Power Affiliate Ranking 2021.

The annual Power Affiliates list commends 25 of the most successful affiliate businesses in the global gambling industry and is referred to by EGR as “a comprehensive rundown of the biggest online gambling affiliates operating in the sector today.”

GiG Media grew from strength to strength in 2020, In December 2020 GiG Media realised an all-time high in monthly revenue and generated the 2nd highest monthly player intake over the past two years. The positive developments continued in the new year. In  Q1 2021 GiG’s media business reached an all-time quarterly high in player intake and in revenue.  In Q1 2021 player intake grew 56% YoY and 31% QoQ hitting an all-time high in players generated quarterly for GiG Media.

Jonas Warrer, CMO at GiG said: “ I am extremely proud that we have officially been named one of the top three Power Affiliates in this year’s EGR Power Affiliates Ranking, up nine places from last year! This is a strong testament to all the hard work and dedication the organisation has put into improving our websites, our campaigns, our IT, our content, our design, – just to name a few areas. I am happy to see that our focus on organic growth resulted in continuous improvements throughout 2020, with the aim of new all-time-highs to come throughout the rest of 2021.”

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Affiliate Success

Bojoko crowned Affiliate of the Year at EGR Nordic Awards

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Bojoko crowned Affiliate of the Year at EGR Nordic Awards

 

Popular online casino listing site fends off stiff competition to take home the trophy at prestigious awards ceremony

 The Bojoko team is celebrating once again after being named Affiliate of the Year at the prestigious EGR Nordic Awards 2021.

This is the second EGR award that Bojoko has taken home after being crowned Casino Affiliate of the Year at the hotly contested EGR Operator Awards 2020.

Bojoko fought off stiff competition from some of the biggest names in the affiliate industry including AskGamblers, Better Collective, Blexr, Catena Media and the Gambling.com Group.

EGR judges said it had been “another excellent year” for Bojoko and that its SEO performance and overall conversion “really shines”.

The EGR judges added: “A more unique idea than most affiliates with great growth and sustainability. A very clever and new type of affiliate that is showing great success. Well done!”

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

Bojoko members, of which there are now 30,000+, then rate and review each casino and game and share their honest opinion about the experience they receive.

During the judging period Bojoko built out its team dedicated to the Nordics which led to a 10x increase in unique site visitors and a 25x increase in registered Finnish players.

Joonas Karhu, Chief Business Officer at Bojoko.com, said: “We will need to find more space for our trophies after scooping our second EGR award in as many months but seriously, the entire team is thrilled how have been recognised for our work in the Nordics.

“The Nordics remain a key focus for us and we see plenty of opportunity to drive growth from the region by providing players with our award-winning online casino listing product and service.

“Our mission from day one has been to help players quickly and easily select online casinos through transparency and community feedback and it is a concept that has proved to be hugely popular.

“I would like to thank the EGR judges for recognising our efforts and successes in the Nordics by crowning Bojoko Affiliate of the Year 2021.”

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