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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

Meet Reza Shojaei, the founder of multinational CasinoTop.com

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Meet Reza Shojaei, the founder of multinational CasinoTop.com

 

Value Marketing is a successful iGaming affiliate company that has its base set in Malta. Reza Shojaei, the founder of the company has spent years patiently building the company up, reaching multiple markets around the globe. The journey is not even nearly finished yet, and there is much more to come. Shojaei is excited for 2020 and what it will bring for Value Marketing’s two major brands: CasinoTopp.net and CasinoTop.com.

Who is Reza Shojaei?
Reza Shojaei is the founder of Value Marketing. Here, we will meet Reza.

Name: Reza Shojaei
Age: 35
From: Norway
Living in: Norway
Job title: Founder of Value Marketing
Favorite hobby: Playing poker and taking my dog, Bofflee, to long walks, racing cars on track

Tell us about Value Marketing
Value Marketing used to operate within face-to-face sales industry, but I personally was not passionate about it. So, after some time, I decided to take the company to another direction. In 2017, we discussed about getting into iGaming, because it was of interest to me and also because we saw a problem in the industry that needed to be solved.

I have been playing poker for over 15 years, so I was familiar with the industry already. As the online casino market is ever-growing, there are more and more iGaming related companies and especially online casinos opening all the time. The problem is that there are so many casinos that it is hard for players (especially new ones) to choose a reliable casino that is also high quality.

I founded Value Marketing and its two brands, CasinoTopp.net and CasinoTop.com, to provide honest and transparent information about reliable casinos. We never recommend any casinos that do not meet our standards and our readers respect us for that. Also, we provide other valuable information for players, such as casino guides and up-to-date casino news.

Frankly, we never got into this business purely for money and that is not our first priority. The top priority is to put our readers first and make sure that they are happy with our content. In fact, we even give our readers the chance to contact us and share their casino experiences. So, in a way, we build our brand with the help of our readers and also take their opinion into account.

What is the ultimate mission of Value Marketing?
We want CasinoTop.com to operate all over the world and have the biggest casino affiliate network across the globe. Currently, we operate in 12 countries. They include, for instance, Finland, Norway, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, and India.

Why is Value Marketing different from other casino affiliate sites?
The number one reason why Value Marketing is different from others is that we do not work with any casinos that do not meet our standards. For us, it is important to provide 100 percent accurate content and write articles that are valuable for our readers. We also offer the readers a chance to be in touch with us, which is something that many sites do not do.

Why did you decide to launch Value Marketing and its brands?
I was tired of field marketing/face-to-face sales and wanted to do something that I had a passion for. I love playing poker, so transitioning to the iGaming world was only natural. Also, we saw a need for a big casino affiliate company that covers multiple markets and also offers honest opinions and reviews. This way, our readers know that they can trust us, and we can build a great reputation globally.

How do you see the iGaming market in the next years in Europe?
In Europe, online casinos are a big thing. There are constantly more and more casinos and rules and regulations change. One of the biggest things recently was the Swedish license, and we hope to see such a change in other countries too, for instance, in Norway and Finland, though it may not happen very soon.

What would you like to change in the gambling industry?
The mission of Value Marketing is to provide excellent and honest reviews that are transparent, and we hope that other sites take that approach as well. Though there are not many rogue casinos out there, there are casinos that are more reliable and better quality than others. Those are the casinos that should get the traffic and the attention from affiliates and players.

What is the hardest thing about running Value Marketing?
At the moment, we have launched 12 markets and we have copywriters, editors, designers, and developers in our roster, all from around the world. Keeping in touch with everyone in a timely manner can get challenging because of time zone differences. But overall, I love what I do and look forward to my work every day.

What do you expect from the gambling industry in the next year?
We can definitely see more pay & play casinos, as they have been trending among players recently. Also, we can only expect even better-quality games and especially NetEnt and Wazdan has really been on top of it. 3D graphics and more interactive games are great and perhaps virtual reality takes off, too, in the iGaming industry. Some rules and regulations might relax as well, considering that the US already opened a few states for online gaming and Sweden has their own license now.

What do you expect from Value Marketing in the next year?
In 2020, we are hoping to open more markets in addition to the ones that are already open. Also, improving our current content and redefining goals is always on my plate.

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Affiliate Success

A Representative of Storm International will Speak at the Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference

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A Representative of Storm International will Speak at the Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference

 

Lavrenty Gubin will present a report on the key elements of a successful casino

There is a series of conferences and exhibitions to take place in Kiev in the coming months due to the upcoming gaming business legalization.

The Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference will take place in the capital of Ukraine on December 18, 2019.
The core topic of the conference is gaming business legalization in Ukraine and adoption of international experience in the field of regulation.

Lavrenty Gubin, Marketing and PR Director of Storm International, was invited to the conference as a speaker to cover the land-based casinos sector. Lavrenty will make a presentation on the international experience required to open a brand new casino like Shangri La Tbilisi or SL Casino Riga.

The conference will gather government officials, operators, software developers, marketers and other industry professionals to discuss the future of the Ukrainian gaming business. The conference is run by Smile Expo, a well known industry events organizer in Western Europe and CIS.

Conference website: affiliateconf.com.ua

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Three-peat for the King Billy Affiliate Program at the SBC Awards!

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Three-peat for the King Billy Affiliate Program at the SBC Awards!

 

We should know by now that King Billy Casino was bound to be in the limelight for one more time. True to the words of the great Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho “Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.”, King Billy does it for the third time in a row.

So, after being shortlisted at the prestigious iGB Awards (and from there, winning it all), being shortlisted again at the prestigious EGR Awards, the King Billy Affiliate Program has now also been shortlisted at the prestigious SBC Awards (event to be held on December 3). Moreover, the operator is also on the SBC Awards short list for Casino Rising Star.

We asked the mastermind behind this tremendous streak, Ruslan Legenzov, King Billy Head of Affiliates to share his feelings with us and a few words about this new distinction. He was, understandably, in a state of euphoria:

“This is beyond our wildest dreams! To complete the “Big 3” of the industry’s annual biggest awards shows, by being short-listed in each and every one of them fills us all with immense pride. At King Billy Casino, we set out with a single goal in mind: to move beyond the commission and offer to our affiliates a program never seen before. We are happy that our effort is recognized by both judges and Affiliates!”

The SBC Awards, now in its 6th year, recognize the achievements of operators, affiliates and suppliers from across all major disciplines including payments, marketing, platform providers and data. The Awards will be held at Battersea Evolution, in the heart of London, bringing together 700 gaming industry delegates.

King Billy Casino is a new generation online casino, available in 5 languages (English, German, Russian, Finnish and Norwegian and soon Japanese) with an impressive record in awards and an amazing variety of games providers and features. King Billy has built on creating a superb user experience focusing on the myth of King Billy and his Kingdom and treats all players with the specialness they deserve.

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