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Affiliate Interviews: Alexander of Casinoanbieter.de

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Our new affiliate success story features Alexander Kaiser, founder and owner of casinoanbieter.de.

Name: Alexander Kaiser
Age: 37
Hometown: Munich, Germany
Living in: Zurich, Switzerland
Favorite Food: Belgian Waffles
Must Read Book: Dan Brown – The Da Vinci Code
Profession/Job title: Founder and Owner at casinoanbieter.de

GAV: Alexander, tell us a bit about yourself, we want to know who really are, the main person behind the German casino site casinoanbieter.de. Where were you born? What was the key idea of developing this great comparison site for online casinos?

Alexander: Hello, my name is Alexander Kaiser and I was born in 1979 in Munich. After studying at the St. Gallen Business School, I came to the Swiss Casinos as a trainee. I enjoyed the work a lot. The theme of casino is exciting and fascinating at the same time. At the end of 2012, I decided to become self-employed and to share the know-how I had accumulated over the past few years. Then came the idea for casinoanbieter.de, because during the time spent in Swiss Casinos I found out that this is what I want to do for future. The idea for my own website was born and I decided to do everything that I can to make it work. So here I am today four years later, when the website is successful and seeing that all the efforts I made were worth, makes me motivated and happy.

GAV: Since there are hundreds of online casino comparison websites out there, where do you think Casinoanbieter stands at this moment?

Alexander: casinoanbieter.de is currently one of the best sites in Germany. We are trying to give to our visitors every single information that is needed. And also our purpose is not just to create the content and never work on it again, no we are reviewing it and updating nearly every single page on our daily work.

GAV: What are the strong points of Casinoanbieter.de and what makes it stand out from the other German casino websites?

Alexander: We are not only testing the online casinos  but also the land based casinos. Another point is that our visitors can rate and give a feedback, it doesn’t matter if it is positive or negative. Also we are taking care to avoid negative experiences of our visitors. We had this case, when one visitor did not get his money for obviously irrelevant reasons. This person was even not one of our customers but we didn’t just leave the case. We spoke and pressured the casino. Because of us he finally he got his winnings paid out. That makes us proud.

GAV: How was it and the start and what bumps did you have to overcome after the launch of the website?

Alexander: To be honest the bumps were a lot, because as you know there are lots of websites in that field and it’s not easy to start with something brand new, unknown and expect people to trust you more than the most famous and the most visited websites at that time. But the key is being strong, flexible, willing to negotiate and of course great marketing. I myself had lots of hard days in the beginning, for example I was giving big part of my salary in the casino where I was croupier for high quality marketing, and almost didn’t have free time, because during the day I was working on casinoanbieter.de and on the night in the casino, that I was working for. But after the website became more popular I was ready to quit my job and focus on realizing my dream.

casinoanbieter.de

GAV: We have browsed your website and found great quality content. Do you write it yourself or you have a team of people writing for you? How many online casino reviews are there on your website?

Alexander: First I would like to thank you for the compliment, but the content in the website is not written only by me. I have this great teammate, that is doing some articles with me, but to be honest my passion is writing, and I enjoy it a lot, so writing some of the articles in my website was really relaxing.

GAV: Is it hard to keep the content fresh and relevant, when a lot of fluff and nonsense appear on the Internet on a daily basis?

Alexander: The key is to be real and useful. The fluffy and the nonsense is not working for grown ups. Our target is people willing to pay, so I can’t afford to write in my website content which is for children. That’s why I am always trying to keep it real and useful.

GAV: We are sure that you receive messages from Affiliate Managers on a daily basis 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?

Alexander: It should be clear, honest, because after all this is just a good business and if you want it to succeed both sides should do their job, and when this happens both sides are succeeding by doing what’s needed. And yes, for me the basic is the honesty.

GAV: How do you see the future of the German online casino industry, and how about the general one? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon in the near future?

Alexander: I am optimist, and this is something that I would love to do till my retirement, and I want to believe that the online casino industry has a bright future. And also if I look realistically to the future to be honest I really see this bright future for the gambling, because there always will be something to gamble for. Wanna bet on that?

GAV: Would you change something in the German online casino market/legislation?

Alexander: Yes. I would love if the market can be regulated. Even if it means that the tax costs are going to be higher for us. Because if the market is regulated, than the general terms and conditions of the casinos are going to be under a jurisdiction. Make the test and let a German lawyer read through some GTS, also from really big brands, and you will see that most of them are vulnerable in front of the German court.

GAV: Name one change that you want to see in the online casino affiliate ecosystem?!

Alexander: Real datas provided with API of every single affiliate program.

GAV: What advice you would like to offer to newbies who are looking to venture into this industry?!

Alexander: One thing they need to do is to be ambitious, to do the research needed and select only trustworthy operators to work with.

GAV: Do you usually attend any iGaming/online casino conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and tell us why?!

Alexander: To be honest, I don’t, but I want and I think I’ll go to the next one. Since I am quite new in the field I haven’t have the chance attend any. But I think I’ll go to the next one in February.

GAV: What do you think the chances are for Eastern Europe on becoming potential gaming hotpot in the future? Where do you think the region must improve upon?

Alexander: Actually I’ve been thinking on that a lot, and to be honest I am not sure, because field like ours need people willing to pay and they need to have the budget to play. I am afraid that especially in the countries with lower standard the people play without budget. Honestly I’m in the business to earn money, not to ruin people.

GAV: Alright, here comes the fun part…, do you have a favorite celebrity?

Alexander: Well this could be a hard question, because I have lots of favorite celebrities, but let’s say Mark Zuckerberg, because he inspires me, even though we are in a different areas – he is in social, and I am in gambling, he still inspires me and shows me how when you believe in yourself and work, than you can succeed no matter how old are you.

GAV: Name a country or region in Eastern Europe where you’d like to travel!?!

Alexander: I really would want to see the castle of count Dracula in Romania!

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

Alexander: I like traveling, and to be honest I don’t think that I would refuse one if I have the chance.

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

Alexander: I like the website, and from time to time I read some of your interviews and articles so I can be updated with the world that I am “living” in. I also like the whole concept and idea, because it’s good to have a website where you can “hear” the voice of affiliates.

GAV: Thanks for your time and interest Alexander, all the best to you and let’s stay in touch!

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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