GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 1 - May 2007

How did you get into the i ndustry? I was a financial services direct marketing pioneer. I then became extremely excited by t he online marketing environment — hence my moving sectors and joining an online c asino group. What jobs have you had? I have worked for one of the largest financial i nstitutions globally, the leading direct marketing company, and the largest global power tool company. Why do you like the gaming I ndustry? I t’s ever-changing and dynamic. You have to be on top of your game or you lose. Could you tell us a little bit about your program? ReferBack started in 1989 and is the e xclusive affiliate program for the Belle Rock Entertainment Group of online casinos, poker and bingo rooms. Since those early days, ReferBack has become the most established global affiliate program, offering multiple l anguage sites in multiple currencies. Since passage of the UIGEA, what has changed and how has your program adapted? We have had to develop our business in markets outside the U.S. This has obviously led to challenges, but it has also given direction – due mainly to the simple fact that there is a huge untapped market outside the U.S. Innovative online casinos will succeed and prosper in these markets. All operators have had to adapt to these challenges in order to build for the future. How do you approach working with portal webmasters? Strong focus is placed on our relationships. We focus on communication, support, and a state-of-the-art product offering. Our webmaster relationships have made our business a success, and without these personal relationships we would soon be out of business. Our webmasters are not merely part of our program, but are our partners. We are involved in symbiotic relationships, and they’re managed on a personal level with each and every webmaster. Regular communication and understanding of both businesses is imperative. This makes for a healthy, productive, win-win environment. Through our journey with webmasters , we continuously learn and improve. Bot tom line? It’s all about the relationship. What has the withdrawal of Neteller meant to the indu stry and your program? The business and the industry are chang ing. We adapt and look for other ways to en sure that we can pay our partners. Focu sing outside the U.S. alleviates many issues, but yes — the withdrawal of Neteller and sim ilar operators has definitely caused “headach es.” What do you hope to accomp lish by being a GPWA sponsor? Brand awareness, cementing relationsh ips, and new partnerships. We try to use our GPWA sponsorship as a channel for cons tant communication with our partners and als o as a way to get to know other affiliate progr ams and their managers. What advice would you give to would-be-gaming affiliates? Learn SEO! Be patient! Know your ta rget market – with that knowledge you can w ork out a strategy to build a Web site that sp eaks to this market/player type. Work closely with the affiliate programs you belong to – use “Here I am on a good day in shallow waters . . . ” ONLINE PIONEER PUSHES THE ENVELOPE FOR REFERBACK Name: Grant Laubscher Position: Marketing Manager, Referback Age: “45 years young!” Hometown: Cape Town, South Africa Favorite Travel Destinations: “For business, it’s Amsterdam and/or Las Vegas. For pleasure, it’s the Seychelles.” Preferred Pastimes: “Fly-fishing (I’m a hopeless fanatic!), angling in general, scuba diving, and golf!” Favorite TV Shows: “I like documentaries - Discovery and National Geographic channels - and good movies!”