GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 15 - January 2011

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry? Slow down and take the time to learn SEO be- fore you publish your first portal. Plan on eight to 12months of basic expenses before you realize a profit. Don’t shotgun; pick a niche that interests you, learn it and stick to it. In other words, don’t do all the crap I did wrong and learn the hard way. Has being a member of the GPWA helped you in your work? All of my affiliate asso- ciations have come from GPWA members and the majority of help and constructive criticism has come from the forums, which have been a tremendous help in overcom- ing a steep learning curve. I’ve hurt a few feelings along the way and I rant and rave like a madman sometimes, but I believe in this industry and love it. If you listen carefully and sort the good advice from the bad, you’ll grow quicker. I compare the fo- rums to a smorgasbord; look at it all and take what fits your taste. Always remem- ber that it’s your business to run as you see fit, but taking quality advice from a veteran is usually a good odds-on wager. In addition to your online casino portal, you have an online sportsbook portal as well. What prompted you to add the sportsbook portal? And which endeavor is currently generating more income? Hands down the sportsbook site is kill- ing my casino site by 80 percent. To be quite honest, I should have started the sportsbook (site) first. I enjoy marketing the sportsbook more than the casinos be- cause I know the language, and right now most of my income is from sportsbooks even though the casino sites have been active twice as long. Finding sportsbook players offline is much easier than finding slots players, and most of my current cus- tomers have come from personal contact in and around Cancún. I’m not dump- ing the casinos, though, because I know there is eventually good long-termmoney there, too. The sportsbook is cyclical and seasonal where the slots are rather steady. It’s a good idea to eventually have both. You mentioned you’ve been a “part-time sports pool ‘bookie’”your entire life. How did you get into that?What prompted you to become an affiliate? I started booking private sports pools when my computer was 10 fingers and my database was a notebook. I grew up around horse racing tracks in the ’70s and was friends with sev- eral bookies/bar owners. I quietly started my own niche of football pool sheets among my friends and acquaintances. It grew from there and be- came a part-time/full- time “business.” Once the computer came on the scene I bought my first Tandy TX-20 in 1985 and expanded from there. I became an affiliate be- cause the potential to make more money is in online casinos/sportsbooks as opposed to covert under- ground sports pool opera- tions. My casino Web site can be accessed by the entire world, as opposed to me having to personally find and screen new players in the sports pool business. You’ve said that your first bet was placed trackside at the 1968 Kentucky Derby. Did your horse win? Are you still a bet- ting man today? And do you enjoy other types of gambling? Yes, Forward Pass won that day in 1968 and is the only horse in the history of the Kentucky Derby to have been declared the winner as the re- sult of a disqualification. Dancer’s Image was ousted when they found drugs in his blood in the post-race urine test. Henry Forrest of Calumet Farms was a mentor of mine and the trainer of Forward Pass, so I put all my money on that stud to win. I retired from handicapping in the early ’80s. I do play blackjack occasionally, but only for amusement. What’s your favorite vacation or getaway destination? I’m not much of a vacationer. I enjoy taking a day or two off to go deep- sea fishing or rent a plane and fly some- where new. I’ve lived in so many different places, my life has been one big vacation. If you could have one“superpower,”what would it be, and why? I’m not much on superpower stuff but I can say that if I had “an erection lasting more than four hours” (from Cialis or Viagra) my doctor is the last person I’d be calling. What are three things that nobody knows about you? You can’t be serious . . . I’ll get arrested. (Not really.) AGE: 58 HOMETOWN: Fort Thomas, Kentucky Living in: Cancún, Mexico (World’s Largest Open-Air Insane Asylum) FAVORITEFOOD: Ribs and seafood MUSTREAD BOOK: First-page Google rankings in less than one hour (yeah, right) SITES: 29 GPWA Affiliate Interview Series