GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 17 - September 2011

HILARY ST. JONN GaGaGirl Your username refers to your gaga- site, which is “the girl’s guide to online gambling.”Why did you choose this niche? Are you a Lady Gaga fan? And what is it about leprechauns that inspired you to build a whole site around them? As you posted, it is “very niche.” I know slots are a big market with women, and I thought it would be fun to make a slot review site focusing on that target group. As I started working on it I realized it was a huge project, and an affiliate recommended that I go for niche sites. Again, I thought the leprechaun site would be fun, so I did it and because it was so niche it was much easier to fin- ish. And yes, I am a Lady Gaga fan! Your poker site also focuses on a niche — the 3D online poker industry. Explain your reasoning behind focusing on niches rather than the entire industry. I started to get interested in poker and de- cided to try PKR. I really enjoyed it, and it is so much easier to write about some- thing you enjoy. Since I’m a beginner in poker myself I knew it would never be an authority site on poker, but at least I could be an authority on 3D poker. How long have you been working in the industry? What drew you to the busi- ness? I’ve been in the industry for a long time, starting with customer service, and later marketing and affiliate manage- ment. After being an affiliate manager, I wanted to give being an affiliate a shot and here I am. My father was in the busi- ness years before me as well. What did your father do? And what did you learn from him? He also did mar- keting for a casino but was done by the time I came in. But he knows some old- time affiliates, and when I mention he is my dad they are usually shocked. I think I learned to be passionate from him. Marketing doesn’t work if you aren’t pas- sionate about what you are marketing. Are you a full-time online gambling af- filiate, or do you hold down another job as well? When I am in between projects, I am a full-time affiliate. Just recently I joined a new team to help them launch their new website,, which is a unique penny auction site where bidders can win cash and play other mini games. The concept is very innovative, and again something I’m en- joying. However, I will continue to work on the affiliate sites during my free time. What don’t you like about the industry? I don’t like that it is not completely regu- lated yet. I know taxes and different laws are annoying, but I think we should re- ally make sure all operators are fair not only to their players, but to their affili- ates as well. And I think that would im- prove with regulation. What surprised you the most about the industry? How great the parties are. What did you do before you joined the online gaming industry? I did applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy with autistic children. You were born in California, but now live in Sweden. When (and why) did you move? How do you like living in a Nordic climate compared to the California sun- shine? I actually moved to Sweden only a year ago, but before that I was living in Prague, Czech Republic for seven years. So I haven’t been living in the California sunshine for a long time. I moved to Skelleftea, Sweden (which is eight hours from Stockholm and can be -40C in the winter) because of love. Do you think you’ll ever live in the States again? No, probably not. I’m in favor of the higher taxes, free health care, and free universities type of sys- tem. Plus I love languages, and that is lacking in America. AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES For these five it’s all sweetness and light In this issue, we have two from Sweden (one of them by way of California), a former affiliate manager from Scotland, a Singapore native now living in Buenos Aires and a guy who splits his time between London and Antalya, Turkey. Their websites are both hands- on and how-to, and run the gambling gamut: bingo, ca- sino, keno, lottery, poker – and a leprechaun-themed slot site. Their favorite foods range from the universal (pepperoni pizza) to the specific (lobster with saffron rice). Two of them would love to invite Jesus to their place for dinner. They’re five friendly, down-to- earth people who like what they do, have a positive at- titude and truly believe that the best days for our industry are still to come. You’re going to enjoy their stories. *Due to space constraints,we could not print the interviews in their entirety.The complete text will be posted at There’s no stopping this lady, especially when she’s on her dirt bike