GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 19 - February 2012

How did you get involved in online gambling? Why did you choose to join the Fortune Affiliates team? I had been living in Australia for four years and decided to return to South Africa with my family. Fortune was looking for someone who had experience in international markets who had both customer service and marketing skills. My profile met their requirements and the rest is history. I knew very little about the online gaming indus- try but had done some research and realized that Fortune Affiliates had the reputation as a leading program held in high regard. That, plus the fact that Fortune Affiliates represents one of the oldest and most es- tablished casino cli- ents, Fortune Lounge, convinced me that it was an opportunity of a lifetime! What do you think the three greatest chal- lenges facing the in- dustry are right now? And what would you do to solve them? This is a tough question to answer as the industry and global economic climate both present many challenges for 2012. • Regulatory landscape – devel- oping and implementing new business models for each land- scape, tackling one market at a time and not diluting our focus. • EU policy and economic melt- down of many major econo- mies – unfortunately this is not something we can solve but we all have a role to play in trading through volatile times. • Market saturation – focus on strengths, differentiation and niche markets. If Fortune Affiliates discovers someone is spamming to pro- mote a Fortune brand, what steps will be taken to stop the spamming? We have zero toler- ance for spam in our business. As per our terms and conditions affili- ates found guilty of spamming will have their accounts locked until the case has been fully investigated. Repeated spamming will result in the closure of their account. It is mandatory that all affiliates sign our no-spam guarantee as part of the registration process, in which they undertake not to send unsolic- ited mail. Fortune Affiliates offers a vari- ety of brands to promote. How difficult is it for you to give each brand equal love? Do you find yourself steering affiliates to one brand over another? As a company equal effort goes into building out each brand. We had four addition- al brands which Fortune stopped promoting. These brands were our U.S.-focused brands, which we did not deem worthwhile to continue with for a number of reasons. By only having four casino brands, we are able to give the resources and fo- cus to each and build up the brands in markets where there is a good fit. Cultural nuances play a big role in which brands suit markets best and this is where our differentiation is key to building high-profile, high- converting brands which players love and stick to over time. Do the target audiences for your various brands differ? Our target audiences don’t differ for our vari- ous brands. We position our brands in a way that can cater to various de- mographics through smart market- ing techniques. Different channels require bespoke offers and different approaches which our marketing team works on constantly to drive as many visitors to our brands to facilitate depositing players. Royal Vegas is definitely our flagship brand and has excellent brand recall and attracts a broad player base in almost all marketing territories. Some companies use sports bet- ting sites to acquire customers for their other products (casinos, poker, etc.). That’s not a path you’ve chosen to travel.What ad- vantages, if any, do you feel you have operating without a sports- book? What disadvantages do you feel you have working with- out a sportsbook? Fortune has always been a very focused group. We take the view that we should do what we do right and not spread ourselves too thin in any area. I do think that sportsbook has presented great opportunity to many opera- tors and helped to fill the funnel but we apply our minds to under- standing how to offer brands for the casino vertical which brings in the right player the first time. Investing resources into offers, branding and player experience in the casino brands has proven to both ourselves and our affiliate partners that player loyalty, conversion and retention are the result of these efforts, and we have not diluted our focus or strategy away from this vertical. We have done extensive investiga- tion over the years regarding the sportsbook crossover scenario and have always come back to the same conclusion: Let’s stick to the knit- ting and do what we do best. Adding a sportsbook to our bouquet would add complexity and is a very dif- ferent business from what we are in. We know that sportsbooks have produced great results for some op- erators in certain markets and have helped act as a buffer where casino acquisitions have been hampered. Go ahead and pull back the cur- tains a little bit.What three things would affiliates be surprised about regarding how Fortune – or any affiliate program – operates? 1. Professionalism and integrity. 2. Our expertise – making us lead- ers in keeping ahead of industry trends. 3. The amount of money that can be made. “Our systems and month-end processes are a well -oiled machine. We understand th e importance of givi ng our affiliates w hat is rightfully d ue and payable on t ime for all their hard work. We have never paid our affiliates late.” A ffiliate Manager Interview Series ANTHONY PRISSMAN For tune Affiliates Affiliate Manager Interview Series