GPWA Times - Issue 21 - May 2012

GPWA AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES How did you become involved in the industry? About six years ago, I was a soldier. You can perhaps imagine why I had to leave. Before joining the army, I’d been studying to be a Computer Engineer, a course I then resumed after being dis- charged from the army. During the resumption of studies I dis- covered the magical world of the Internet and this industry that so fascinated me. What were your goals as you developed FreeExtraChips? The goals that I set for were very simple: to present a wide range of bonuses to visitors. Then, gradu- ally, I tried to make the site more professional. I still receive requests from players via e-mail asking me to help them with the various casinos. When did you launch the site? I launched on July 31, 2006. How long did it take for you to start earning money? After three months, I had a good number of players – a good result for a young site! Your site is beautifully arranged, with all casinos split into three lists – for U.S. players, U.K. players and European players – and you draw quite a lot of traffic. Which of the three player groups gives you the most traffic? Sixty percent of my traffic comes from the U.S., 30 percent from European countries and the remaining 10 percent from the rest of the world. The situation with respect to online gambling in the U.S., unfortunately, means that many users from the U.S. must ask me via e-mail about new bonuses and new casinos for them . . . I hope that everything will be resolved soon. You have a section devoted to high rollers. How important is it to offer information and deals specifically to gamblers looking to wager large amounts? How successful have you been in getting high rolling players to sign up and make de- posits through your site? And what are the important key- words to bring high rolling traffic to your site? It is very im- portant to also think of the high roller. Let’s not forget that many players who come to casinos are people with high incomes. These people are always looking for the best. So, just make them happy, right? As for keywords, I don’t give much importance to this as- pect. The end user knows what to look for. It’s no use trying to think what others think. Each of us has his own brain. Has your site ever been blocked by the Italian government? Do you have an AAMS license? Yes, my site is blocked to Italian users. But when there is a problem, I can work through a proxy. I do not have an AAMS license simply because the franchi- sees do not need them. An affiliate, here, is regarded as being self-employed. The only thing that affiliates should worry about is pay- ing taxes on their earnings. And this is what I do. AAMS is a license for private operators and costs thousands of euros . . . hundreds of thousands of euros! What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program? An affilialate manager must above all be courteous and helpful regarding the needs of an af- filiate. Let us not forget that we are the primary source of traffic for their brands. Then, of course, they must be ready to respond to particular matters relating to players; player protection is an essential part of their work. Regarding affiliate programs, I watch most of all their history and their reputation. In the beginning, I trusted programs that subsequently closed within a few weeks – and fled with the cash! So I recommend . . . always be prudent. What advice would you offer someone just starting out in the industry? Patience, patience and patience . . . and more pa- tience! It’s the only recommendation I can give to newcomers. “Catching” a player requires patience and hard work. So, again, patience and work, work and work. Occasionally webmasters post in the forums that their sites have just been hacked and they’re not sure what to do. Having been hacked yourself, please tell us what you did to recover, and what you’ve done since then to protect your site. Yes, my site was hacked about four years ago. Fortunately, the “guy” who tried to sneak through an SQL injection did little DAVIDE dfiocch Age 33 Hometown Rome Living in Rome Favorite Food Spaghetti, of course! Must Read Book I vinti non dimenticano, by Giampaolo Pansa Sites Work hard, be patient – and make the high rollers happy GPWA Affiliate Interview Series