GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 25 - June 2013

publication. It became a popular hang- out for the small but devoted community of tournament players. In recent years, as tournaments have become less com- mon, I’ve spent very little time working on the site. It could use a major overhaul! was born in a classic mo- ment of inspiration. It was the first site ever to show real-time graphs of online ca- sino progressive jackpots, and show play- ers which games were at unusually high payouts. The site had a few years of strong affiliate results, until UIGEA changed ev- erything. I’m hoping that the U.S. market will provide a new life for it. When and how did you discover affili- ate marketing? Because I had a promi- nent presence with BlackjackInfo very early in the popularity of the Internet, I was often approached with offers to buy ads on the site. Because I still viewed the site as a hobby, I didn’t want to bother my visitors with ads. Finally, I sold a few ad placements in 2000. Then, in mid-2001, I began placing the first affiliate banners on the site. How long did it take for you to start earn- ing money as an affiliate? I made money immediately upon adding banners to my site. I already had the traffic, so the money was decent right off the bat. Within a year or two, I was making more as an affiliate than inmy day job. I went full-time in early 2005. Some states in the U.S. are now licens- ing and regulating online gaming. What do you think of the developments? And how much money do you think there is to be made by affiliates in a regulated U.S. market? What do you envision the marketplace looking like? The develop- ments over the last six months in the U.S. have been both surprising and welcome. Still, I see the land-based casino lobby vigorously pursuing an agenda for poker- only online at a national level. The big names in brick-and-mortar casinos still do not want to compete online, and their lobbying efforts reflect that fear. Hopefully New Jersey and Delaware will have launched full casino-style games online before our “Do-Nothing” U.S. Congress acts. Once the cat is out of the bag, it will be nearly impossible to put it back in. And that will be great for American consumers as well as affiliates. I expect affiliate commission percentages in a regulated U.S. market will be lower than we are accustomed to in this busi- ness. But with the secure and regulated environment, I believe that many new players will be willing to trust the online games. I think it will be a strong business opportunity and I’m busy positioning my- self for it with new site developments. Personally, I’ve been patiently waiting for this development ever since UIGEA went into effect in late 2006. At that time, I pulled the plug on all U.S.-facing casino ads immediately. Many in the business thought this was an overreaction. For me, I knew it was the right decision. Although my income took a huge hit that continues through to- day, I am well positioned to move ahead now that the winds have changed direction. What traits do you look for in an affili- ate manager? How about in an affiliate program? Recent developments with some well-known programs make this a timely question. For bothmanagers and programs, the answer is pretty simple, really: I want to deal with people who will treat me as a trusted partner of their brands. Give me a fair deal, and stick to it. I’ll guarantee that I will never use any tactics that would risk your brand, and I expect the same level of respect from you. Of specific interest right now is how a pro- gram should deal with competitive pres- sures that are making their commission arrangements too expensive to maintain. We all understand this business can be GPWA AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES GPWA Affiliate Interview Series