GPWA Times Magazine - Issue30 - October 2014

Curb his enthusiasm? No way! When did you launch your first site? The first version of Online Casino Reports (OCR) was launched in 1997. However, the "official" OCR news site was launched two years later after a lot of modifications. To what do you attribute this site’s suc- cess? What in your mind makes it unique? I attribute the site's success mainly to the dedication of my team. From my experi- ence, friendship is the best way to succeed in any field, and our company believes in doing things in the best way possible. What makes us unique is the quality of our content. We focus on bringing fresh ideas to our site, such as always looking for unique news stories. We have very close connections with our affiliate programs, and often ask for specific information for special reports that will be of interest to our readers. We are constantly upgrad- ing and revamping our site so that it is technologically up to date and presents the information in the clearest way to our visitors. Describe the reasoning and the process that led to launching more than 50 ad- ditional sites. Back in 2006 when the U.S. market closed we experienced a big drop in traffic and income. We needed to think outside the box and decided to explore other markets. The 54 other sites are ac- tually localized versions of OCR. Each lo- cal site is dedicated to the players in that specific country and in the local language. How did you become involved in the industry? I've always been a computer freak! When the Internet first launched, my friends and I recognized the opportu- nity to start a business together. How long did it take for you to start earn- ing money? Since launching a website over 15 years ago was not an easy task, we had to learn a lot very quickly. I believe it only took us a year to turn a profit. Are you a one-person shop or are you part of a larger organization? We are a small team of nine friends managing OCR. Almost our entire team has been with us since the start – very rare in this day and age. I think it says a lot about how we work and the environment we create. Describe your work environment. Do you work from home or in an office? We work from an office overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Naturally, work is often taken home or is done after hours, as needed. I constantly interact with my colleagues in the industry through Skype, e-mail, phone calls, and of course, events. What traits do you look for in an affili- ate manager? How about in an affiliate program? After so many years in the in- dustry, the main trait I expect from every affiliate manager is the ability to under- stand the affiliate's needs. This of course reflects on the affiliate program. With so many affiliates out there, each one brings a different approach and has different needs. This is where the affiliate manager comes in. If he can recognize and prioritize the needs of each affiliate, the affiliate will trust him and the collabora- tion will work well. I don't think I can separate the affiliate program from the affiliate manager. If the affiliate manager possesses the above- mentioned qualities, then the affiliate pro- gram will be successful. What’s your preferred method of com- munication with affiliate managers? Do you like to talk on the phone, by e-mail or via Skype? I have no special preferenc- es, really. Whatever works best. If I need someone I pick up the phone or Skype. If I'm able to meet managers in person it's always better, but if not, e-mail also plays an important role. What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you? I joined the GPWA mainly to be involved in what’s going on in the industry. By being a mem- ber of the GPWA, I know I'm always the first to know what's going on. The forum is also a great way to share ideas and in- formation with my colleagues. You’re a very active GPWA member, with over 1,400 forum posts under your belt. What motivates you to stay so involved in the GPWA community? I actually wasn’t so active at first, but after years of witness- ing the rapid growth of the industry, I felt it was time to share my knowledge, help and get help/support from other affiliates. Your site has lots of content – typically four to five news stories each and every day. How do you keep up with all the news in the industry? And how impor- tant is this fresh content to the success of your site? We actually post about triple that amount! We stay in the loop through our extensive connections. Many of our news ideas are sent to us by PR and mar- keting agencies, but we also closely moni- tor various worldwide news sources. Our close contact with so many companies is a great source of inside information about new developments before they launch. Fresh content is extremely important to our site and we believe this is what sets us apart. As I mentioned earlier, we initiate special news based on our experience and what we think will interest players. What do you like about the industry? I like gambling and I’m keen to push the idea that gambling is away of entertainment that should be legal everywhere, but of course controlled for the safety of the players. Per- sonally, I also like the people in the industry and feel this business keeps us together. It's nice to be a part of shaping public opinion about something that most peo- ple think of as negative. I try to see the good side of everything and not judge. GPWA AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES OREN ocreditor GPWA Affiliate Interview Series