GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 36 - October 2016

You’ve been involved in the iGaming business since you were 26. How did you first get into it? What did you do before becoming an affiliate? I started as an online blackjack player at the age of 26. I used to be a “bonus hunter” — or “bonus whore,” as we called it back then— and I made a decent buck, too. In search of good deals and new bonuses, I found LCB, which had been founded just a fewmonths before by Joshua Chan. I started sharingmy experience and tips and got hired within a couple of months. My first role was as a forummoderator and a blogger. In the years that followed, I became a business partner. Before I started as an affiliate I was a law student at Belgrade University. The plan was to finish school and start working for my dad as a lawyer. Luckily, that did not happen. You’ve been very active on the forums lately, tracking down sites that use hacked or pirated games. How do you go about finding and recognizing these sites? Over the course of nine-plus years, we encountered many shady things done by various casinos, but I have to say that we never expected to find such rogue be- havior and the extent of fraud done by such a high-profile casino group. It all started when we received a player complaint about what they claimed was a weird looking NetEnt game. We imme- diately decided to verify their claims and conducted an investigation and inspection of the game’s source code. This is when we found that the NetEnt games were not hosted on the official NetEnt server, and in addition we discovered discrepancies in game designs, jackpots, etc. On top of all this, we found they were also hosting pirated Novomatic games — once again, not being hosted on the official servers. They had obvious visual discrepancies with the original games, and our contact at GreenTube confirmed these games were not genuine.These days we check most of the games manually, especially if it is a new casino, and verify whether they host legit games or not. It’s time-consuming, and that’s why we had to assign a person to do this as their primary job. As a result, we found several casinos using pirated games, and I am sure there are more. We interviewed Josh, who is also asso- ciated with the LCB sites, back in 2012. (You can read the interview at www. ). How have things changed for the company and the family of sites since that time? Yes, indeed, many things have changed—and for the better, I may add. We have grown as a company, now employing more than 35 people full-time. We have twomain offices, one in Sydneywhere Josh is based, and one in Belgrade, Serbia, where I work in the headquarters. We also have staff working from the U.S., the U.K. and Romania. We have kept working on improving our existing network, and we are currently in the late stages of releasing the new and improved LCB. Plus, we focused on expanding our network by acquiring well-established affiliate sites. Our biggest acquisition was two years ago, when we bought and for $2.35 million. Be- fore that we got , and our most recent acquisition was . Tell us about your role within the LCB team. How and when did you get in- volved? This is actually a tough question. I have been doing everything for LCB and the network. I started as a forummoderator and blogger, then I was a data entry and research guy. I have done some SEO and social marketing—prettymuch everything but programming and Web design. These days I mostly boss everyone around. But all jokes aside, I’mmostly involved inday- to-day operations, delegating work, brain- storming ideas and making sure things are running smoothly. I still do a lot of research and always strive to improve our network. LCB runs sites for casino, bingo, poker and sportsbook. Which verticals bring in the most traffic? is dedicated to casinos only. It started as a bonus comparison and casino directory. Several years ago we created three sister sites dedicated to other verticals: , LatestPok- . LCB is our biggest traffic driver and earner, which make sense since it was our first site and the one we focused on the most, followed by LBB (bingo), which has grown a lot since the start of the year. Our recent acquisition, , is also a huge source of organic traffic. But unlike LCB, it is more focused on blackjack and other table games, related strategies and the odds that come with them. So we get to cover all these different aspects and verticals of online gamblingwith ourwhole network. Do you gamble online? What about in brick-and-mortar casinos? As I’ve al- readymentioned, I started as bonus hunter. This affiliate went from bonus hunter to blogger to business partner at a fast-growing family of sites Nikola Zugic - Zuga GPWA AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES 54 W W W . G P W A T I M E S . O R G