GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 52 - March 2021

Join GPWA Page 55 MARCH 2022 GPWAtimes.org Every Affiliate Should Ask Free access to iGamingDirectory.com Breaking into new markets and verticals Why data is so important for affiliates

Image by Dafinka/Shutterstock Better late than never… Welcome to the 52nd edition of the GPWA Times Magazine! We’re thrilled to be heading back to the U.K. for ICE London and iGB Affiliate London, two of the busiest and most important events on the annual iGaming calendar that were pushed to April from their normal February slot due to the lingering pandemic and the Omicron variant. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last two years it’s that we can’t take our opportunities to band together as an industry for granted. So, even if it’s on a slight delay, we look forward to seeing your smiling faces at the ExCel in London and hope you have a chance to stop by our stand, say hello and pick up a copy of the new magazine. Speaking of this issue, our cover story is an important read for all affiliates, no matter what their experience level may be, as good friend and regular contributor Lee-Ann Johnstone from AffiliateINSIDER presents 10 questions you should ask before seeking out a new affiliate program to work with. In addition, Erica Anderson from Paysafe’s Income Access explains why real-time data is vital for affiliates, and Andrew Heaford from Legalbet has a piece about the strategies you should employ before entering a new market or promoting a new vertical. Also in the following pages, we present our regular departments and features, including a photo gallery from SiGMA Europe, which was held in Malta in late November, affiliate interviews with a pair of veteran GPWA members, Q&As with two compelling affiliate managers who have very interesting backgrounds, a look at casino site rankings from calendar year 2021, courtesy of iGamingDirectory.com, and, last but not least, a new inductee of the APCW Wall of Shame who managed to put his foot in his mouth late last year. You will also find the latest industry Event Calendar on Page 70. It is our sincere hope that this nagging pandemic will reverse course and this updated schedule of conferences and events remains intact so we can continue our routine of gathering with you all on a regular basis. Enjoy the new issue and don’t forget that a subscription to the GPWA Times Magazine is free. To ensure you don’t miss another issue, simply visit GPWAtimes.org/subscribe/. Stay safe and healthy! Michael Corfman SUBSCRIPTIONS For a FREE subscription to the GPWA Times Magazine, visit GPWAtimes.org ADVERTISING To advertise in the GPWA Times Magazine, please e-mail: sales@gpwa.org Executive Director: Michael Corfman Program Director: Anthony Telesca Program Manager: Maria Florides Member Services: Richard Bard Marketing Director: Andrea Mullaney Managing Editor: Gary Trask Associate Editor: Dan Ippolito Designers: George Choi, Zoran Maksimovic´ LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR 4

J O I N A B U S I N E S S A T T H E TO P O F I T S G A M E Enjoy gambling responsibly. BeGambleAware.org 18+ bet365partners.com support@bet365partners.com Reach out and find out why we are the world’s favourite affiliate programme today.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Departments 4 Letter from the Director • 8 By the Numbers • 10 Quotables • 12 GPWA Poll 14 From the Forums • 18 iGaming Directory Rankings • 44 Affiliate Interview Series 56 Sponsors • 58 Affiliate Manager Interview Series • 68 Wall of Shame • 70 Event Calendar Caution: Enter at Own Risk With new markets and verticals emerging all over the world, Legalbet’s Andrew Heaford warns that affiliates need to have a well-thought-out plan of attack before diving in. By Erica Anderson Data Points Erica Anderson from Paysafe’s Income Access discusses the importance of real-time data for affiliates and how it can help optimize content and attract high-value players. 10 Questions Every Affiliate Should Ask AffiliateINSIDER’s Lee-Ann Johnstone explains that preparation is key for affiliates when seeking out new partnerships and she provides key questions to ask throughout the onboarding process. Photo Gallery – SiGMA Europe Held at the Malta Fairs and Convention Centre in November, SiGMA Europe attracted more than 10,000 attendees and our photo gallery captures some of the sights from the exhibition floor of one of the few live iGaming events in 2021. 28 32 20 38 G P W A t i m e s . o r g 6

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BY THE NUMBERS $5.2 billion The September 2021 handle for legal sports betting jurisdictions in the U.S., which surpassed the $5 billionmark for the first time. £402 million The amount that Flutter Entertainment spent to acquire Tombola, one of the U.K. market’s leading online bingo operators. 13 The number of provinces inArgentina to launch online betting after Buenos Aires entered the market in December. $25 million The amount wagered on single-event sports betting in British Columbia on the PlayNow.com website in the first two months the activity was legalized in Canada. 15 The number of affiliate sites that were reprimanded by the DutchGambling Authority for violating the Gambling Act by advertising illegal online games of chance. $2.19 billion The expected gross gaming revenue in South Africa for 2021, up from $1.69 billion in 2016. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 8

59 The number of people detained by the Ho Chi Minh City police in Vietnam for a cryptocurrency gambling ring that had transactions totaling more than $3.8 billion. 688 The number of entrants for the 2021World Series of Poker EuropeMain Event, played at King’s Resort in the Czech Republic, setting a new record. 65.7 million The estimated number of people who will gamble online in India by 2025, compared to the 43million players who currently game online. €100,000 The amount Google was fined by Italian regulator, AGCOM, for a violation of the gambling ad ban after an advert for Sublime Casino appeared in searches for “online casino.” 9 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

QUOTABLES Q U O T A B L E S “This is themoney of the country’s poor population. 99% of the individuals who are engagedwith online gambling are socially vulnerable.” —Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili regarding a report that said about 1.5 billion GEL flows out of the country annually due to online casinos “Youmight not agreewith this decision, butwe believe that this is the right thing to do for the platform . . .Wewant to create an inclusive and respectful environmentwhere creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves. This is just one ofmany stepswe are taking to continue to protect creators fromharassment.” —YouTube in response to its decision to make the “dislike” count on videos private while keeping the “dislike” button visible “Gambling is normal . . . But another fact we shouldn’t shy away from is that gambling - like other businesses - exists tomake a profit, takingmoney from its customers. An interesting statistic youmight not have heard before, at over £14 billion, gambling in Great Britain is the size of British agriculture. £450 per secondwas lost by people gambling in Great Britain in 2019/20. For millions this is the cost of having a good time.” —Sarah Gardner, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the U.K. Gambling Commission in a speech delivered at the 2021 Bacta Annual Convention in November “It’s encouraging to see themajority inour industrynow treating esports bettingwith the respect it deserves.We see it as a fully-fledged, tier-onebetting sport, capableof onboardingmillions of bettors fromoutside the sports bettingworld, and it appears that its commercial appeal is leading to increased investment industry-wide.” —Paris Smith, CEO of Pinnacle Sports, in interview with SBC News G P W A t i m e s . o r g 10

Do you have a dedicated room for a Home Office? GPWA MEMBER POLL While the COVID-19 pandemic created an entirely new perspective on “working from home,” most affiliate webmasters were already taking advantage of this perk. In fact, in a poll we posted on the GPWA Forums back in March 2016, 64% of respondents said they worked from a home office in their primary residence. So, we decided to throw the question out there again, except this time we asked if our members had a dedicated room in their living space that served as a home office. Not surprisingly, an overwhelming amount of us (71%) do indeed have that space devoted to working hours, and while some have done this for many years, others were driven to it by the result of having more family members at home due to the pandemic. See below for the voting results and a sampling of comments from our members. To view more details about this poll and read all of the member feedback we received, visit gpwa.org/446. Comments from GPWA members Juan Roman PRIVATE MEMBER I have worked from a home office for 10 years, converting one room in my apartment into an office . . . Two years ago, I decided to rent an office space and I am really happy with the choice. I am more productive in a real office and it’s nice to separate work from personal things. newcustomeroffer PUBLIC MEMBER I’ve always been a little nomadic working at home, anywhere from the kitchen table to in front of the TV works for me. However, since COVID my wife has also worked at home, so last year we converted our loft to create another bedroom and an office, which we share during the week now. Mattbar PRIVATE MEMBER I think it is important to have a space or room you define as your office. This way I can leave my “office” in the evening, shut the door and put work aside until the next day . . . I also work with my wife, but with two floors in between us, it’s nice to have things to catch up on after work when we haven’t seen each other for most of the day. 71%Yes, I have a room dedicated as a home office. 13%No, but I have a dedicated area within a room that I use for work. 8%No, I don’t have a primary work area at home. 8%No, I don’t have a dedicated home office or work area, but have a primary work area that I also use for other activities. 12 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

Excerpts from the thread are presented in the following pages. To read the entire conversation, visit gpwa.org/445. For more forum posts, industry news, and complete archives of our weekly GPWA newsletters and the GPWA Times Magazine, visit www.GPWA.org. FROM THE FORUMS How did you build a Website? Quality Affiliate It’s one thing to build a new website. But developing a website that is optimal for affiliate marketing requires a whole different set of skills and consideration, especially if you are a newbie. Recently on the GPWA Forums, a member from Japan asked for help on where to begin when trying to start from square one when constructing an affiliate site. Our membership was quick to explain that if built correctly, an affiliate website could very well lead to consistent, passive income, but if not, the blood, sweat and tears put into the effort would simply be a waste of time. * This thread was edited for clarity and length G P W A t i m e s . o r g 14

Illustrations by Thepanyo/Shutterstock #2 universal4 22 September 2021, 5:37 p.m. Forum Administrator Start by spending some time READING and researching places like the GPWA. There are 20 years of information here to parse through. After much investigation, you will start to see patterns emerge, and if you have specific questions, ask here. There is no single “one-off” “silver bullet” simple “just do these 3 things” approach. “ Reply With Quote #3 chaumi 23 September 2021, 12:06 p.m. Private Member Reading, researching, practice....the sum total of your experience, right place/right time (and learning quickly how to take advantage of it), getting it wrong, understanding why you got it wrong, learning how to put it right, building....reading, researching, practice....putting it all into practice....and much more. (Disclaimer: I personally have never built a “good” site...but because of all the above I would be able to if time/resources permitted.) You could try to cut the corners with attention on (and thought around) structure of your site (ie: how you approach covering your chosen subject, and how you will grow into it with the least amount of changes of direction possible), and a heavy focus on creating valuable content around that subject. And that may work to a point. Just those 2 items. But in the end (assuming you’re working alone), you need an understanding of, and the knowledge to handle dozens, if not hundreds, of different aspects. That’s where everything else comes in to play. And remember, there’s a subtle difference (well, an extra set of elements/skills you need to know or possess) between building a “good” website and building a “good” affiliate website. There’s a core that’s the same (the iceberg under the waterline) and the bit above, which is where you start going outside of the pure “good website build” area, and into the business/affiliate side where many members here have excelled (alongside building the strong platform on which to do that, of course). To go into sufficient useful detail around all this will take a lengthy post (very lengthy). Someone may have a go, if time allows. “ Reply With Quote #1 streeeemer 22 September 2021, 10:57 a.m. Private Member I’m new to this community and astonished by the quality of websites people share and the knowledge that everyone has. I’m from Japan and I just wondered how people learn to become a professional affiliate since Japan could be a lot different from other countries as it is like an isolated island which has its own way of being left behind. “ Reply With Quote If you really study your niche, you’ll quickly see that most websites are not even that good with their content. So just outwrite, outsmart, and out market them. The problem is the time it takes to get there. 15 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

FROM THE FORUMS #7 gurumasa 26 September 2021, 9:16 p.m. Private Member It is a good idea to read books and refer to other websites. I value learning about SEO. “ Reply With Quote #8 datstheman 27 September 2021, 7:02 a.m. Private Member I’ve built and am in the process of building two affiliate sites, one in the home niche, and one (the newest) in the gambling niche. The hardest part for me to get my head around, is monetization. It’s a minefield especially if you have a big long-term vision. The rest is pretty similar to other websites, but harder as the space is more competitive. But if you really study your niche, you’ll quickly see that most websites are not even that good with their content. So just outwrite, outsmart, and out market them. The problem is the time it takes to get there. It’s very time consuming, resource hungry, and capital heavy (arguably). And the happy days may never come (e.g., algorithm change). But the recipe has simple ingredients: content + reputation + user experience + outreach. “ Reply With Quote #5 Triple7 September 2021, 1:43 p.m. Private Member Researching what others are doing good and are doing less. Reading about things you need to know more about (on-site SEO, for example) and the most important: trial and error. In the months some are reading, they already could have an affiliate site up and running and generating their first FTDs. “ Reply With Quote #6 squire92 24 September 2021, 9:34 a.m. Private Member Not sure if I can pretend yet that I’m making good websites, but I learnt a lot by working as a Product Owner for a super affiliate for a few years, and by taking the course by Matt Diggity called The Affiliate Lab, which covers mostly the SEO aspects of it (on and off-site). Otherwise, I experiment a lot with my sites, and learn from those tests. “ Reply With Quote #4 wonderpunter 24 September 2021, 4:20 a.m. Private Member Trial and error! There is no set way of doing it, hence the reason why most cookie cutter sites don’t rank. You have to consistently test new methods to see what works. “ Reply With Quote Researching what others are doing good and are doing less. Reading about things you need to know more about (on-site SEO, for example) and the most important: trial and error. GPWAtimes.org 16

#10 Cash Bonus 1 October 2021, 5:38 p.m. Private Member Through a lot of hard / dedicated work and doing regular local search engine optimization (SEO) to go along with it. You also need to know how to rank for the right keywords to get up in the SERPs. It will all take time and patience. “ Reply With Quote #11 drifter8 14 October 2021, 5:25 a.m. Private Member I have to agree with @petimi and all who have given their advice. It is a constant game and you have to play it seriously and never give up. If you give up in the first 1-3 months, this is definitely not for you. Search, learn, work, make tests and devote a lot of your time. Results come if you do not think for the end result, but for the entertainment along the way, you will succeed sooner or later. “ Reply With Quote #12 TipMatrix 10 November 2021, 1:04 p.m. Brand New Member I started an affiliate business as just one interesting area to explore, so to speak. Just dropped in to it and it seemed to work. However, to improve my site in this area I needed to rethink all of the website’s topics and strategy. It is important to focus on this if you would like to acquire some significant success. I wouldn’t say I have learnt how to make a good affiliate site, but still, I can say, at least I know how to start one. As people told before me, you need to study SEO and work a lot on the content of your site. Be original, be unique, and give something for your visitors. Don’t just try to get the commissions. And, of course, you will need to wait, wait and wait. Every site needs years to get known and indexed properly by the Google. “ Reply With Quote #9 petimi 30 September 2021, 2:27 a.m. Public Member There are literally hundreds of ways to do it. Following someone who has “done it” is always a good idea, I think, and try to learn from them. An even better approach (if you have the opportunity) is to get a mentor or work for an established affiliate to gain insight to what they are doing in real life. Don’t get me wrong, online courses from power marketers can be great, but the quickest learning method is by actually doing the work and if you have the chance to work alongside an experienced person you will pick up skills much faster. Good luck! “ Reply With Quote It’s very time consuming, resource hungry, and capital heavy (arguably). And the happy days may never come. But the recipe has simple ingredients: content + reputation + user experience + outreach. 17 GPWAtimes.org

iGamingDirectory.com The online gaming industry continues to evolve at an ever-accelerating rate. In this issue, we look at the topranked iGaming casino sites. On the right, we list the 25 casino sites with the highest overall global rankings in 2021, along with their change in ranking compared to 2020. Of those 25 sites, nine (36%) are new and were not in the 2020 list. In 2020, five (20%) of the top casino sites were new to the list and in 2019, four (16%) were new. As new iGaming sites successfully jockey for top positions, it is critical for affiliates to monitor the changes and adjust the sites they promote based on continuously-changing marketplace dynamics. On the opposite page, you will find the top 20 iGaming casino sites for 2021 fromAsia, Europe, Latin America and Oceania, once again, with their change in ranking compared to 2020. Our rankings are based on the weighted power mean of a variety of independent and multi-sourced traffic-based statistics, such as number of visitors, visits and page views and total estimated time spent on a site by all visitors. iGamingDirectory.com is the world’s most comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date guide to the websites, contacts, owners, operators, software suppliers, payment processors, regulatory jurisdictions, affiliate programs and other industry businesses that comprise today’s online gaming industry. As this issue went to press, the iGamingDirectory.com database featured: • 1,750 businesses that own online gaming sites • 4,300 casino, poker, sports betting, bingo and game sites with traffic rankings • 1,100 affiliate programs and affiliate networks • 13,000 web portals and their owners • 1,000 game and platform suppliers • 19,000 games • 197 regulatory jurisdictions • 1,900 annual reports of online gaming businesses • 900 payment methods • 16,500 gaming executives with their associated LinkedIn profiles This enormous amount of continuously updated data can be filtered and configured into custom rankings based on a number of factors, and everything is provided for free to our private members and sponsors, thanks, in part, to our longtime supporter, bet365 Partners. To take advantage of your free access to this vast repository of information, please visit iGamingDirectory.com/GPWA. iGaming Casino Rankings Free access to iGamingDirectory.com for GPWA members Global 2021 Change from 2020 Website Owner 1 3 verajohn.com Jackpotjoy 2 6 platincasino.com Red Rhino 3 2 europacasino.com Universe Entertainment Services Malta 4 70 bitcasino.io Moon Technologies 5 2 winbet.bg Win Bet Online 6 13 stake.com Medium Rare 7 47 betfury.io Universe B Games 8 6 888.com 888 Holdings 9 4 casino.bet365.com bet365 Group 10 4 skyvegas.com Stars Group 11 82 tai789.net 12 5 roobet.com TekHou5 13 17 bc.game Blockdance 14 283 cosmolot24.com.ua 15 6 leovegas.com LeoVegas 16 3 jackpotcitycasino.com Bayton 17 5 videoslots.com Videoslots 18 7 unibet.com/casino Kindred Group 19 5 jackpotjoy.com Jackpotjoy 20 5 virgingames.com Gamesys 21 514 gambola.com Glitnor 22 49 casinosecret.com Casino Secret 23 1,366 raj.bet Win Sector 24 5 grosvenorcasinos.com Rank Group 25 4 casumo.com Casumo Services G P W A t i m e s . o r g 18

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Images by Marko Aliaksandr/Shutterstock G P W A t i m e s . o r g 20

10 By Lee-Ann Johnstone Questions Every Affiliate Should Ask Before Working with a New Affiliate Program G P W A t i m e s . o r g 21

oining a new affiliate program is a big step. It’s you committing to a business partnership with another organization. That’s why it should never be done in haste, and you need to ensure there is preparation in place, so both parties can start off on the correct footing. Here are some things that you should take into consideration and questions you should ask your affiliate manager when starting your journey with a new operator brand. 1 Who are you working with? Do a bit of a background check on the company to find out who you are really working with so you can prepare any questions you may have. Do they have a license? Are they validated? Where are their contracts verified? Most of this information is fairly easy to find on the affiliate program’s website. Making sure they have a good reputation is also important for your own brand. That’s where you can go check out their reviews. Ask your peers and discuss in communities and groups. Like any business, you need to validate your customers and ensure you are going to be paid, otherwise you risk doing a lot of work and losing out on revenue. Remember that your users trust you to provide themwith accurate information and only direct them to trustworthy businesses. Perhaps think about digging a little deeper into the account manager you have been assigned, and their level of experience. iGaming is a small space, it could be that you have mutual connections who could give you some info on their experience of dealing with them – or that could help nurture that relationship. Make sure you use your contacts well. 10 QUESTIONS EVERY AFFILIATE SHOULD ASK By the time you start to onboard a brand, you should have a clear idea of the type of customer that provides them the most value. It could be age group, interest or geographical location. Gathering all of this data allows you to put together a cohesive plan and can recommend the best placements and channels for the brand. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 22

2 What is unique about their product/service? In order to have a profitable relationship with your affiliate manager and make the partnership a success – you need to make sure you understand their products and services to be able to sell it on to your audiences. Is there something unique they have that makes them stand apart from other operators? What do they do differently? Make sure you take a bit of time to get to know their brand so you can put together the best campaigns possible. You also need to be able to communicate what is unique about your product so the affiliate manager can understand where it is best to leverage your partnership in their marketing strategy. Can you create fantastic content that will rank well in search engines? Do you have a PPC whiz that can send loads of traffic at reasonable prices? Ask if there is an onboarding process that will give you the information you need to make a head start on earning great commission. 3 What kind of customers are you looking for? As well as knowing their product, you also need to know the program’s customer. By the time you start to onboard a brand, you should have a clear idea of the type of customer that provides them the most value. It could be age group, interest or geographical location. Gathering all of this data allows you to put together a cohesive plan and can recommend the best placements and channels for the brand. You also need to be upfront with them and let them know if it doesn’t fit in with the audience you currently have on your portal. Blagging will only cause issues as your relationship develops. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. This industry is small and we all talk at some point or another. It’s important to have a long term commitment to relationship building as that will help your business to keep growing organically, too. 23 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

4 What countries can you promote? Part of knowing an affiliate program’s target customer is knowing that players in certain countries could be of a higher value. Don’t be shy in asking for information as to which countries are converting the most players and accommodate if possible. Creating campaigns that are specifically tailored to geographical location will have much more success than a one size fits all approach. Personalization is key. 5 Where do I go if I have a problem? The reality is, not all affiliate partnerships work as well as we would hope, and there can be times where escalation is required. Should there be any issues in terms of getting materials, access to reports or that kind of thing from operators, make sure you already have a pre-agreed contact in place to speak to when things go wrong. Discuss what you expect as a service level agreement when entering the relationship and make sure your affiliate manager or account executive has the decision-making power to confirm your commercial deals. 6 What are the negative carryover options? This could be a deciding factor as an affiliate. Many affiliates ensure that there is a no negative carryover in place before onboarding a new brand, but this isn’t always possible. If there is a negative carryover term in place – it could be that you negotiate for a trial period to get a feel for how the relationship is working for both parties. It could be a valid reason or you could offer alternative solutions when big wins occur. Think about the relationship and how it can suit you and them and approach your conversations accordingly. 10 QUESTIONS EVERY AFFILIATE SHOULD ASK 24 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

7 How and when do they pay commissions? The commission structure should be transparent prior to any deals are being made. CPA, revenue share, hybrid and tenancy are the typical agreements that are put in place. All can be negotiated and agreed alongside the payment terms and dates with your affiliate manager. Make sure they have the right cost effective payment solutions in place that support your business. Nobody wants to be penalized with FX or admin fees, cutting a percentage of your earnings before you’ve ever received it! 8 How do they handle player complaints? It’s not unusual that an affiliate may get a complaint regarding an operator they are advertising. It could be a general complaint regarding their experience with the brand – or it could be something specific to an exclusive offer you are promoting on their behalf. When that happens, you need to make sure your own brand is protected, and the complaint is dealt with immediately. As such, make sure you have an appropriate contact in place to do that effectively. 9 How open are they to working with you to grow your affiliate business? If you are performing well for an operator, then there is no reason they wouldn’t want to help you grow your brand and build a stronger reputation. As part of initial discussion, you should explore what scope there is for getting them involved in helping you grow your affiliate business. This could be by providing you with testimonials, backlinks or invites to exclusive events at conferences. Don’tmake promises youcan’t keep. This industry is small andwe all talk at some point or another. It’s important to have a long termcommitment to relationshipbuilding as thatwill helpyour business to keep growingorganically, too. 25 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

Lee-Ann Johnstone is an award winning digital marketing strategist and affiliate performance marketer. In 2018 she launched AffiliateINSIDER, a Google News approved content hub, and recently developed AMPP, an executive training program designed to help Affiliate Program Managers drive consistent sales within their affiliate programs. For more information about Lee-Ann and AffiliateINSIDER, visit: www.affiliateinsider.com 10 When do I get a personal account manager? It’s not realistic to think that you will get a personalized account manager straight away unless you can commit tso sending huge amounts of traffic in a very short space of time. As such, it’s important that you have an idea of the level you need to get to, to be able to expect a dedicated account manager that can spend more time ensuring campaign success in a collective effort. Final Thoughts Affiliates should be asking more of operators and be clear on what their objectives and business parameters are to avoid future conflict and doubt in terms of the contractual agreements they enter into. Affiliate marketing has to progress into more of a two-way business collaboration than a place where terms are dictated to affiliates and they HAVE to work under them. The level of choice that is available now for affiliates to promote is incredibly varied. A partnership approach is much better and allows the relationship to grow. Affiliates, in turn, also have to become more professional in the way they deal with affiliate managers and deliver to the contracted agreements covering compliance and regulatory management of their portals in turn. The moral of the story is to ensure good communication. As in any business partnership, time should be put into nurturing these relationships so they work well for both sides and help you grow together. 10 QUESTIONS EVERY AFFILIATE SHOULD ASK

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By Andrew Heaford, Legalbet.com As new markets and verticals with great potential continue to emerge, iGaming affiliates should have a strategic plan in place before attempting to put their stake in the ground Enter at Your Own Risk C A U T I O N : ou will often hear references to the “gambling industry” as if it is one homogenous entity. In my experience, it is anything but, with attitudes, interests, technology and preferences varying greatly from one geographic market to the next. The same is true of the different types of gambling verticals. What works for bingo customers, for example, may have no traction in the poker market. They are both “gambling,” but that is about where the similarities end. Before attempting to break into a new market or a new vertical, ignore these types of things at your peril. With that in mind, here are five guidelines to keep in mind if you are planning to try and break into a new market: DON’T RUSH This is, of course, true with most things, but it is of even more importance here. You will likely be finding your feet in almost every area, some at a minimum, and mistakes are almost inevitable. You want them to be as least costly as possible, and taking things slowly is the best way to do that. Take your time to get things right from the ground up, beginning with licensing and regulation. This is probably the thing that you will have least control over or the ability to change. This applies when launching into a new territory and also a new vertical in your existing area. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 28

The caveat here is that things change. Research and consult thoroughly to see if anything is likely to change in the near future and what those changes might be, as it may have a big effect on your plans. Nobody is psychic and you cannot be certain of what will happen, but if a major review is set to come out next month, waiting for potential repercussions before beginning anything new makes sense. The U.K. market is due for a major shakeup soon after the Gambling Commission’s “Update on Remote Customer Interaction Consultation” (the results may be out by the time this article is published) and anyone thinking of any major new projects in that market would do well to wait for the results so they know what they are dealing with. 29 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

EDUCATE YOURSELF If you are launching in a new country, learn the local culture and traditions, and from more than just one source! Countries are big places with several million people, so do not put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to seeking out advice on some of the nuances of the language, the design, etc. Similarly, when it comes to hiring staff, try to draw from a diverse area. This can help prevent cliques from forming, which will harm your long-term prospects. EXPERIENCE THE NEWMARKET YOURSELF Attempt to spend time in the new market, if at all possible, and mingle with the people on the ground. The people you meet and interact with will one day be your customers (hopefully). It is all well and good going somewhere and attending business meetings and presentations from people you are spending large amounts of money with, who will “wine and dine” you and make you feel at home. These people are only interested in keeping you happy and will paint the picture you want to see. I am not saying they will outright lie to you, but do not think spending time with them is going to teach you about the real culture or what your customers think or how they act. The people you meet and spend time with day to day will give you a far better picture of what the country is really like. SCOUT YOUR COMPETITION If it is a new vertical, set aside some time (and perhaps a little money) to give your potential competition a test ride. You need to do this for real, not demo play, and not in your office. Use it on the train or at home in your bedroom, in your kitchen or as you watch your sports team play. Register an account yourself and actually use the site in the same settings that your average customers will be using them. This is essential to really understand what you are competing with. Just becauseyouare verygood, or even the bestatwhatyoudo inone geographic region and/or one typeofproductvertical , it doesn’tmean youcan replicatethat success elsewhere. Thereare somanyvariables that meanyour success maynotbeduplicated . CAUTION: ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK G P W A t i m e s . o r g 30

When doing this there is no point in testing and using their products (and your own) on a desktop computer if everyone else will be using a mobile, and vice versa. There is no point in packing a product with a graphical “wonder show” that runs fine with super-fast 4G internet, if the average person in this country won’t have that kind of a Wi-Fi available. In short, replicate the average customer experience as much as possible when doing your R+D. You will quickly see for yourself what the best bits of each are and where they are lacking. You will not be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your own products without having something to compare it to, and not just what things are sold — all companies will have you believe their products are the best — but what is the reality. You will only learn this by being a customer yourself, giving you the ability to compare and contrast. It is unlikely to ever be the best at everything, but you can always be “better” at everything. By having a good product this is really the best (not the only, but the best) way to keep players long term. The best marketing in the world may get people through the door, but they won’t stay without a good product. If you have a good product, the lifetime value of your customers will be higher and your reputation, combined with word of mouth, will be a large part of the battle won for you. REFLECT AND RECONSIDER Be sure to reflect after a year, and again after two years, and ask if this is the right thing for you and your company. It might not be and there is nothing wrong with admitting a mistake and backing out with a small loss, rather than waiting for it to become an even bigger one. Just because you are very good, or even the best at what you do in one geographic region and/or one type of product vertical, it doesn’t mean you can replicate that success elsewhere. There are so many variables that mean your success may not be duplicated. A large one is that your existing staff is not always able to transition to a new project, or even if they can, what they used to excel is now not required and the new skills they need, perhaps, they do not have. You will have to hire new staff a lot of the time, and in some countries, finding reliable and hardworking staff is not easy. If after giving something a good shot, it is not working, for any reason, then pulling out may be painful in the short term, but it is better than allowing this expansion to cost you even more money in the long run. A big loss always starts off as a small one. Whenever growing a company it is useful to remember an old saying, “Profit is sanity, turnover is vanity.” There is no point in being bigger for the sake of it unless it is actually making you more profit. I currently work for the affiliate marketing group Legalbet and we have sites covering around 20 markets (and counting!), so we have experience in launching in a new area and it is not quite the same as being an operator. There are, however, similarities in many areas. The one thing that our most successful sites all have in common is knowledgeable and high quality staff on the ground. A company can have a great core market with a first-class head office running things, but if the satellite operation does not have the right people there, it will always struggle. Take your time to get things right from the ground up, beginning with licensing and regulation. This is probably the th ing that you will have least control over or the ability to change. Originally from Norwich, England, Andrew has been involved in the online gambling industry for almost 20 years in various roles. Currently, he is the site manager for Legalbet websites in the U.K., Australia and Nigeria. Images by LeksusTuss/Shutterstock, Oleh Donets/Shutterstock, NEGOVURA/Shutterstock, ChalidMGM/Shutterstock 31 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

Erica Anderson from Paysafe’s Income Access breaks down why real-time data is crucial for iGaming affiliates and how using it effectively can lead to more revenue opportunities and new brands Data By Erica Anderson Illustration by GoodStudio/Shutterstock G P W A t i m e s . o r g 32

s the iGaming industry has evolved, affiliates have needed to make quicker decisions to optimize their content and convert high-value players for operators. But that can be difficult if they’re not supplied with a platform that provides them with real-time data. Using data, affiliates can understand which brands are performing best and how users are interacting with them to continue providing cutting-edge content to users and funnel them to exciting new brands. With 20 years of offering market-leading iGaming affiliate software, services and digital marketing solutions, Income Access has a long history of working with affiliates to great success. Bearing that in mind, and with help from our Affiliate Management team and the expertise of affiliates we partner with, we’ve put together insights to describe how affiliates effectively use data and why it is paramount for them to get the most out of their campaigns. BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THEIR AUDIENCE All affiliates are looking for high-quality traffic, which is the selection of users who would resonate with the brand being offered and who are most likely to convert. If affiliates are provided with robust data on a platform where they receive it in real-time, they will have an easier time targeting the right demographics for them. Tero Päivärinta, Head of Accounts at leading affiliate Cashmagnet Ltd., feels that “when using relevant and timely data, affiliates can move the brands around on their website more efficiently, finding the right place and page where the clicks are turning into first-time depositors.” Paul Torzel, Founder at fellow affiliate Newbettingoffers.co.uk, added to this idea, mentioning affiliates “check their stats on a daily basis and make decisions based on conversions and ROI. We have seen that by analyzing data we can improve our conversions as we are able to give more exposure to brands that convert better or provide a higher return.” Having a platform that supports server-to-server pixels and provides real-time data is crucial in today’s iGaming world. As new markets emerge and affiliates attempt to connect with those audiences, having that data will be vital for them, as they hope to quickly understand their audience and provide them with content that meets their expectations. If they’re only provided with weekly or monthly reports, their ability to optimize effectively is greatly reduced. CREATE MORE OF WHAT THEIR AUDIENCE WANTS When looking at what brands to work with, what is being offered by operators is naturally an important determining factor for affiliates, whether it’s the product itself or deals being offered to players. Affiliates will be aiming to add brands that match the standards of what they currently recommend to their audience. Torzel affirmed this, saying that “the most important things we look for when agreeing to a new partnership are the product, affiliate commission and the product welcome offer.” When affiliates are presented with an interesting brand, partnered with transparent commissions and a variety of offers to engage users, they can more easily convert users. Content is king and it is also what will keep users engaged and returning to the affiliate site or app, whether it is the product Points If affiliates are provided with robust data on a platform where they receive it in real-time, they will have an easier time targeting the right demographics for them. 33 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

being offered, an affiliate’s blog post, or a brand’s weekly offers. However, the content on an affiliate’s page must work in parallel with what is provided by operators and improved data can only help their efficiency. With tangible data, affiliates can look at what’s working best and continue to optimize their pages accordingly. Affiliates have also been requesting to receive data per country, as many operate in a variety of markets. Each geo is unique and further understanding them can help affiliates deliver unique content to specific audiences. Päivärinta noted that they “would like to see separated data like unique clicks, deposit amounts and to also get data per country. Sometimes finding these details can be difficult, as brands might not want to send them or aren’t capable of showing the data.” Not all geos are identical, so having data combined for all countries can make things unclear for affiliates. For example, take an affiliate who works in both the Nordic and sub-Saharan African markets, two markets with different types of users – from the content consumers prefer to the devices they use to consume it. Such an affiliate would require different data sets for each region, provided through a platform where affiliates can easily sort them to learn more about each distinct market. FIND THEIR BLIND SPOTS Without relevant and timely data, it can become difficult for affiliates to find the blind spots in their strategy. This can apply to a variety of elements within a promotional strategy, from avoiding certain traffic sources with low conversions to determining at which part of the funnel users are falling off. If provided with real-time data, affiliates can see for themselves how operators are converting and optimize their content to provide further conversions. Torzel noted that the “key metrics we need when reporting are, of course, the conversion rate from clicks to sign ups as well as firsttime depositors.” These are themetrics commonly outlined by affiliates as being imperative for them to easily determine which areas need adjustments. Torzel added that they “also value and work more closely with operators that share player level net gaming revenue (NGR) on their platform, as this allows us to assess the real value of our traffic.” The metrics that help affiliates make important decisions are well established and transparency with them is what allows affiliates to make significant optimizations. With organized data on FTDs, deposits, unique clicks and other key metrics, affiliates can spring into action quickly and optimize their campaigns instantly. Simply, when affiliates understandmore about their blind spots, they can ensure they are improved as soon as possible. DATA POINTS Content is king and it is also what will keep users engaged and returning to the affiliate site or app, whether it is the product being offered, an affiliate’s blog post or a brand’s weekly offers. However, the content on an affiliate’s page must work in parallel withwhat is provided by operators and improved data can only help their efficiency. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 34

TRANSPARENT COMMISSIONS AND PAYMENTS For a well-functioning affiliate plan, timely payments and understanding how they work is important. In terms of data, affiliates are commonly looking for the amount they can expect to be paid, their complete payment history and their payment balance. On top of this, it’s important that this data is readily accessible for affiliates on a platform where they can easily find it, while they also value being offered trusted payment solutions. When payments are optimized, any time spent resolving these issues can now be used elsewhere, leading to increased productivity across the board. Granular commission calculations are also vital, as they can further an affiliate’s understanding of the value of their audience. For example, getting in-depth insight on commission payments per product can help affiliates evaluate which products are performing best and allow them to optimize from there. Any added insight into player value can lead to added optimization on the side of affiliates and ideally the acquisition of similarly engaged users in the future for operators. KEY OPPORTUNITY Within the iGaming world, affiliates consistently need to adapt to their users’ ever-changing interests and preferences, which can be difficult to do without adequate and real-time data. As the industry continues to evolve and expand into new geos, the need for data is becoming even greater, to ensure that both affiliates and operators are targeting the right audiences and creating the optimal experience for them. New trends will develop as the industry continues to grow, but it is certain that providing affiliates with relevant data on a platform that makes it simple for them will always allow them to optimize further and make better decisions. Without that data, it can feel like punching in the dark for affiliates and lead to inefficiencies. When making decisions on future partnerships, affiliates should look to partner with operators who can provide them with platforms offering server-to-server pixels and access to real-time data. Receiving monthly reports won’t allow an affiliate to make the necessary adjustments to bring added value for not only themselves, but operators as well. In these partnerships, affiliates should be encouraged to be proactive and ask for the data required, as their optimizations will only bring added value for both parties. CONCLUSION When looking at data and how affiliates use it to optimize their campaigns, it’s clear how valuable it is for them to receive the data in real-time on a platform that makes it simple for them. The benefits are clear for affiliates, but these benefits will extend to operators as well, as more efficient affiliates will lead to more high-value players for operators. Holding over a decade of industry experience, Erica Anderson is the Director of Marketing at Income Access where she focuses on developing the marketing strategy for the Income Access brand. She also oversees the company’s in-house affiliate management team that manages close to 20 affiliate programs, including leading global and U.S. iGaming brands. As the industry continues to evolve and expand into new geos, the need for data is becoming even greater, to ensure that both affiliates and operators are targeting the right audiences and creating the optimal experience for them. 35 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

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