GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 53 - July 2022

Join GPWA Page 69 Free iGaming Directory access Germany’s iGaming controversy GPWA Photo Gallery from London JULY 2022 USA +235 France +285 England +700 Germany +750 Australia +1400 Canada +3000 Spain +3000 Brazil +3500 World Cup Odds 2023


Back to the Future For many years, ICE London and iGB Affiliate London, held in February, have served as an annual kick off to the New Year for our industry. They have long been two of the most highly anticipated events on the iGaming calendar and the impact of going more than two years without them due to the global pandemic was tangible. So, when we were finally able to congregate in the U.K. back in April for the regular schedule of seminars, time spent on the exhibition floor and networking parties, it was like one big reunion for our industry. Simply put, it felt fantastic to be back. That said, we are pleased to present the 53rd edition of the GPWA Times Magazine, which will be available at iGB Affiliate Amsterdam, another well-attended, popular event on the iGaming calendar. In this issue, we have plenty of photos that capture all of the action from London in our photo gallery. In addition, our cover story discusses the proliferation of women’s sports and women betting on sports, both of which present unique opportunities for affiliates and operators, particularly with the 2023 Women’s World Cup on the horizon. Elsewhere, Michael Schumann from breaks down the German iGaming market and the confusion that has surrounded it, while regular contributor Maria Tsnompilantze writes about the ups and downs of being an affiliate and why you need to plan ahead for the inevitable bumps in the road. Also, in the following pages we present our regular departments and features, including affiliate interviews with two GPWA members, a pair of affiliate manager Q&As, a look at bingo site owner rankings and how they have changed, courtesy of, and we induct another deserving member to the APCW Wall of Shame. If you are attending iGB Affiliate Amsterdam, we hope you will stop by the GPWA stand and say hello. And as you are enjoying this issue, please remember that a subscription to the GPWA Times Magazine is free. Simply visit Sincerely, Michael Corfman SUBSCRIPTIONS For a FREE subscription to the GPWA Times Magazine, visit ADVERTISING To advertise in the GPWA Times Magazine, please e-mail: Executive Director: Michael Corfman Program Director: Anthony Telesca Program Manager: Maria Florides Member Services: Richard Bard Marketing Director: Andrea Mullaney Editor-in-Chief: Gary Trask Associate Editor: Dan Ippolito Designers: George Choi, Zoran Maksimovic´ LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR London image by lunamarina/Shutterstock 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS Departments 4 Letter from the Director • 8 By the Numbers • 10 Quotables • 12 GPWA Poll 14 iGaming Directory Rankings • 48 Affiliate Interview Series • 58 Sponsors 60 Affiliate Manager Interview Series • 68 Wall of Shame • 70 Event Calendar The Ascent of Women’s Sports Betting Women’s sports, betting on women’s sports and women betting on sports are simultaneously increasing in popularity. As they continue to rise, Christina Thakor-Rankin of 1710 Gaming emphasizes the importance for affiliates and operators to take advantage of this opportunity as the Women’s World Cup beckons. USA +235 France +285 England +700 Germany +750 Netherlands +1200 Australia +1400 Canada +3000 Spain +3000 Brazil +3500 Japan +3500 Team Odds Photo Gallery – iGB Affiliate London One of the most popular events on the iGaming industry calendar returned to London for the first time since before the pandemic and we captured the action with dozens of images from the exhibition floor to the iGB Awards Ceremony to the late hours of the networking parties. 5.3% TAX Clouds of Controversy in Germany Michael Schumann, co-founder of, discusses the convoluted German gambling market and why the Fourth Interstate Treaty of Gambling may be more detrimental than beneficial for affiliates and operators. 30 VIDEOS PAY PER CLICK SOCIAL MEDIA SEO USER INTERFACE FORUMS The Essentials of Having a Plan B Not everything will go perfectly as planned in life and in business. Maria Tsnompilantze explains why it’s vital to have a back-up plan in case things go awry, as they often do. 24 16 38 G P W A t i m e s . o r g 6

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. 18+ Reach out and find out why we are the world’s favourite affiliate programme today.

BY THE NUMBERS 53.9% The year-over-year increase of U.S. online casino revenues for Q1 2022, according to the American Gaming Association’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker. $75 million The amount Ontario is expected to generate in online casino gambling and sports betting revenue over the next three years, according to the Ontario Auditor General. $125 billion The amount wagered at legal U.S. sportsbooks since the Supreme Court abolished the law that banned full-fledged sports betting outside Nevada four years ago. 246 The number of deputies in Brazil who voted to approve several forms of legalized gambling in the South American country. $607 million The amount that MGM Resorts International paid to acquire Swedenbased online gaming operator LeoVegas. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 8

65.1% The 2022 Q1 year-overyear increase in revenue for Denmark-based affiliate group Better Collective. 40% The percentage of the 262 most popular betting sites in Asia that are “under regulated,” according to a report from the Asian Racing Federation Council on Anti-illegal Betting and Related Financial Crime. £9.4 million The amount the U.K. Gambling Commission fined 888 UK Limited for social responsibility and money laundering failings in March. 1% The tax amount Italian fiscal ministries are proposing on betting turnover in the country, which would add an extra €160 million to the tax treasury. 28% The amount the India government is looking to charge for goods and services tax, a 10% increase from the current amount. 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 a monumental day that establishes Ontario as an international leader in online gaming. After years of anticipation culminating in historic legislation, followed by months of hard work by all stakeholders, we have reached today’s launch of a legal internet gaming market out from under its previous grey market standing.” —iGaming Ontario’s Executive Director Martha Otton after April’s launch of online gaming in the Canadian province “We get many questions about adopting revenue share models, but inNewYorkwe had the highest CPA rates to date . . . Players have five accounts on average and play on three. If we were on revenue share theywould be going through one wallet, but we get CPAs every time we deliver that player to play on one of their accounts.” —Catena Media CEO Michael Daly on the affiliate operator’s philosophy regarding revenue share vs. cost per acquisition models “While the challenge of illegal gambling is not new, the brazen and coordinated manner in which it occurs – both online and in communities – has elevated this problem to a level that requires significant federal attention. We urge the Department to make it a priority to act . . . to protect American customers, crack down on illegal operators and enforce federal regulations.” —President and CEO of the American Gaming Association Bill Miller in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland “Demanding pay slips or bank statements from every customer spending £100 is probably going to be unwelcome, disruptive and disproportionate. But there is a level at which that is appropriate.” —U.K. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Chris Philip about the potential of affordability checks for gamblers G P W A t i m e s . o r g 10

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Have you ever bought websites as a way to grow your business? GPWA MEMBER POLL There are many strategies for growing a business. For a web-based business, that might mean providing better content, increasing traffic, improving the customer journey, and a thousand other strategic and tactical activities that can form the foundation for organic growth. One possible strategy that can help an iGaming affiliate business expand is the acquisition of new sites. However, it is a strategy that requires a financial investment and not just hard work. In a recent poll on the GPWA Forums, we asked our members if they have acquired additional sites as part of a growth strategy for their business. While the majority of respondents agreed that buying sites has worked out well for them, overall the voting results were mixed. We also received some interesting feedback about this potential business strategy. A sampling of comments from our members, as well as the poll results, are found below. For more details regarding this poll and to view all of the comments and advice from our members, visit 11%No, never have and never would 22%No, but I might consider it 6%Yes, but overall it has not worked out well 17%Yes, and overall it has worked out okay 34%Yes, and overall it has been important to our growth 10%No, but I think I should Comments from GPWA members CasinosBroker PUBLIC MEMBER I’ve been purchasing websites for quite some time now. Acquiring websites in your niche is important to grow your business. It requires time, work, and due diligence. But overall, if an entrepreneur succeeds with a deal — it will benefit him. big fish PRIVATE MEMBER I’ve purchased many websites for growth over the years. I’ve also sold some premium domains I wasn’t using and then reinvested into portals. I have not bought any in a long time but I’d like to if I can find the right one at the right price. golfbettingsystem PUBLIC MEMBER Have bought a couple in the same niche over the years from competitors who were winding up their sites. One was fine; the other had a manual penalty on the site which wasn’t discussed or disclosed and I naively got caught out there. Lesson learnt! 12 G P W A t i m e s . o r g While revenues and demand for non-remote bingo have seen a sharp decline over the years, online bingo continues to shows signs of progress and remains an important vertical for iGaming affiliates and operators. According to the U.K. Gambling Commission, online bingo’s GGR experienced a gain of 5.8%, going from £178.7 million to £189.1 million between the periods April 2019-March 2020 and April 2020-March 2021. And while bingo has typically earned the reputation as a game most popular with older women, its target demographic is also shifting. The results of WhichBingo’s player survey suggest there has been a surge in the number of men playing online bingo, with the percentage of male respondents increasing from 21% in 2020 to 48% in 2021. In addition, the game is attracting a younger crowd according to the same player survey, which reported that 25 to 54 is now themost represented age range (83% of respondents) versus 35 to 64 the year before. On the right, we list the 25 Online Bingo Sites with the highest overall global rankings in 2021, along with their change in ranking compared to 2020. On the opposite page, you will find the top 20 online bingo sites for 2021 from Europe, Africa, Asia 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. 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 database featured: • 1,700 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 • 14,000 web portals and their owners • 21,000 games and 1,000 game and platform providers • 2,000 annual reports of online gaming businesses 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 Online Bingo Rankings Free access to for GPWA members Global 2021 Change from 2020 Website Owner 1 Tombola International 2 Rank Group 3 BetVictor 4 4 Lindar Media 5 1 Entain 6 2 Buzz Group 7 2 Sky Betting & Gaming 8 1 Tombola International 9 8 Entain 10 3 Entain 11 Folkspel 12 268 Gamesys 13 1 Kindred Group 14 5 Daub Alderney 15 1 News Group Newspapers 16 3 William Hill 17 1 Double B. Invest 18 3 QSB Gaming 19 1 888 Holdings 20 10 Tombola International 21 9 Rivers Group 22 2 bet365 Group 23 1 Daub Alderney 24 20 Vista Gaming 25 1 Flutter G P W A t i m e s . o r g 14

Online Bingo Rankings Europe Asia Oceania Africa 2021 Change from 2020 Website Owner 1 Tombola International 2 1 Rank Group 3 1 BetVictor 4 Entain 5 Buzz Group 6 269 Gamesys 7 8 Lindar Media 8 1 888 Holdings 9 1 Folkspel 10 Entain 11 5 Sky Betting & Gaming 12 5 News Group Newspapers 13 5 Entain 14 3 Tombola International 15 2 Tombola International 16 4 Broadway Gaming 17 4 Flutter 18 2 Kindred Group 19 5 Kindred Group 20 1 888 Holdings 2021 Change from 2020 Website Owner 1 bet365 Group 2 Double B. Invest 3 5 Kindred Group 4 3 888 Holdings 5 11 Rank Group 6 3 Kindred Group 7 3 Helix Gaming International 8 10 Tombola International 9 5 Vista Gaming 10 5 Reach 11 6 News Group Newspapers 12 10 Sky Betting & Gaming 13 1 Lindar Media 14 7 888 Holdings 15 200 Cassava Enterprises 16 3 SkillOnNet 17 6 Buzz Group 18 3 Vista Gaming 19 48 LeoVegas 20 12 Vista Gaming 2021 Change from 2020 Website Owner 1 10 Jumpman Gaming 2 1 Tombola International 3 5 Rank Group 4 Buzz Group 5 3 Entain 6 888 Holdings 7 4 Kindred Group 8 6 888 Holdings 9 11 Folkspel 10 3 News Group Newspapers 11 19 Vista Gaming 12 5 SkillOnNet 13 6 bet365 Group 14 9 Helix Gaming International 15 1 Kindred Group 16 5 Double B. Invest 17 7 Flutter 18 30 Vista Gaming 19 7 Lindar Media 20 40 Vista Gaming 2021 Change from 2020 Website Owner 1 Double B. Invest 2 5 3 Townview Trading 4 2 Rivers Group 5 1 Townview Trading 6 3 Rank Group 7 4 Vista Gaming 8 Helix Gaming International 9 120 Spotlight Online Gaming 10 Vista Gaming 11 5 Vista Gaming 12 888 Holdings 13 9 Lindar Media 14 11 SkillOnNet 15 9 Kindred Group 16 3 Entain 17 24 The CB Corporation 18 131 Majestic Bingo 19 6 bet365 Group 20 4 Ellipse Entertainment 15 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

Overwhelming data tells us that more women are betting on sports. And interest in wagering on the female version of the world’s most popular sports is also soaring, which means now is the time for iGaming affiliates and operators to take advantage. By Christina Thakor-Rankin Ascent Wome The Sports Bettin G P W A t i m e s . o r g 16

of men’s act: The popularity of women’s sports – and the betting action on those events — is on the rise. In 2019, Nielsen Sports published a report titled “The Rise of Women’s Sports: Identifying and Maximizing the Opportunity,” which contained one staggering finding: 84% of sports fans are interested in watching women’s sports, and that the potential fan base for women’s soccer across the U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand (which also just happen to be some of the biggest betting markets in the world) was estimated at that time to be in the region of around 105 million. The increased popularity of women’s football/soccer is also supported by several other sources. Pitchero, a company specializing in technology for football clubs, published a blog highlighting the “meteoric rise” of women’s soccer in the U.K., home of the English Premier League, the most popular and lucrative betting league in the world. Some of the most compelling figures; however, come from the home of football itself, Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Its report following the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, won by the U.S., said that the event attracted record-breaking audience figures of close to USA +235 France +285 England +700 Germany +750 Netherlands +1200 Australia +1400 Canada +3000 Spain +3000 Brazil +3500 Japan +3500 ing Illustrations by Angelina Bambina/Shutterstock, Vectorpocket/Shutterstock and YummyBuum/Shutterstock 17 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

THE ASCENT OF WOMEN’S SPORTS BETTING two billion. A breakdown of the countries with the highest live audience figures includes some of the world’s biggest betting jurisdictions: the U.S., France, England, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Brazil and Germany, with Canada, the current Olympic gold medal holders and newly regulated iGaming market, expected to be in the mix for the next World Cup. We all know that the most popular sports events — those that attract the biggest viewing audiences — are also the ones that generate the greatest betting revenues. So, it comes as no surprise that the growing popularity and profile of women’s sports has also seen an increase in the number of people betting on women’s sports and the numbers of women betting. What is surprising to many; however, is the size of that number. In 2019, the American Gaming Association released initial figures suggesting that in the previous year, 32% of all sports bettors were women, basically every 1 in 3 bets placed was placed by a woman. A research survey by Sports Betting Dime in March 2020 went so far as to suggest that the number of female sports bettors was potentially as high as 43%. Pre-pandemic, the data suggested that not only were more women betting, they were also better at it than men, on the grounds that they had a less emotional, more clinical approach. A study undertaken by 888 Holdings in New Jersey in 2019 showed that women generally tend to do better than their male counterparts, with the overall return on investment for women being close to the 20% mark, compared to -4.6% for men. Women bettors between ages 25 and 44 had an overall ROI (return on investment) rate of over 120%, compared to a rate of just over 16% for men between 45 and 54. As these facts and figures were uncovered, many dismissed them as speculative and hype. However, more recent research suggests that these numbers are far frombeing fiction, but actually rooted in fact. A study last year by market research agency Hot Paper Lantern titled, “2021 State of the Sports Betting Industry” found that “onein-three (33%) bettors are women.” The study was quoted as saying, “Not only do women represent a third of themarket, when looking at bettors that make daily bets, men (18%) and women (17%) are effectively evenly split.” Amongst females, Gen Z and millennials (those under the age of 40) are the most active with 27% of Gen Zs and 28% of the millennials betting at least once a month. Research undertaken by Global Wireless Solutions in May 2022 is even more compelling. It shows that, in the U.S., women are signing up to sportsbooks at a faster rate than men, equating to a year-on-year growth of 115% for new female users, compared to a mere 63% for men. Even more astonishing — completely shattering the myth that sports betting is something only guys do — BetRivers, and its associated New Jersey brand SugarHouse, confirmed that it has more female users (54%) than male users (46%) and that 2021 saw an overwhelmingly higher number of sign-ups from women (600,000) than men (380,000) in the same period. It was noted that while there may be more female sign-ups than men, the frequency of usage is lower, with 71% of females using their sportsbook apps for only 1-5 weeks throughout the year, compared to 61% of males. This is something that was also picked-up on by Hot Paper Lantern’s finding. They noted that the retention roadmap for The reasons women bet are essentially the same as men. They love the sport. They follow the team. They have an opinion and are willing to risk money on it. They understand the market and can spot value. They see betting as an enhancement to the viewing experience. They do it socially with their friends. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 18

women “closely mimics the roadmap for men, as both genders prioritize brand, product and ease of financial transactions in top succession.” In addition, they reported that “preference deviates for women when it comes to the importance of friends and family referrals (41% women vs. 31% men) and the use of engaging social media content (38% women vs. 30% men).” Social media and the importance of trusted referrals is key for the retention of women bettors. Women bettors tend to lean towards social betting, whether that be with others on social media or with others for big events. The numbers are only going to get bigger as more and more broadcasters add women’s sports to their mainstream and premium broadcast schedules, but it is this last piece of information that provides a clue as to how and why the Women’s World Cup 2023, which will be played in Australia and New Zealand beginning in July 2023, could be transformational for women’s sports and betting. Women’s football/soccer is no longer just the fastest growing sport on the planet, it is quickly becoming a vehicle and rallying cry for women’s rights and the fight for gender equality across the world. Earlier this year, the U.S. women’s soccer team reached a landmark agreement with its governing body to end a six-year legal battle over equal pay, resulting in a deal that gives them pay and bonuses that match those of the men. The link between football and gender equality was kicked off in 2019 when the U.S. women won their second straight World Cup title and victory was met with fans chanting “Equal Pay!” The Canadian women’s soccer team winning Olympic gold saw a huge surge in the sport’s popularity and raised questions about the lack of merchandising compared to the men’s game. And it’s not just the west. Saudi Arabia has made women’s soccer a key part of its national diversification strategy, Vision 2030. Starting with women being allowed to go to soccer games (alongside being able to drive and go to For the affiliate willing to take the time and trouble to really understand this demographic, Women’s World Cup 2023 could be their biggest pay day ever. 19 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

THE ASCENT OF WOMEN’S SPORTS BETTING the cinema), the launch of the first Saudi women soccer league and the national team made history this year by winning its first international game. In Iran, a national scandal surrounding the women’s team where half of the team were in fact men was addressed with the explanation that they were men who were transitioning — a remarkable turn of events that saw a hard-line Islamic state using women’s soccer as a platform for a discussion about gender reassignment. The Women’s World Cup 2023 has the potential to be an anthem and a platform for gender equality, taking it far beyond just sport. It will be the first event in broadcasting history to include women from every country, culture, race and religion coming together under the banner of “Beyond Greatness” and fans chanting “Equal Pay “every time the U.S. team appears. If it can do this, it has the potential to become the most watched, most social, and most important sporting event this century. Throw in the growing numbers of female sports fans and bettors and it’s a bookies dream. The takeaway from the HPL research was that the “growth of women bettors will only continue to expand and should not be an overlooked market. An operator looking to break the mold and take this demographic seriously will create true brand differentiation.” Some savvy operators have already picked up on the trend and started to explore how to attract this new phenomenon of female sports bettors, but they are using the old tried and tested acquisition and retention methods used to attract male sports bettors. As Dr. Laila Mintas, former CEO of Australian sportsbook PlayUp’s U.S. operations, observed about women sports bettors, “It is a totally unserved and untapped market. Almost 50% of all sports fans are female, so then why don’t more make that last step to actually bet on sports? In the U.S., everybody is doing copy-and-paste at the moment. All the different sports betting offerings look the same. Even starting with the display and the colors, it’s all very similar. It’s very dark. It’s all very male-focused and the whole industry is male-driven.” The reasons women bet are essentially the same as men. They love the sport. They follow the team. They have an opinion and are willing to risk money on it. They understand the market and can spot value. They see betting as an enhancement to the viewing experience. They do it socially with their friends. And occasionally, just like men, they will bet with their hearts not their heads (even though they know it’s a losing bet), because sometimes being seen to support the team is far more important than winning money. Cue a global event where women get involved not because they are into sport or betting but because they want to be seen to support women’s rights and gender equality. And there lies the opportunity for those affiliates looking for the next big thing. Operators have not yet worked out how to attract and keep women sports bettors. For the affiliate willing to take the time and trouble to really understand this demographic, Women’s World Cup 2023 could be their biggest pay day ever. Christina Thakor-Rankin has over 30 years’ experience in the global betting and gambling sector. She is currently Principal Consultant at 1710 Gaming Ltd working with start-ups, investors, operators, regulators, law enforcement and industry groups across the world, advising on all aspects of the betting, gaming and gambling cycle. Some savvy operators have already picked up on the trend and started to explore how to attract this new phenomenon of female sports bettors, but they are using the old tried and tested acquisition and retention methods used to attract male sports bettors. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 20

Cashing In The 2023 FIFAWomen’s World Cup begins in 12 months. But preparation for iGaming affiliates should start well before the first match if they want to take full advantage of this unique event that is soaring in popularity. As dutifully noted inChristina Thakor-Rankin’s accompanying article, the interest in betting on women’s sports has dramatically escalated in recent years and next summer’s World Cup, which will be played over the course of 30 days beginning on 20 July on pitches across Australia and New Zealand, could very well draw never-seen-before numbers for viewership and betting handle. “I firmly believe we are going to see record levels of interest and betting volumes on the Women’s World Cup,” said iGaming affiliate Yordan Spasov, one of the creators of Oddspedia, a GPWA member. “World Cups have always been a feast for fans, and the fandom around women’s sports has been one of the fastest-growing bases for the past few years . . . With fewer events going on at the same time, the tournament will receive a fair amount of focused media coverage. And we will most likely see up to two billion viewers tune in to the tournament.” on the Hysteria How Affiliates Should Prepare for the 2023 Women’s World Cup By Gary Trask 21 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

THE ASCENT OF WOMEN’S SPORTS BETTING Taylor Howard, 1xBet’s affiliate manager, agrees whole heartedly. “TheWomen’s World Cup is always one of the biggest events in the world of sports. The global scale of the competition, the unpredictability of results, high-scoring football - all these factors make it special,” Howard said. “In 2023, the tournament will be held in July-August, at a time when there will not be many other major sporting events. Accordingly, we are sure that the number of bets on the tournament will be significant.” Spasov said that Oddspedia has also seenmore interest and an increase in traffic for women’s sports and competitions. The site now covers more than 3,000 women’s sports competitions annually, with bookmakers sending betting odds for the vast majority of them. In the past year alone, more than 800 women’s leagues across 20 different sports have been included in the betting program. The steep increase, he says, underlines the opportunities identified by bookmakers for women’s sports. But Howard pointed out that while sports betting involving women consistently attracts hundreds of thousands of players year, partly because “more and more sponsors are interested in women’s sports,” there is no evidence that women bet more actively on female athletes and women’s sports. “They bet on what they are interested in, and this can equally well be men’s or women’s events,” Howard said. So, what should sportsbook affiliates be doing in order to leverage this sharp rise in popularity and ride the coattails of the Women’s World Cup? “My advice for affiliates is not to undervalue the potential gains that can be achieved with the Women’s World Cup,” Spasov said. “The media coverage of the 2023 Women’s World Cup is going to be extensive . . . I expect it to be one of the top trending topics of the summer due to the vast outreach to sports audiences. Which in turn will drive an increase in search engine traffic. “As usual, content is king and producing unique and quality pages can bring serious results. So, to please the user’s intent, affiliates should provide engaging content, such as factual information on the history of the competition, participating teams, best players, key match dates, stats and predictions. Live coverage of the tournament will also be a key aspect for success in attracting customers and keeping them engaged.” Oddspedia, which offers an easy-to-integrate, free widget for affiliates with monetizing options and live scores and odds for all sporting events games, plans to geo-target its content and ensure that it clearly shows players correct bonus offers, enhanced odds and special bets for different countries. “Affiliates have tomake sure that they properly target their content to the local markets,” Spasov added. “As to when affiliates should start preparing content? I think to get the most out of the content, themain pages need to be online at least a fewmonths prior to the start of the tournament.” Howard reiterated that affiliates should treat the Women’s World Cup the same as any other top football tournament. “That is, prepare in advance, talking about what kind of competition and how you canmakemoney on it,” saidHoward, who added that 1XBet will, as always, provide its partners with a number of promotional materials that will help make the tournament more attractive to players. “We don’t know the team compositions yet, but in the home countries of participating teams, it’s worth appealing to patriotism. In countries whose teams will not make it to the tournament, it’s worth focusing onwhy this tournament is interesting, what are its main intrigues, plus who should be watched more closely or bet on.” “My advice for affiliates is not to undervalue the potential gains that can be achieved with the Women’s World Cup . . . As usual, content is king and producing unique and quality pages can bring serious results.” G P W A t i m e s . o r g 22

We all have an undeniable intrinsic loyalty to how we expect our affiliate business to turn out. But putting all of your eggs into one basket can be dangerous and, thus, developing a Plan B is vitally important. By Maria Tsnompilantze Essentials of Having G P W A t i m e s . o r g 24


uccess stories… They motivate us and inspire us. The narrative of a typical success story often revolves around a “regular” young individual who dropped out of college or left their job and poured all their money, energy and passion into this one idea with no guarantee of the outcome. “From Zero to Hero.” The concept of a successful business that was completely planned from the beginning, and built on a clear, solid strategy helps us better navigate our fear of the unknown. Exploring successful business plans creates a common perception that if we examine, analyze and adjust the lessons learned to our own business needs and ideas, we can work our way to the top. Shortly, when we find something that works, we tend to go after it. Many businesses were built on this single principle. However, the stories that are told often paint a smooth, linear picture of the journey, and tend to overlook the bumpy process hiding behind the road to success. This, in turn, often leads brands to put all their business eggs into one basket. The Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Business Say you are about to host a dinner party at home. You browse through a bunch of recipes online and you naturally get drawn to the ones that have many positive user reviews. First of all, a positive review means that the people who followed the cooking instructions ended up getting what they expected— if they could succeed, why would that not be the case with you too? Secondly, the positive reviews serve as a confirmation that a lot of people found the dish to be very tasty. People often stick to successful recipes with the idea that they can emulate that success. The same goes for businesses. Uncertainty is all around us, never more so than today, and ambiguity tends to scare people arguably even more than any negative certainty. This is why business success stories are so appealing. We are trained to believe that the most successful companies are the ones who chose a niche, took a risk, and dedicated all their efforts, resources, and money to the one idea that was bound to make them successful. The idea that one can recreate the same strategy and get the same results often leads to what arguably can turn out to be one of the biggest mistakes — only having one single plan. THE PLAN. This article argues that an alternative way of dealing with uncertainty is far away from picking a strategy and throwing everything you have behind it hoping to have the very same linear path that is described in the success stories. The alternative I suggest is having a Plan B— strategies you can put into practice if the recipe goes wrong, or if you simply do not have all the ingredients to make it as good. After all, the success stories often downplay certain aspects that played a significant part in the overall success — some unique advantage, or a hefty investor backing the company. Is putting all your business eggs into one basket a dangerous strategy for affiliate marketers? The real question here is whether affiliates should try to diversify their offerings or find a specific strategy and concentrate all their efforts on making it work. ESSENTIALS OF HAVING A PLAN B G P W A t i m e s . o r g 26

The Importance of ‘Plan B’ in AffiliateMarketing Is putting all your business eggs into one basket a dangerous strategy for affiliate marketers? The real question here is whether affiliates should try to diversify their offerings or find a specific strategy and concentrate all their efforts on making it work. Affiliate marketing is essentially a method of making money online. However, there are different ways to make it. Having a Plan B is important in so many ways. One might choose to target long-tail keywords that enjoy much smaller search volumes but do not have much competition attached to them. They can identify these keywords of interest and start producing their content around these to climb to the top positions of the search engines and enjoy bigger conversion rates. Some might choose to focus on producing large volumes of content targeting all sorts of keywords and build their business on the idea of consistent content production. Additionally, it is important to understand that if your SEO strategy does not seem to yield the expected results, affiliates should be willing and ready to explore other ways of generating traffic to their websites. They can look into pay-per-click marketing if the budget allows them or try to create useful content that will naturally generate a lot of backlinks from reputable sites, and, therefore, result in a better Google ranking for their website. Alternatively, affiliates might as well consider other content formats, such as interactive videos, start posting and taking advantage of their social media channels, encourage a stronger communication strategy with their audience via forums, or work to elevate the design and the user experience of their website. In any case, the idea is clear. The more methods you utilize and the more strategies you try to implement, the less likely it is for your business to crumble. Affiliate marketing has certainly been a domain with many success stories. Analyzing the successful competitors and trying to adopt a similar approach can, in some cases, yield positive results for your business. However, it is important to remember that every company exists in a different context and it is very hard to predict the future. Therefore, it is vital to diversify. Suppose you are an affiliate who lives in Romania and has decided that getting into the affiliate marketing business in the gambling industry will be hugely beneficial for you financially. You evaluate the scene, hire a developer, find a good-looking WordPress plugin or simply scrape the idea of some successful competitor and get your business running. Suddenly, the Romanian government decides to regulate the gambling market, and you are required to get a costly license to keep promoting legal gambling operators to your Romanian audiUncertainty is all around us, never more so than today, and ambiguity tends to scare people arguably even more than any negative certainty. And this is why business success stories are so appealing. 27 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

ence. Your competitor, who inspired you to get started in affiliate marketing might have the funds to secure this license. If, however, you do not, and you have no Plan B, your whole business can crumble. Such unexpected situations can happen — remember when COVID-19 hit and resulted in the cancellation of all sporting events across the globe? The revenues of the affiliates who focused solely on sports betting shrunk, while the ones who also promoted casino products managed to stay afloat. Having a Plan B is essential if you want to increase the chances of survival for your business. On the operator side, on the other hand, if you keep insisting on sticking with a few affiliates that have been consistently delivering good results, you might face the risk of seeing progressively lower conversion rates. Why? Because you keep targeting the very same audience. Your top affiliates might start pressuring you to get bigger commissions and you end up having less return with a higher cost. Moreover, the biggest affiliates will also typically work with most of your competitors and use both of you to get more money — this is simply the way this business works. The winner here is the affiliate. Or, finally, your top affiliates could suddenly engage in an exclusive deal with a competitor and leave you and your brands hanging. This is why it is extremely important to diversify the list of the affiliate partners you work with to ensure consistency in your business’s growth. Final thoughts Certainly, you can choose a niche, stick with it, and hope to become successful. There’s essentially nothing wrong with this strategy, but one needs to understand that in times of uncertainty, not taking the time to develop in other areas can be detrimental to your business. It is the over-reliance on a certain idea that can make it hard for you to succeed. The logic is simple. If you put all your eggs into one basket, and your idea fails, this will destroy your entire company if things do not go as planned. You start to panic, you have difficulties in generating income and you are forced to look into desperate measures to save the day. On the other hand, a balanced portfolio can help your business to survive if one or some of your projects fail. Having a Plan B is essentially an acknowledgment of the uncertainty. This strategy goes beyond the romantic notion of a single idea that is destined to either be successful or fail. This acknowledgment of the uncertainty is what makes your company more resilient and less fragile in the modern competitive environment. We all grow up with an undeniable intrinsic loyalty to Plan A and to the way we expect our lives to turn out if we stick to following the goal. But what if you have to give up on this plan? In such moments, we should focus on embracing one of the most important skills in life — that of developing a Plan B. Maria Tsnompilantze has been working in iGaming for the past four years. She’s a marketing enthusiast with a strong passion for content. We are trained to believe that the most successful companies are the ones who chose a niche, took a risk, and dedicated all their efforts, resources, and money to the one idea that was bound to make them successful. ESSENTIALS OF HAVING A PLAN B G P W A t i m e s . o r g 28


Clouds It’s been one year since the divisive Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling was unveiled in Germany and the question for affiliates, operators and players remains: Is ISTG 2021 doing more harm than good? By Michael Schumann he Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling (ISTG 2021), accepted by the German federal states in March of 2020, came into force on 1 July 2021. The ISTG 2021 brought highly-anticipated and long-discussed changes to the legal framework on gambling in a coveted new iGaming market. As a result, online gambling became legal on German soil. Furthermore, the ISTG introduced new regulations for other gambling-related fields, namely sports betting and payment options within the gambling industry. As stated by the ISTG 2021, the new regulations were adopted for the following reasons: • To prevent gaming addiction and promote gambling control • To provide an attractive online gambling market that will help channel players to locally licensed operators • To protect minors and provide absolute player protection • To protect players from fraudulent activity and to prevent gambling-related crime • To protect the integrity of sports competitions Controvers Germa G P W A t i m e s . o r g 30

of sy in any 5.3% TAX 31 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

Taking a closer look at the legal framework and the new regulations caused heated debate and raisedmany questions from the industry experts. Many of these new regulations directly contradicted the intended goals of the treaty, let alone the fact that there is no evidence to suggest that the imposed limitations would provide full player protection or further prevent gambling addiction, making themarbitrary and excessive. Therefore, while the goal of the ISTG 2021 was to correct previous discrepancies, the new law is commonly referred to as punitive and unconstitutional. It is more restrictive than similar frameworks inmost neighboring European countries. The controversy surrounding the ISTG 2021 is mainly caused by the newly adopted, extremely high tax rate on stakes. The treaty introduced an additional 5.3% turnover tax or, simply put, tax on each stake for online poker, virtual slots, sports betting and horse racing. However, for even more transparency, we should mention that, since the tax is deducted from the tax base, the effective rate is 5.3%. Lastly, the tax is self-declared and has to be declared on a monthly basis. Before we start criticizing the 5.3% tax, let us try to take a step back and look at the tax from the legislator’s perspective. If we consider that the above-mentioned tax is the same for sports betting, slot machines and poker, we realize that this is a classic case of legislators trying to set uniform taxation. Again, from the legislators’ perspective, it is utterly convenient to have the same tax rate in the industry. Why? Well, because that way, it is easier to measure and control. However, that is not the case for businesses. Poker and slot machine providers objected to this tax rate the most, more than sports betting operators because they are constructed in a way that involve multiple levels of betting cycles. Thus, it did not seem fair for these games to be taxed on each betting level. As a result, slot providers that wanted to legally operate in the German market were forced to lower the Return to Player (RTP) to be able to pay tax and stay profitable at the same time. Furthermore, the 5.3% tax was named as the main reason why PokerStars and Partypoker left the German gambling market. When discussing the new tax regime, we also need to address Betfair Exchange’s case as well. Betfair Exchange is a somewhat new model of sports betting. It is the world’s largest online betting exchange, allowing punters to bet against each other rather than a traditional bookmaker. Betfair Exchange tried to argue that it should be exempted from the additional tax. However, since they could not reach an agreement, Betfair withdrew its core gambling products from the German market, such as Betfair Exchange and Betfair Poker. To sum it up, we can confidently speculate that the stake tax of 5.3% is considered extremely high, causing more damage than good in the German gambling market. We clearly saw how business operators reacted to the new regulations; however, the next question is: How will German punters react to the new gambling reality? Will the tax rate of 5.3% in online casinos lead to players preferring the black market? What can be done to avoid this? As already mentioned above, the new tax regime instantly became a controversial topic and, to this day, remains a subject of heated debate among industry experts. Several surveys conducted on the German market suggest that punters in the country actively consider playing at alternative casinos without a German license. The paragraphs below will look more into technical details to shed more light on why a 5.3% tax regime is such a “big deal.” Let’s review virtual slots as an example and analyze how the virtual slot providers have to adjust to the significant changes caused by the new stake tax. It is no secret that slot machines operate with a predetermined RTP percentage. Theoretically speaking, the higher the RTP, the more rewards a player gets. RTPs vary from provider to provider; however, 95-97% is industry-standard. But German licensed casinos cannot have an RTP over 94.7%. By doing so, the casino will break even on a bet level. Benchmarking this to industry standards shows that playing online slot games in German licensed casinos would be less attractive for German punters than playing the same slot games in foreign casinos. Additionally, it is not only a new 5.3% tax rate causing mixed feelings in the German gambling market. The ISTG 2021 came CLOUDS OF CONTROVERSY IN GERMANY Yes, onlinegambling became legal, but it came witha heavycost – strict regulations, a punitivetax regime, and poorandless rewardingRTPs oncasino games. Who will bepaying this highprice? German punters, of course. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 32

with multiple other sets of rules along with the above-mentioned tax regime. For better transparency and relevancy to the question, let me shortly list these restrictions below: • Monthly deposit limit of €1,000 • Betting limitation on slots – max €1 per spin • Minimum five second intervals between spins • Prohibition of Autoplay Feature and Progressive Jackpots • Prohibition of table games, live casinos • OASIS – German self-exclusion scheme At NoLimit-Casinos, ISTG 2021 brought a completely new reality to the German gambling market. Yes, online gambling became legal, but it came with a heavy cost – strict regulations, a punitive tax regime, and poor and less rewarding RTPs on casino games. Who will be paying this high price? German punters, of course. Of course, it should not come as a surprise that there is speculation in the local market that German players will look away from German licensed casinos and start looking for alternative foreign casinos. Furthermore, because German punters are considered high-value customers, of course, offshore and independent casinos will gladly welcome them - why not? Now that we have established there is a good chance of German punters fleeing the German market, let us address the elephant in the room – how will the regulator avoid this? Granted, there are certain tools brought by regulations that could tackle this; let us call it a “player spillover effect.” All these tools are related to payments, monitoring sources of income with the ISTG 2021 Manyof these new regulations directly contradicted the intendedgoals of the treaty . . . Therefore,while thegoal of the ISTG2021 was tocorrectprevious discrepancies, thenew lawis commonly referred toas punitive and unconstitutional. 33 G P W A t i m e s . o r g