GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 55 - February 2023

Join GPWA Page 61 FEBRUARY 2023 Google Rankings vs. Quality Content A Tribute to Maria Florides Poll: Do You Gamble? iGaming Affiliate Trends to Watch

At a loss… As the GPWA team kicks off 2023 and prepares to head across the pond for ICE London and iGBAffiliate London, we do sowith heavy hearts. Back in November, just a few days after SiGMA Europe came to a close and I said my goodbyes to GPWA Program Manager Maria Florides in Malta, we received the terrible news that Maria had suddenly passed away in her sleep. It’s impossible to overstate the shock and sadness we have all felt here at the GPWA. In addition to being a tremendous ambassador for exactly what the GPWA stands for, Maria was a gem of a person. She was beloved by so many throughout the industry and it was not surprising to see numerous friends reach out to us and post their memories of Maria on social media and in the GPWA forums. We share some of those comments in this issue and we will most certainly feel a void at our stands at both events in London as we continue to mourn her loss and send positive thoughts to Maria’s family. Nonetheless, the show must go on, as they say, and in our first issue of 2023, which marks the 55th edition of the GPWA Times Magazine, we present an array of content that we hope will be helpful to your affiliate business in the coming year. To that end, our cover story, written by regular contributor Lee-Ann Johnstone, breaks down some industry trends she expects to see in 2023 and how affiliates and affiliate programs should be reacting. Also, GPWA member and site manager Andy Heaford discusses the conundrum of whether or not it’s possible to consistently offer quality content while also satisfying Google’s algorithm and obtaining high rankings. In addition, we have our customary collection of departments, including two more GPWA affiliate Q&As and a pair of affiliate manager interviews, as well as a photo recap from the aforementioned SiGMA Europe, results from one of the most active polls we’ve ever posted on the GPWA forum, and another deserving inductee into our APCWWall of Shame. We also present the most recent additions to our list of GPWA Seal of Approval sites, a program that now boasts more than 2,500 portals. If you are attending either of the events in London, we hope you’ll be able to swing by the GPWA stand and say hello. And if you are not already a subscriber to our magazine, please remember it’s free! All you have to do is visit Here’s to a prosperous and healthy 2023! Sincerely, Michael Corfman Maria Florides 1970 – 2 022 SUBSCRIPTIONS For a FREE subscription to the GPWA Times Magazine, visit ADVERTISING To advertise in the GPWA Times Magazine, please e-mail: ISSN 1941-9872 (print) ISSN 2834-2348 (online) Executive Director: Michael Corfman Program Director: Anthony Telesca Member Services: Richard Bard Nancy Troy Marketing Director: Andrea Mullaney Editor-in-Chief: Gary Trask Associate Editors: Dan Ippolito Jarrod LeBlanc Designers: George Choi Zoran Maksimovic´ LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR 4 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

TABLE OF CONTENTS Departments 4 Letter from the Director • 8 By the Numbers • 10 Quotables • 12 GPWA Poll 34 From the Forums • 40 Affiliate Interview Series • 50 GPWA Seals • 56 Affiliate Manager Interview Series 62 Sponsors • 68 Wall of Shame • 70 Event Calendar Quality Content vs. Google Rankings Andy Heaford from discusses the balancing act between generating content for your affiliate site that satisfies the ever-evolving demand of the search engine giant. Photo Gallery – SiGMA Europe 2022 If you missed out on what’s being billed as the “mother of all conferences,” don’t worry as we captured all of the behind-the-scenes magic as 25,000 attendees packed the house in Malta for an iGaming event for the ages. Remembering Maria Florides The GPWA family lost a beloved member of its staff in November. In a tribute to Maria, we share some of the remembrances and condolences that poured in from colleagues and friends from the iGaming community. 24 What’s Next for Affiliate Marketing? One of the “Top 10 Most Influential Women in Gaming,” Lee-Ann Johnstone shares her knowledge about where she sees the industry going in 2023. 14 28 G P W A t i m e s . o r g 20 G P W A t i m e s . o r g 6

BY THE NUMBERS $11.2 billion The amount of revenue for land-based and online gaming sectors in Colombia between January and October 2022, an annual increase of 52%, according to gaming regulator Coljuegos. $13.88 billion The projected handle for sports betting in NewYork for calendar year 2023. $6.04 billion The amount of wagers iGaming Ontario operators took in during Q3 2022. €89.8 million The record-highamount of revenue recorded for online casino games in Portugal during Q3 2022, marking an increase of 38.5%year-over-year. $84.3 million The amount of the total fines incurred by 53online gamingcompanies in the first half of 2022 by the MinistryofConsumer Affairs in Spain. 42% The U.S. market share for FanDuel Sportsbook in states where it is live, as of November 2022, significantly more than its two largest competitors, DraftKings (24%) and BetMGM(15%). G P W A t i m e s . o r g 8

85% The channelization rate in the first year of licensed online gambling in the Netherlands, which equals around €80 million permonth, according to the Dutch Gaming Regulator. €58,000 The amount PokerStars was ordered by a German court to refund to a player because it was not yet legal in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen at the time of the losses. $25 million The amount Israelbased mobile gaming developer Playtika invested in Turkish mobile gaming company AceGames in November. PLN 150 million The amount of revenue Polish bookmaker STS Group reported for the Q3 2022, which is up 25% year-over-year. $35 billion The amount of money that was expected to be wagered on the 2022 World Cup, which would be a 65% increase from the previous tournament, according to Barclays analysts. 9 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

QUOTABLES Q U O T A B L E S “Despite several risk-basedmeasures already being implemented bymany EU online operators, the exposure tomoney laundering risks in online gambling is still rather high as it encompasses significant factors such as the non face-to-face element, huge and complex volumes of transactions, and financial flows.” —The European Commission after raising the threat level for money laundering in online gambling to its highest possible rating in November “For most people who place a bet, gambling isn’t a problem. In the long run, you lose, of course. You can’t beat the system, but it’s just a recreational cost like going to the cinema …For many though, gambling becomes a very serious problemandworse than that, an addiction.” —Cork County Councilor Sean O’Connor as Ireland was preparing to introduce a new Gambling Regulation Bill in December “For the average recreational player, [cash back bonuses] can encourage an intensification of gambling behavior because the brake of loss is dampened and the perceived risk of participating in games of chance seems to decrease.” —The Kansspelautoriteit, the Netherlands Gambling Authority, after informing all license holders in November that offering cash back bonuses is prohibited “I’mnot saying these operators are getting everything right and I’mnot saying the regulatorwants to see people, in general, spending less on gambling either. Our role is to permit gambling as long as it is safe, fair and crime free, not tomake a moral judgment onhowmuchmoney is spent on gambling.” —Gambling Commission CEO Andrew Rhodes during a speech at the U.K. Gambling Commission’s CEO Briefing in November G P W A t i m e s . o r g 10


Do you gamble? GPWA MEMBER POLL One of the most popular polls on the GPWA Forums was posted back in April of 2015 when member Triple7 asked the following: “We all promote gambling sites like casinos, poker sites, lotteries, bookies, etc., but do you gamble yourself?” Over the last seven-plus years, the poll continues to receive votes and the results have inevitably been varied. With nearly 400 votes counted, the majority of our members who voted (29%) reported that while they do gamble, it’s usually only once a month. That said, 21% of respondents reported that they do not gamble at all, another 21% were on the opposite side of the spectrum and stated they gamble “several times a week” while 10% said they gamble “just about every day.” A sampling of some of the more recent comments from the poll can be found below. For more details regarding this poll and to view all of the comments and advice from our members, visit Comments from GPWA members NoDepositCasinos PUBLIC MEMBER I only do it online a couple of times a month. However, I prefer to go to a casino and enjoy the complete experience of leaving the house, traveling to a new location, playing, and having a drink with my friends. Maheaatom PRIVATE MEMBER There’s a difference between “playing” and “gambling.” If you want to run a good affiliate site and write interesting content, you should play different games just for understanding them. But you should avoid “gambling,” although it’s not easy, because you “live” inside the world of gambling. bookmakerJP PRIVATE MEMBER I like football and watch the English Premier League. I’m not very interested in gambling itself, but I do use gambling as a tool to enjoy football more excitingly. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 12 21%Yes, several times a week. 10%Yes, just about every day. 19%Yes, about once a week. 29%Yes, but only one day a month or less. 21% No, never. 6TH - 7TH DECEMBER 2023 JAVITS CENTER NEW YORK CITY INTRODUCING iGB LIVE! NORTH AMERICA

for Affiliate Marketing Trends 5 Big 2023 As the calendar turns to a new year, affiliate marketing extraordinaire Lee-Ann Johnstone looks into her crystal ball and predicts what to expect in the coming months and how the iGaming industry should respond By Lee-Ann Johnstone 5 BIG AFFILIATE MARKETING TRENDS FOR 2023 G P W A t i m e s . o r g 14

he year 2022 was a big one for the iGaming industry and affiliate marketing overall. That said, in this article I will share some of the big trends I’m seeing in affiliate marketing and what you can expect to happen in 2023. The Rise of Brand-to-Brand Partnerships Of course, there are the traditional partnerships between brands and publishers that will continue to thrive. However, I see a definitive increase in the type of brand-to-brand partnerships that are being built out within the space. While partnerships or sponsorships have always been in place in the sports betting industry, with the onset of more data, customer marketing can be improved tenfold when brands come together to leverage their offerings and communities. Some examples of these collaborations are things like where brands are doing big partnerships with crypto wallets and other ewallet payment providers that have all now started to launch affiliate programs to engage with the customers and players farther down the acquisition funnel. I think one of the biggest trends we’ll see this year is the use of data to build more customer trust. Affiliates are going to use it to really understand their customer niches, and brands will use it to place their budgets more wisely. There are specific rules and regulations now being accounted for when it comes to sponsorships within football/soccer clubs, as an example, which is going to push this industry to go beyond traditional partnerships. In order to find customers in other places than the obvious ones, there will be a push to get innovative around technical solutions and partnerships that convert customers faster and cheaper than ever before. Affiliates and operators can now look for other avenues for partnerships with brands that have similar customer avatars. We’ve seen partnerships emerge in esports. I think this is the year we will see traditional partnerships blossom between operators and high net worth brands and ambassadors, too. The main thing is that data will be the guide, and with it we’ll be able to make much better decisions on where and how we spend. We are already seeing this in the crypto space, crypto exchanges, and chat-based applications have started to partner with gaming brands to engage their inactive customers on both sides. This will be something that will continue to evolve and new links will be created that we haven’t seen before. 1 15 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

2 3 2 3 The Rise of Video Content and Its Effect on Building Authentic Brand Affinity Diversity and inclusion are something more corporate brands are looking into and investing in as operators realize that vanilla marketing campaigns that target the masses won’t be able to yield the best results longer term. Customer niches — that’s where the real money players will react. Taking inspiration from the ecommerce space — where I see traditional publishers already targeting customer segments in the health and beauty segment — we’ll start to see innovative products and service providers build tech that targets customers with interests directly where they are shopping. is an example of a new publisher that has built a technology platform around a very enthused segment of the U.K. market in a channel that already has cashback and loyalty behemoths (Quidco, Honey, Top Cashback) in place. Community plays a huge part in conversion. If players trust who you are and buy into your promotional messaging, they are far more likely to convert. Acquisition is important of course, but if players hit your site and don’t convert that’s money wasted. As social media algorithms move toward the emergence of snippets to drive reaction and video content (InstagramReels, YouTube shorts and TikTok), popularity keeps climbing. I think we’ll see affiliates embrace this kind of user-generated content a little more. People want authenticity and thereI believe we’ll see customer targeting start to really work and diversify offers to niche segmentation campaigns. Already we are seeing sustainable affiliate brands such as, ranking high in Google for the term “Top 10 Sustainable Casinos” and regulated brands becoming more popular with affiliates and players alike as consumers become more aware of where they can spend and how they can spend online. fore I think it will be critical that we use video as much as possible in 2023 to start to build that brand affinity around our programs and offerings. The customers you’re targeting have attention spans that are shorter than what they used to be. We consume content differently than before because we expect everything we want and need to be delivered in an instant. Reports show that users can retain around 95% of what’s in a video as opposed to around 10% of other forms of content. This will impact search and SEO sites in the coming year. The thing to also bear in mind is that this can be done on a much smaller budget than before as we face a looming recession. The creator tools that are now available means that even novices can produce effective video content that will be valuable to players. This kind of content is authentic and not necessarily built by the brand, so it can also be viewed more favorably by customers who are in the awareness phase of their depositing or brand discovery journey. Diversity and Sustainability become a nichewewant 5 BIG AFFILIATE MARKETING TRENDS FOR 2023 G P W A t i m e s . o r g 16

44 Social Innovations and NewPlatforms to Discover As social media platforms are becoming increasingly important, and in some instances, replacing search engines for things like live TV and shopping, it’s integral for any marketing manager to realize affiliates are more innovative and faster to market than sometimes they are. I see a more holistic approach being implemented in terms of marketing where affiliates are looking outside of driving traffic in traditional SEO and PPC or paid channels, and instead focus heavily on social media activity and user engagement. Affiliates who are content curators and who go deep to understand their customer’s needs and wants will win out in the end. Affiliates who explore these new platforms and start building communities in them will deliver value too. We also need to think about the possible evolution of some of the existing social media channels. For example, with Twitter being taken over by Elon Musk how will this new lack of censorship deliver increased engagement, and less regulation for iGaming? Twitter has detailed that the number of users has in fact gone up under Elon Musk’s leadership “significantly around the world.” Developments like this will give affiliate marketers a whole new way to engage new customers and drive them toward the brands that they promote. Other platforms will also be explored, such as podcast advertisements, where we see podcast listenership around the world increase every year. Perhaps a closer look at in-app advertising on performance models should be reviewed simultaneously as we look to diversify traffic incoming to our affiliate programs in the year ahead. 17 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

55 Investing in Brand Affinity to Foster Loyalty Our market will continue to get competitive as white label brands launch and grow their businesses. Brands will need to focus on customer loyalty to increase customer tenure and remove the lure of new offers being made elsewhere. There is a distinction between brand loyalty and brand affinity that is often missed. Building affinity is not about giving partners more money — that’s loyalty. Brand affinity goes deeper than the monthly commission payments. It’s about soliciting real emotion. It’s about thinking of your affiliate partners as marketing partners in your business vs. traffic suppliers, which is commonly the transactional view our industry has always had. Here are four questions you can ask yourself on how to build brand affinity: How can you make your affiliates feel something positive about your program? How do your teams represent your brand from the first touch point an affiliate receives to the ongoing messaging they encounter in your program as times move on? What messaging and services do you offer your affiliates at each stage of their journey within your program? Where and how do you market your program, (talk about what you’re doing and discuss thought leadership with your partners to help them learn more too)? Focusing on how to build brand affinity is a quick way to build scale with little budget. When your whole team engages in this, some powerful things can begin to happen — tenure increases, prices decrease, partners collaborate more and become transparent with their data. These are all things that can help a brand grow its program and offerings without always having to pay to appear in top positions. It takes patience and a bit of time, so you have to be invested in playing the long game. Remember it is not money that builds brand affinity — it is your actions, thoughts, works and deeds that will. Conclusion As you take action in 2023, take these five key trends into consideration and ask yourself how you will be shaping the future of your business this year as you navigate the trying and changing times ahead. The key takeaway here is to keep calm, focus on your KPI, build trust in your partner relationships, and use the appropriate channels and forms of content to do that. Make the most of the creator tools that are in place, and build new, and exciting channels with partners who want to reach customers in specific niches. Lee-Ann Johnstone is an award-winning digital marketing strategist and affiliate marketing veteran. In 2018, she launched her agency with a view to help brands launch, scale and grow successful affiliate marketing programs. Since then, she’s been voted one of “Top 10 Most Influential Women in iGaming,” has created a chart-topping Affiliate Marketing Podcast and created AMPP, an affiliate marketing performance program designed to help affiliate managers level up their performance and grow their affiliate programs and relationships with a 12-week live coaching program. For more information about Lee-Ann and her company, visit her on LinkedIn at 5 BIG AFFILIATE MARKETING TRENDS FOR 2023 G P W A t i m e s . o r g 18

450 SPEAKERS 300 EXHIBITORS 10,000 DELEGATES The Global BETTING & iGAMING SHOW FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT SBCEVENTS.COM 19-21 SEPTEMBER 2023 FIRA DE BARCELONA MONTJUÏC 450 SPEAKERS 200 EXHIBITORS 10,000 DELEGATES PARIS SMITH CEO Pinnacle ROSS PARKHILL CEO Rhino Entertainment Group ADI DHANDHANIA COO North America Interactive, Bally’s Corporation JESPER SVENSSON CEO Betsson Group MARTIN LYCKA SVP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling Entain Group GRAINNE HURST Director Corporate Affairs Entain Group ANDERS HAUBERG NIELSEN Head of Sportsbook Betcris ENDRE NESSET President Coolbet CHARLES LEE CEO Kwiff STUART MORRISON CEO Crypto Snack MATTHEW BALL Pioneering Tech Authority, Venture Capitalist & Bestselling Author The Metaverse ISABELLE DELISLE Head of Group Payments Pinnacle SPEAKER PREVIEW

Balancing ActIs it possible to generate quality content and earn high Google rankings? Andy Heaford from explains the tradeoff between the two and how to find the correct balance. By Andy Heaford BALANCING ACT Illustration by Sammby/Shutterstock G P W A t i m e s . o r g 20

no such thing, and when you see the listed “Pros and Cons” it was clear that nobody had actually gambled at any of the sites they reviewed. They were explaining things incorrectly and some of the gambling “strategies” they described would make you laugh if they didn’t make you cry. BUT… they were getting more hits than us? Unbelievable. At the end of last year an SEO specialist was assigned to my team. His name is Nikita Ivanov, and he is incredibly good at his job. He started writing specifications for the text he wanted to be written, in the way he wanted, with the keywords, and key phrases that he wanted. It was not things I thought anybody were interested in, but, regardless, myself and my team began writing them in earnest. Nikita went through the site and told me to change the meta tags and titles, and a whole load of other things that I did not think mattered or knew how to do at that time. I did exactly what he asked. I have been doing my best to keep the quality of our content up. Here’s an example of one of the things I do not understand. We have a “Top 20 Tennis Bookmakers” list, even though I thought five would have been enough. Apparently, it isn’t becauseGoogle ranks a site more highly the more there are, and some competitors have between 10 and 15, so we need 15 to 20. I did not know this before. And … it hasworked! When we view the Google Analytics statistics you can see pretty much exactly where the site got optimized. The affiliate accounts are also showing signs of life; we have regular FTDs and growing turnover at many different sites, and not just two or three, Imean a lot. am the manager of a website. At least that is the title I have. “Andy Heaford: Legalbet U.K. Site Manager.” I wonder sometimes what definition of “manager” we are using here, though. Perhaps other people reading this will understand what I mean. How much do I manage this site or is the truth of the matter that we are all just working for the Google algorithm nowadays? I am just about old enough to remember the internet “BG” (Before Google), when email addresses were either @hotmail or @AOL, when there was no YouTube and no social media (yes, that’s right, no Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, or IG!). Once upon a time, (2006 to be exact), I did manage a gambling affiliate site and back then there was no (to my memory) such thing as an “SEO specialist.” I remember using Google, but a quick bit of research tells me in 2006 Google accounted for 37% of search engine traffic, but Yahoo! was not far behind with 32%. MSN had 15%, AOL 10%, and good old Ask Jeeves 6%. Sure, Google was important, but it was not (yet) God! Fast forward to 2022 and 92% of all search engine traffic is from Google, and I think that figure could be lowballing it. Google, which reorganized itself under a new umbrella called “Alphabet” in 2015, is not just a search engine, it is Google Maps, YouTube, Blogger, DoubleClick, and Android, just to name a few. Google’s spread has been unstoppable and it now dominates (some people would say it “is”) the internet. Can youmake it as an online companywithout feeding the Google algorithm? It appears not. I used to believe that the content was king, so we spent a considerable amount of time researching what we write. When we rank the best bookmakers, we look at the odds that they really have. We don’t just randomly pick the Big 5. We have actually visited each bookmaker. We enter the relevant data for their odds on a range of markets for the Premier League, some major Europa League, and some other minor leagues around the world. With those actual, real results, we have our ranking of the best odds bookmakers. As far as I know, nobody else does this, and the other categories (fastest withdrawal sites, etc.) are similarly tested by our team to get empirical data that is true. The problem? Our content wasn’t being read! It was hard to look at some of our competition and see their success while knowing for a fact that the advice was, at best, less than optimal and often it was actually just wrong. They would list the Top 5 this and the Top 5 that, which clearly were Fast forward to 2022 and 92%of all searchengine traffic is from Google, and I think that figure could be lowballing it …Google’s spread has been unstoppable and it now dominates (some peoplewould say it “is”) the internet. 21 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

BALANCING ACT I was pleasantly surprised. Are the articles as good as they once were before being SEO optimized? Well, I hope we still have the same high standards when it comes to the reviews and the advice that we give is always accurate rather than “cheerleading” things. There is sometimes a bit more repetition of key words than I would like, and squeezing in several variations on saying the same thing can be tricky. All in all, though, it has been a great success. Sure, content is important, but if nobody is reading it what is the point? It is my current opinion that every affiliate must be optimized to have a fighting chance. Top 5 Ranking Factors SEO specialist Nikita Ivanov breaks down five keys to earn better rankings. Content is still king for Google At, we strive to create quality content. By that I mean deeply structured texts with H2 / H3 / H4 headings, a detailed FAQ section, etc. Each article (or rating page) covers all the main details of whatever the topic is. We try to write not only affiliate content (ratings, bonuses, reviews), but also more general content that can be useful for online gamblers in general (these are articles found in our Betting School section of the website). It is not just about new pages, but also existing pages that need to be updated time to time to keep them fresh. We try to keep a balance between our SEO requirements and the overall quality and interest of the content. The content editors are usually free to change the structure and to give advice regarding the content, because that is essential in the long run. Give users what they want Our pages always cover the real intent of our users. If they’re looking for a bookmaker’s rating, then we should provide the honest rating of bookmakers that really fit the main criteria. For example, the bookmakers with the highest odds are listed highest, lowest odds are lowest. We also provide the justification for our rating — which factors we evaluate, and why these bookmakers have this rating. It is the same for other types of content. The users should be satisfied with our content. If the user comes to our website, and then returns back to Google search, it’s bad for our website, because it negatively affects our rankings. Link building We pay a lot of attention to the link building processes. It’s quite hard to get natural backlinks for betting sites, so we have to reach out, using our link building department and using the help of third-party agencies. Our top priority for link building — authoritative U.K. websites with good organic search traffic, but we also use other websites in English for link building. Page experience We check our website on a weekly basis. The SEO specialist makes a regular weekly technical report based on a basic checklist. We check 404 errors, broken backlinks and internal links, the speed of loading, and structured data. Mobile usability In today’s world, it is essential to consider everything as if people will be using a mobile phone. About 70% of our users are using mobile devices. We pay high attention to how our website works and looks on mobile devices, including images, rankings, tables inside the texts and page speed. Andy Heaford, who is originally from Norwich, England, has been involved in the online gambling industry for almost 20 years in various roles. Currently, he’s the site manager for Legalbet websites in the U.K. Sure, content is important, but if nobody is reading it what is the point? It is my current opinion that every affiliatemust be optimized to have a fighting chance. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 22

E U R A S I A 13-16 MAR 23 UAE A S I A 19-22 JULY 23 MANILA E U R O P E NOV 23 MALTA 16-19 JAN 23 NAIROBI A F R I C A A M E R I C A S 15-19 MAY 23 SAO PAULO 4-7 SEPT 23 CYPRUS Discover more at SiGMA.WORLD

Maria Florides 1970–2022 G P W A t i m e s . o r g 24

It doesn’t matter if it was via email, DM, Skype or in person. If you had an interaction with Maria Florides, you could feel her energy. Her smile and laugh were inescapable. Her positivity was contagious. With that said, the GPWA family was stunned and saddened on 22 November when we received word that our beloved Program Manager passed away in her sleep at the age of 52 in her home in Cyprus. Her sudden passing came just days after Maria spent a week in Malta at SiGMA Europe doing what she sincerely loved: attending an iGaming conference with the GPWA team and spending time with colleagues, clients and friends from the industry. The outpouring of sincere condolences and fond remembrances on the GPWA forums and social media in the days and weeks following her passing was quite touching. It was no surprise to us that Maria left an indelible mark on anyone she met. Whether it was a friend she knew for decades or an acquaintance she shared a coffee with just one time, Maria had a habit of making a lasting and cheerful impression. In the following pages, we share a sampling of the kind words people across the industry who knew Maria shared with us. As the old saying goes, “When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.” We feel fortunate that Maria’s jovial personality and love for life provided us all with an abundance of everlasting memories that we will most certainly treasure forever. Rest in peace, Maria. A Fond Farewell to Maria Florides 25 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

The following is a small sample of condolences from Maria’s industry friends and colleagues that were posted on the GPWA forum. To view the entire “Rest in Peace, Maria” thread, or to post your own comments, please visit: MichaelCorfman GPWA Executive Director I spent the last week in Malta at SiGMA with Maria. The caring, friendly, enthusiastic, and always helpful Maria that I was so proud to work with and that embodied the very spirit of the GPWA. I cannot believe she is no longer with us. iGamingWriter Private Member She was a person that overflowed with positivity. I’ve not met another person in the industry that was so enthusiastic. She always had a smile. She always had a friendly word of support. She always had time. Integrity Private Member APCW Perspectives Host Jay Todd Maria was an amazing sales person and a dear friend. She was kind and loved her job, and was always willing to do whatever she had to do for her friends and for her work. I have no words to describe the shock I feel at learning that she will not be with us anymore. My condolences to all who knew and loved her. GPWA Gary GPWA Editor-in-Chief Maria was an absolute pleasure to work with. Always -- and I mean ALWAYS -- energetic, positive, helpful, friendly. Even though we lived on opposite sides of the world and communicated mostly by DMs and email, her exuberance would virtually shine through my computer screen with every correspondence I had with her. She will be sorely missed here at the GPWA and across the industry. LowFlyingBird Sponsor Affiliate Program Web Partners Affiliate Program Devastating news, I really enjoyed seeing her at all the many events. She was frequently in my chats telling me good news about travels and people she would meet up with. Recently, she made a trip to Chile in Feb. 22 and while talking to me about it, I told her another affiliate friend was also in Chile. I put the two of them together to potentially meet up and we all hilariously learned how big Chile is. It would take several hours to meet up for drinks. Maria was not to be deterred. She said, “Oh what’s 5 hours on a bus ride in jungle.” “Great, as long as we can see each other su casa or mi casa LOL” This one hits hard, as she was helpful in so many ways and connections over the years. Condolences to GPWA. She will be missed. ocreditor Private Member So sad... such a wonderful woman, warm-hearted and full of joy! Maria was one of the best! Always caring, always only wanting to help, a wonderful mediator, always pleasant to talk to. I am so sorry that she is no longer with us. I share in the grief of the family and the GPWA family. My heart is with you. RIP, Maria. Renee Sponsor Affiliate Program Rewards Affiliates Maria was one of the constants in this industry and I cannot echo enough that she was so positive and happy and her energy just rubbed off on every person she came in contact with. It’s a sad day and she will certainly be missed by everyone. Condolences to her family. VeselkaP Sponsor Affiliate Program WPT Partners I have no words. Maria was an amazing person, she was a great professional and on top of that she was always helping, caring, supporting. May her family have peace in this hard situation. 26 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

Linsam Brand New Member It’s shocking and unbelievable how Maria could have left us so soon. She was one of the sweetest people I have met and was always ready to help when I first started in the industry. She was always in high spirits and so caring to others. I just met her at SiGMA last week so it’s hard to believe that I can never see her or talk to her again... My sincere condolences to Maria’s family and to GPWA. And rest in peace Maria, I will miss you dearly. Lee-Ann Public Member AffiliateINSIDER Maria was a pillar of networking and positivity of our industry and a colleague and someone that I considered a dear friend. She will be sorely missed by many whom she helped, served and connected to help get good business done. It is a very sad day today, especially as we spent time together chatting just last week at SIGMA. I’m just shocked to have received this very sad news. Maria will leave a huge gap in our affiliate community and will be remembered as one of the most influential women in iGaming by me, her colleagues and all her industry friends. She was and will always be remembered as an industry connector, nay … affiliate legend - rest in peace. We are all the better for knowing you. Our deepest condolences to her family, to you her GPWA colleagues and this community of her affiliate friends. onlinegamblers Brand New Member Maria was one of the warmest people I have ever met. So full of laughter and hugs, it was impossible to not love her from the start. Maria was one of the most kind and talented people in this industry, there wasn’t many as passionate as her. I still can’t believe she isn’t with us anymore. I’m grateful that I got to know her and I’m sending my deepest condolences to her loved ones. She spoke very highly of her son and her colleagues at GPWA. May she rest in peace, she will be missed by many ❤️ Condor Affiliates Non-sponsor Affiliate Program Maria was the person who would give energy. No matter what the topic was; she always inspired others to think about solutions for everything. She wanted the best for everyone surrounding her and her GPWA team. And all was done with a bright smile, and genuine interest. And passion. It is sad to speak in past tense about her, as that would not reflect her vibe and her vivant style. Sincere condolences to Maria’s family and to GPWA. Lynn Brand New Member My team and I are in deep shock. We absolutely loved Maria, the kindest, sweetest, most considerate and helpful person we have ever met. She is a real angel in heaven now. The industry will not be the same without her, we loved her so much. SlotVibe Partners Non-sponsor Affiliate Program I saw Maria on Tuesday to exchange gifs with her like we always do at conferences and took yet another pic together... if only I knew it would be for the very last time. She has guided me through this industry with love, kindness and passion. Always an ear to listen and to share ideas and to find a solution to support us all. I am looking at the box of chocolates she gifted me with on Tuesday with such HUGE emotion. I will miss her. She was one of a kind. ElaineGardiner Non-sponsor Affiliate Program I’m devastated by this news. It’s heartwarming to see how many lives she’s touched. Maria was such a sweet soul. When things in life and the industry change so frequently, it’s comforting to have some constants, and one of those were to see Maria’s friendly face at a conference. We first met on this forum and now we say goodbye here. Rest in peace beautiful xo Maria’s family has created a page for charitable donations in her memory that will benefit the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Maria’s son was cared for by the hospital for a number of years. To donate, please visit: SCAN QR CODE 27 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

SiGMA Europe 2022 G P W A t i m e s . o r g SiGMA 28

29 G P W A t i m e s . o r g If you were lucky enough to be one of the attendees at the Summit of iGaming Malta (SiGMA) Europe 2022 event, held 14-18 November, then you were part of a record- breaking event. For the first time, SiGMA Group combined its four leading shows - the aforementioned SiGMA, Affiliate Grand Slam, AI and Blockchain Conference, and Med-Tech World - for what it deemed, “the mother of all conferences.” More than 25,000 attendees, 1,000 sponsors and exhibitors, 400 speakers, 300 affiliates, 400 companies and 100 influencers packed the house for presentations, workshops, networking and gala awards. In fact, the SiGMA gala broke a record as it raised $91,000 for charity. As we settle in for another year of industry conferences in 2023, beginning with ICE London and iGB Affiliate London in February, let’s take a look back at some of the sights and scenes from the exhibition floor, networking parties and awards celebrations from SiGMA Europe 2022. Europe

SiGMA Europe 2022 G P W A t i m e s . o r g 30

From the Exhibition Floor 31 G P W A t i m e s . o r g

G P W A t i m e s . o r g 32 SiGMA Europe 2022

33 G P W A t i m e s . o r g Networking Parties/SiGMA Awards

FROM THE FORUMS Is It Too Late to Re-Enter The Excerpts are presented in the following pages. To view the thread in its entirety, visit For more forum posts, industry news, and complete archives of our weekly GPWA newsletters and the GPWA Times Magazine, visit Can an affiliate who put his casino business on hold for nearly 10 years return to the industry and bring his sites back to life? That was the question posed by one of our members on the GPWA forums and the response from some of our most veteran iGaming affiliates was varied. *This thread was edited for clarity and length. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 34 Business? Affiliate Casino #1 goldcity 25 September 2022, 7:33 a.m. New Member Until about 10 years ago, I had a well-running casino-affiliate business, but suddenly revenues dropped, although the website traffic still remained good. However, in the following years I abandoned the websites. Is it still worth it to “re-activate” the old websites with a new design, new content and current SEO techniques? The sites are actually still active, but with very outdated content and design. Would it be worth the effort? “ Reply With Quote #2 Oliver Cooper 25 September 2022, 2:01 p.m. Public Member I don’t know about casino, but maybe better to start from the beginning. If it is new content, and not something that the old audience will be interested in, it’s better to focus on recruiting a new audience. “ Reply With Quote #3 Cash Bonus 25 September 2022, 5:03 p.m. Private Member It doesn’t hurt to try, instead of doing nothing at all about it. “ Reply With Quote

Illustrations by Darko 1981/Shutterstock and XXX 35 G P W A t i m e s . o r g #4 universal4 25 September 2022, 6:33 p.m. Forum Administrator I think activating the old site is fine. It can be an uphill battle, but so could starting from scratch. Using the old sites gives you the benefit of a far more aged domain, and the possibility of a handful of links that might still be pointing at the old site. Be sure to have redirects in place to the new site or pages when you relaunch. Be sure to relaunch as https, if you had not changed that previously. Any old pages, say for reviews of operators that no longer are open or promoted, should be redirected to pages with content that might be a match. If you had cloaked visit links, like in an html or php visit folder, be sure that exists and they point at operators you promote in case those old links are suddenly clicked in old cached pages. “ Reply With Quote #5 TheGooner 25 September 2022, 7:56 p.m. Private Member If you abandoned your sites 10 years ago in frustration then you’ll be frustrated again in 2022. It’s far more competitive (20x, 50x, maybe 100x?), requires more tech savvy, and new signups tend to be few and far between because they’re spread over so many more affiliates and websites. 90-95% of our revenues come from players signed previously, only 5-10% from players signed this year. “ Reply With Quote Depending on how big the site is, the preferred method might be to rebuild the site on an IP or dev server, then launch all at once. The above is less pertinent if you plan on keeping a lot of the old site, structure and content and just change or update the pages where you see fit. If so, just start making changes and improvements as you can, (again remembering to change outdated visit links to sites you do promote). “ Reply With Quote



FROM THE FORUMS 38 #7 chaumi 26 September 2022, 7:01 a.m. Private Member You could look at this two ways.... You have aged domains/sites that will give you a running start..... Or.... Those domains/sites are now a hindrance (maybe something went wrong - or you did something “wrong” that contributed to their decline). It’s more likely to be the first, but could be the second. I’d say you need to spend some time really looking at what they are doing right now...and, ideally, really understanding why the revenue dropped off. Knowing that will give you a better appreciation of what’s possible going forward. What’s near certain is that — if you’re working alone — it will likely be incredibly tough (even if there is some juice in the sites) unless you find some angle to tackle/exploit that’s outside of the general/typical high-level targets. Your goal will likely be to become an authority in whatever topic/subject you choose by adapting and building up those sites (or one of them, and using others as feeders). If they are in a workable (and unpenalized) state, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that you’re more likely to get the best results by resurrecting them (rather than starting from scratch with a new domain/site). But to be sure and make a reasonably accurate appraisal of the prospects, someone (ideally more than one person) would probably have to look them over. “ Reply With Quote #10 6takarakuji 4 October 2022, 4:43 a.m. Private Member Check the history of your domain in Search Console or Ahrefs to see if you’ve been hit with any Google penalty during these years, and if your site has recovered from them. If you’ve been hit and not recovered, then I would suggest starting a new site. I’d also look at how many backlinks you’ve got on your site. If you’ve already got an established strong backlink profile, it might be worth keeping the site (as long as it hasn’t been penalized in an update). The content you can always move to a new domain, so no need to look at the content too much. “ Reply With Quote #8 mics 26 September 2022, 3:08 p.m. Private Member In my opinion, it is definitely worth it. If you keep control of your websites and they still generate traffic, it means that your websites have trust from Google, so you can easily ramp up your traffic (and revenue) by identifying quick wins and producing more fresh content, which will bring value to your visitors and will be well structured and optimized. “ Reply With Quote #9 GamblersHeaven 28 September 2022, 8:31 p.m. Private Member I’ve been debating this same question recently. Revenue went down for me and I got a “normal” job. I’ve kept the websites up, but haven’t touched them in the last 12 years. I know it would be an uphill battle, so I’m considering whether I’m up for the challenge. “ Reply With Quote #6 PaulEchere 26 September 2022, 5:56 a.m. Private Member Unfortunately, I can’t compare what things are now vs. 10 years ago, but if you still have those domains, I believe it might be worth trying. Even if it is not going to go anywhere, perhaps you can sell those websites after you “freshen them up”? “ Reply With Quote

39 #11 AussieDave 6 October 2022, 6:27 a.m. Public Member Originally Posted by TheGooner “If you abandoned your sites 10 years ago in frustration then you’ll be frustrated again in 2022.” TheGooner is spot on. If you’re seriously seeking honest and experienced advice, then take that advice from long-time affiliates. Those not around 10 years ago, can’t comment, because they didn’t live it. TheGooner has been around since 1999. He knows his stuff. I’d say competitiveness is up 100-fold. It’s definitely a completely different playing field these days. Plus, programs open and close at the drop of a hat. Mobile traffic accounts for about 95% of all my traffic. And, most are seeking multi-platform browser-based casinos. Software such as MGS, RTG etc., are still in the game but nothing like they used to be. I’m not saying don’t, but if it was me, I’d be looking for a ground-floor opportunity, instead. “ Reply With Quote #12 wonderpunter 7 October 2022, 1:16 a.m. Private Member It’s a lot harder. The easy days are gone. What you need now really is capital. That’s what will get you traffic. 12 years ago you could throw up a cookie cutter with some PBN backlinks and dominate. “ Reply With Quote #14 CasinoTroll 31 October 2022, 10:21 p.m. New Member I believe that this kind of affiliate will never completely “die.” It will, for sure, get more competitive, as more domains are structured and delivered, more or less, helpful content for the searchers. I like the comparison with “Online Poker.” Every year there is a discussion about “Is Online Poker dead?” and the most obvious answer is, it will never be completely dead, but it will be always harder to succeed than last year. “ Reply With Quote #13 jbo_online 19 October 2022, 6:43 p.m. Public Member I believe that if you have those old domains and you are considering re-entering the business it may be worth the try. Worst case scenario after “reactivating them” you can consider selling them. “ Reply With Quote #15 Hotei Productions 16 November 2022, 5:10 p.m. Public Member I stopped for five years and started from scratch and I can tell you it is so much harder and mainly more expensive than 10 years ago. The good old days are over when keywords were easy to grasp. “ Reply With Quote I stopped for five years and started from scratch and I can tell you it is so much harder and mainly more expensive than 10 years ago. The good old days are over when keywords were easy to grasp. P W A t i m e s . o r g

American author John C. Maxwell says, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” This issue’s affiliate interviewees “AVC-Invest” and “MJM” would agree, and even more so in the world of iGaming. Despite being in the industry for two totally different durations, each interviewee understands that in order to survive and succeed in the iGaming world they must keep their ears to the ground and roll with the ebbs and flows of SEO. In the following pages, you’ll read about their similar beliefs on networking, their different strategies on volume of sites, and a personal similarity between the two. GPWA AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES How long have you been involved in the iGaming affiliate business? I have worked in iGaming as an affiliate since 2019. Prior to that I dabbled as an affiliate with some social media accounts, but started my own site back in 2019. I knew very little about SEO and website building when I started out, and learned as I went along. I’ve held many jobs previously, and looking back, I am glad I have experience in working in many different industries. I have worked in finance, car sales, direct marketing, tele-sales and many more. Are you a full-time affiliate or is this a side gig? It feels like a full-time job; however, I do have a regular 9-5 job in finance. Robert Alexander - AVC-Invest Living by a motto that requires persistent preparation, “AVC-Invest” manages to juggle20 iGaming affiliate sites whileworking a full-time finance job, raising a family and playingpoker Intro image by Maxx-Studio/Shutterstock Loves ‘Victory Preparation’ G P W A t i m e s . o r g 40