The Compliance Process™ – by Steve Donoughue

Start-ups in the online gambling industry, like in any industry do everything by the seat of their pants. Strategy and planning are not what they are renowned for. Hard work, enthusiasm, creativity and a burning desire to succeed is what they are rightly famous for, just don´t expect this to be done in a methodical manner. No great artists ever painted by numbers.

Sigmagazine24

Left to right: Dr. Simon Planzer & Dr. Steve Donoughue at SiGMA15

Unfortunately, our darling regulators have not designed a regulatory regime to fully accommodate less than a handful of people, trying to build, promote and fund their business idea often from rented desks and often after doing their real job that pays to keep the lights on. The compliance requirements of every gambling regulator do appear to have been written for the likes of well-established gambling business with the funds to employ a whole phalanx of expert compliance staff to ensure that everything is above-board, t’s crossed and i’s dotted.

Part of the issue is that regulatory compliance is not exciting, costs money and can even be perceived as irrelevant, as if you have only two customers, why are you spending so much resources on what to do on the slim chance they may be a problem gambler or a money launderer. I have a client who sells raffle tickets for £1, bans anyone spending more than £80, yet we have to do a policy and procedures for what to do in the freakish event someone wants to buy over £1,734 of them.

So understandably for many start-ups, once the licensing process is completed, compliance sometimes takes a back seat as all efforts are put into growing the business. I have seen a few clients who thought that just having the telephone number of a gambling lawyer should be enough if something hits the fan. Unfortunately, this is never going to work out as hopefully while you have two customers one week, you may have two thousand the next (if you’re very good!). German military strategist Helmuth von Moltke stated that “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy”. The same is true with online gambling customers. Very rapidly you will have one who is trouble and you will need to have your compliance procedures in place or you will have the regulator down on you like a ton of bricks. Your dreams of dominating the online gambling world can easily come crushing down just because you didn’t have the right procedures in place. So how do we solve the problem of start-ups with limited resources getting compliance right?

My answer is to have compliance wired in to the very core of the business from the start. To do this, I use what I have imaginatively called The Compliance Process™. It’s a business process model that is still currently under development but showing amazing results so far. It’s based on system which identifies what triggers compliance events and then dictates what needs to be done when those events are triggered. Think a computer programme that gives and takes the relevant information from the right people at the right time and gets them to do the right thing. It’s almost like an automated compliance director yet with his/her job being done by everyone in the company.

The main advantage of The Compliance Process™ is that everyone in the company gets to understand what needs to be done, why and when and the outputs are exactly what the regulator wants. The most useful output though is arguably the peace of mind it can give all the licence holders and the regulators. With The Compliance Process™ in place there is more time for being a start-up, you know: Foosball, beard competitions and thinking everything is awesome.

Steve Donoughue has been a management consultant specialising in the business strategy and politics of the gambling industry for the last twenty two years – www.gamblingconsultant.co.uk.

Steve will be a speaker at Payments & Disruptive Technology Conference during SiGMA17. Register and secure your place for the conference now!

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Country by country reporting: why should a gaming group care?

Country by Country reporting was introduced to Malta by L.N 400 of 2016. It amended the Cooperation with Other Jurisdictions on Tax Matters Regulations S.L123.127 (“The Regulations”).

It is a recent tax compliance obligation that requires multinational enterprises to annually file a comprehensive group tax report in every jurisdiction where they have a tax residence. The report is designed to show global tax information of the multinational group and of its constituent member entities. For every member entity of the group that is tax resident in a jurisdiction that has implemented the Country by-Country tax reporting standard, a general obligation is imposed to provide a report not only of its local activities but also to provide a complete tax-picture of the group, showing the relevant tax information of every other entity within the multinational group. This creates significant tax obligations at group and entity level.

KPMG eSummit

Russell Mifsud speaking at KPMG eSummit held during SiGMA16

A multilateral Convention setting out the framework for automatic exchange of information and documents has been entered into with a total of 108 countries being signatories. Within this framework, as at 1st March 2017, 57 countries have signed a multilateral agreement to exchange the CbC report within the “Country-by-Country” tax reporting standard in their respective jurisdictions. Apart from the multiple reporting obligation that this creates, the potential to trigger tax investigations across multiple jurisdictions is a concern well deserving of timely attention.

Who is affected by this legislation?

The Regulations apply to groups with a consolidated group revenue of €750,000,000 and above (or the equivalent in local currency). A multinational group with a consolidated group revenue below the €750,000,000 threshold is considered an “Excluded MNE”. Given the nature of activities and revenue, gaming entities are likely to meet the criteria triggering the CbC reporting obligations.

What entity within the group files the report?

The primary duty to file the report rests on the Ultimate Parent Entity of the group, following which Constituent entities are to file similar reports in the respective jurisdictions where they are tax-resident. In special circumstances specified in the Regulations, a Surrogate Parent Entity may be appointed to file the report on behalf of the group. A comprehensive appraisal of the group’s activities would be required to determine what member-entity is in the best position to file the report on behalf of the group. In certain circumstances, special rules apply for member entities that are tax-resident within the EU.

When should this report be filed?

The Regulations took effect from January 2016, making the first country-by-country report due as from January 2017. Therefore, every multinational group that meets the €750,000,000 threshold and having a Malta tax resident member bears a responsibility to file the report as from January 2017.

What are the penalties for non-Compliance?

Failure to comply with the Regulations attracts statutory penalties ranging from €200 to €50,000, depending on the nature and gravity of the default.

Do you need help?

KPMG Malta is here to help. They are among the leading service providers across the financial and non- financial industry arenas. Their team contains an experienced, multidisciplinary group of tax and advisory professionals that have worked on a range of global and national reporting projects for some of the world’s largest organizations. Their network of professionals can help you meet your reporting obligations with limited disruption to your business. They recognize that you face a number of regulatory requirements, especially considering the nature of your business. Their approach to CbC is consistent with their delivery of other regulatory consulting services, enabling you to achieve compliance synergies.

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Meet Pierre Mallia, Managing Director at iMovo

We met Pierre Mallia, Managing Director at iMovo, for an interview about the company and thoughts about the industry.

Hello Pierre, how are you? Are you ready for SiGMA17?

Hi there, sure we’re all really revved up and raring to go at iMovo for what we are sure will be a very successful SiGMA17! I mean 16 was good, but we’ve got far higher expectations this year.

How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?

Well actually in our case it was the other way round, we started up in 2010, as a boutique firm specializing in CRM and Analytics, and quite by accident we learned that this was a pillar for gaming companies to be successful. We’ve never looked back and working with our partners Zendesk, Salesforce, Qlik, Tableau and Talend we are helping players in the industry right across the board.

Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?

Well as I said before, we’re 100% focused on CRM and Analytics which are the mainstay of any gaming operation. We have an Advisory and Projects team which provides advisory services such as process design and best practice in key areas such as sales, marketing and customer service. Our team is heavily certified in the solutions we provide and has experience of working with companies right across the world. We bring our customers a blend of experienced business advisors and deep technology competence.

Pierre Mallia, iMovo

How do you think technology is driving business forward? What are the little secrets that help iMovo in innovating yet again?

I’ll turn that question around a bit if I may: Where do you think the business would be without technology? Pretty rhetorical right? So yes technology is not just driving it forward, but also radically evolving and changing the way the business works. As to our “secret sauce”, well that’s a secret! But let’s just say we do 2 things well – “eat our own dogfood” and keep looking out at the distant horizon of digitalization and adopting approaches and new technologies that will take us that way. For instance, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to be a major disruptor in the Gaming Sector and we’re making investments to be ready for that.

What makes iMovo unique? What do you have that will make you succeed that some of the other companies maybe don’t have?

Well I guess the answer to that is pretty apparent, first off we have great people in the team! If it weren’t for the team we’d just be a run of the mill technology shop. There’s energy and verve and the fact that we’re playing in a global marketplace not just domestic really drives our collective will to compete aggressively against players who are a lot bigger than us.  The second aspect is our razor sharp focus on customer success. We’re not content to simply sell solutions to our customers, we’re totally customer centric and go more than the extra mile to ensure our customers succeed – their success is our success.

Thirdly, I guess it’s also down to our partners. When you’re working with the best in class global players, this forces you to learn from them and grow up fast.

Finally, I’d say it’s the kind of customers we have and the relationships. Yes all companies have customers – but with a very high proportion of repeat business and much coming from global blue chip customers, this really makes it worthwhile.

Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?

Well apart from Malta, we’ve done projects in countries like the US, UK, Italy, France, Greece, Romania, Mauritius and Dubai. So as you can see we have a diverse area of operations and the industries are also extremely varied. For instance we operate in the retail and government sector in the UK, the utilities sector in Greece and France and of course financial services and gaming here in Malta.

What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?

Mobile is a great opportunity. One of our key customers locally was an early adopter and has one of the most downloaded mobile apps locally as a core part of its business today. I don’t think companies have really rethought their business in terms of the part that mobile can play – we see a lot of gaming firms working in mobile and gradually also quite a few onboarding their customer service operations to mobile , which is a key space we play in. Mind you, I believe that we ought to be re-inventing our business in terms of other non-conventional channels as well such as social and here I am talking about the broader scenario beyond the Facebook, Twitter sphere.

Are there any other exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?

I think we’ll do a rain check on this point 🙂 … otherwise we’d be pre-empting what we are planning for SiGMA17. So just one word to your readers; if you’re interested in learning how to leverage your customer data and improve your operations, come by and visit us at SiGMA17.

What sort of gaming-specific technology services do iMovo offer online gaming firms?

As mentioned before, we’re heavily into CRM technologies where we have a close relationship with Salesforce and Zendesk. I need not elaborate much about what these two do for gaming companies as we’ve been helping a variety of firms in the industry. We also provide self-service analytics and visualization services through our Tableau and Qlik practice to many of the major operators in the industry in a variety of use case scenarios.

What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your business?

We’re not a big bureaucratic company – we love to work with customers and help them increase their customer lifetime value proposition. We are pretty unique, particularly to Malta, because we’re the only firm that specializes in the fields we cover and so can bring so much value to your business.

What two pieces of advice would you give to any entrepreneur starting today?

Look for “white-space” in the market, don’t start a company which is providing precisely what other established firms are doing. Look at bringing something new to market. You also should really understand business. Too many bright ideas have fallen by the wayside because the focus was on technology and no thought went into how to bring that technology to the market.

Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?

I’m a terrible gambler, so sorry I don’t play slots! What would I do with a million – well four things:

  1. Buy a sailing yacht
  2. See kids thru college
  3. Invest some of it in iMovo
  4. Donate to a charity that works with disadvantaged kids
Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Gaming Standards Association and iGaming Academy Launch Game Authentication Terminal Course

The Gaming Standards Association and iGaming Academy have launched “GSA Executive Overview: Game Authentication.” Earlier this year, GSA partnered with iGaming Academy to develop and host a series of e-learning modules related to GSA standards, and this is the first in a library of e-learning courses to come.

SiGMA16 Expo

iGaming Academy stand at SiGMA16

The course can be purchased from the iGaming Academy e-shop and serves as an insight into the fundamentals of GAT. The course is specifically designed for anyone with an interest in learning how to deliver the highest quality software in order to ensure player protection and game integrity.

On completing this course, learners will:

  • Understand some of the history behind game authentication
  • Understand how game authentication is performed
  • Be familiar with the command set used by the serial GAT protocol
  • Understand how the same game authentication services can be accessed through other protocols
  • Be familiar with the command set used by the Network GAT Interface

“GSA ispleased to launch this first course in our e-learning initiative. As I said at the time we announced our partnership with iGaming Academy, GSA’s membership operates across multiple time zones. We are now able to offer premium learning that is available on-demand, allowing our members to learn on their schedule,” GSA President Peter DeRaedt said.

The GAT protocol was developed over two decades ago with the aim of providing a mechanism that allows regulators and operators to verify that only approved software is running in gaming machines. The protocol is frequently updated and expanded as changes occur in the industry, and has just recently been revamped to include gaming systems as well as peripheral devices.

GSA’s and iGaming Academy’s online educational series provides an easily accessible platform for users to learn more about GSA’s standards, the impact they have had on the global gaming industry, and the potential they can bring to operators, suppliers, and regulators.

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Meet Christophe Sikita owner of Slots4play and Slots4play UK

We met Christophe Sikita, owner of Slots4play and Slots4play UK, for an interview about his company and thoughts about the industry.

Hello Christophe, how are you?  Are you ready for SiGMA17 ?

Hi Marius, yes, I am ready!

How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?

I was always interested in gambling and was advised by a friend to form the company.

Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?

It is a relatively small company, comprising of 2 full time developers, 1 full time writer and 1 full time social media coordinator.

With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?

No, not surprised at all.

A number of your competitors have gone down the real money operator route, and tried their hand at white labels. Have you also done this?

I have considered it, but still undecided… Well I think not. Affiliate business is taking a lot of my time so the final answer is NO 🙂

Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?

Reviews, Promotions, Releases, Strategies and Tips and Updates.

Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?

UK, Europe and USA.

How do you find UK market and competition?

UK market is indeed competitive, especially with more new casino sites being released every year. It’s not easy to stay up to date, but we’ll manage anyway 🙂

How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO and content at your company?

I’m focusing increasingly on unique content to rank organically and, to be honest, I don’t really care much about Google updates.

Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?

Not really… I am preparing myself for a long holiday – that’s all about it, haha!

What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your sites?

Well, if they do look for a long partnership then that’s all they need to know, I am open and looking forward to meet trustworthy and long-term partners!

What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?

Great chance to increase player database and income, haha!

What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?

Having to focus on What I do now, trying not to get angry at some affiliate managers, watching my income grow.

What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?

The first one will be: Be Patient. It takes time to do it properly and focus on one aspect of gaming and go for it.  The second thing will be: Don’t believe all the crap you read on the Affiliate Forums.

Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?

Just managed to quit haha, but I don’t know… I’m a simple guy, trying not to get much attention on me, haha!

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Seqr ™ signs deal with iGaming Cloud

iGaming Cloud partners with Seqr™ enabling them to offer the innovative mobile payment solution as a new digital payment option for its customers.

iGaming Cloud, part of the Gaming Innovation Group, is the first iGaming platform provider to sign with Seqr in order to offer the payment method to its customers. Customers will be able to top up and withdraw funds from their accounts by simply downloading the payment app and then using Seqr on their smartphone in both a secure and convenient way. A number of individual operators have already activated the Seqr services, or are in the process of doing so. The arrangement with iGaming Cloud is another example of Seqr’s penetration into the massively growing gaming market as it scales to many operators through one single integration. The deal will pave the way for Seqr to become available as a new payment method at approximately 40 operators using the iGaming Cloud’s platform. press release “Seqr fits well into our goals to eliminate technological bottlenecks and significantly reduce costs for operators and white labels solutions”, says Ian Bradbury, iGaming Cloud’s Head of Payment. “iGaming Cloud’s vision is to make the iGaming industry lean, and mobile devices are an important part of our everyday life, so it is a natural step for iGaming Cloud to engage the mobile channel in a broader way.

Ian Bradbury, Head of Payments at iGaming cloud

Seqr makes the customer experience much simpler and more effective. Seqr also gives our customers (operators) the possibility to create attractive offers together with Seqr to help drive customer acquisition. On top of that there is the possibility to reach existing Seqr users directly through Seqr, which is very interesting”. “The partnership with iGaming Cloud and the Gaming Innovation Group is an important step in our strategy for greater market penetration into the iGaming industry,” says Peter Fredell, CEO at Seamless. “When Seqr was launched 4 years ago, the strategy was to approach the physical everyday merchants, such as supermarkets, convenient stores, fast food chains, parking etc., in order to create a Seqr user base before approaching niche industries such as iGaming. As we have now reached that goal with Seqr established in 16 countries, the timing is right to move into the iGaming industry”.

Peter Fredell, CEO of Seamless

The Gaming Innovation Group turned over 234 million euros during 2016. The gaming industry has been a contributor to Seqr’s existing business and this first partnership with a platform provider is an important step for further expansion into iGaming.

RakeTech strengthens its position in Denmark by acquiring Pokernet.dk and Odds.dk

RakeTech Group, one of Europe’s leading iGaming affiliates, today announced the acquisitions of Denmark’s leading poker community Pokernet.dk as well as leading iGaming affiliate websites Odds.dk and Casinoguide.dk. Together with the previous acquisitions of BetXpert.com and TVsporten.dk, RakeTech has cemented its leading position in the Danish affiliate market and continues its clear focus on providing user value and high-quality casino, poker, and sports content.

Pokernet.dk is Denmark’s largest poker community, which was founded and operated by several experienced poker enthusiasts over the years including former World Series of Poker champion Peter Eastgate. Since its inception, the community has developed into a large and engaged user network that today involves all types of casino games.

Odds.dk is one of Denmark’s leading sports betting affiliate websites with multiple partner sites in various iGaming verticals. The acquisition also includes key Danish websites such as Blackjack.dkBonusodds.dkCasinoguide.dkLivescore.dkSpilforslag.eu and Sportbonus.net.

 

Johan Svensson, Founder and Director of RakeTech Group with Joel Jacobson co-founder, Trustly at SiGMA15

Johan Svensson, Founder and Director of RakeTech Group with Joel Jacobson co-founder, Trustly at SiGMA15

Through the new assets, RakeTech strengthens its leading position in the Danish affiliate market. Previously, the company has acquired BetXpert.com, Denmark’s most established and largest sports betting community, as well as TVsporten.dk, one of Denmark’s main go-to pages and apps for high-quality sports content including TV listings, match previews, breaking news, viral video content and betting tips.

“Pokernet.dk and Odds.dk are a perfect fit for RakeTech. We are delighted to have acquired these new assets and look forward to continuing to provide relevant and high-quality content with a focus on sports, poker, and casino to Danish users. Our aim is to create real user value and increase the relevance for the operators”, said Michael Holmberg, RakeTech Group CEO. “RakeTech now has a leading position in the Danish affiliate market. Going forward, we will continue to look for suitable acquisitions that complement our portfolio, as well as growing our business organically by providing great content.”

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Third SiGMA17 Tour to take place on June 12th at MFCC, Ta’ Qali

On June 12th between 9:00hrs and 10:00hrs , SiGMA is organising the third tour at the Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre in Ta’ Qali – a new venue for the November show.

All the exhibitors and potential sponsors have a chance to experience and take a look at the venue and facilities. It will also be possible to discuss stand construction and other logistical matters with local suppliers of stands, printing and furniture.

Interested participants are welcome to join this tour by RSVP at sophie@sigma.com.mt.

Arguably the toughest of decisions we had to endure to date – stay where we are but be unable to grow the show with new exhibitors or move elsewhere? Hardly anyone wanted to release their booking for 2017, which meant we literally couldn’t sell a single stand space to a new exhibitor. Delegates want to meet existing but also new exhibitors. For us it was important to keep the show cosy and fun but at the same time enable it to grow, with new exhibitors.

2016 was already a bit of a squeeze so we decided to go for a bigger venue and create what we’re branding as the iGAMING VILLAGE – with six themed bars, three restaurants and two lounge areas all within the expo. Enjoy a drink, a lunch, a cigar at no cost this year at SiGMA! This, coupled with free shuttle bus service, should make MFCC a welcoming home this year!

With 1,000 free flights for affiliates and C level executives, many more startups and investors for our startup pitch and more talented attendees for our Careers Convention, we’re expecting 6,000 delegates this year. Our delegate numbers have shown significant growth since our first show in 2014. Their demographics can be found here.

Early Bird tickets for SiGMA are almost sold out. Prices will go up 1st June. Click here and register today.

MFCC

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Vodafone and Melita merge forces in Malta

The breaking announcement of this merger was made by their shareholders earlier this morning, with Melita shareholders Apax Partners and Fortino Capital retaining majority stakes at 51%.

The final agreement must get the rubber stamp from the Malta Communications Authority and the final transaction is expected to close later this year.

The merged company will operate under the Vodafone brand, and is expected to offer stiff competition to its Malta rival GO.

Vodafone Malta has been valued at €208 million and Melita at €298 million as part of the deal, with the combined company assuming net debt of approximately €345 million. Vodafone will receive an estimated cash payment of €120 million while Melita’s shareholders will receive an estimated cash payment of €33 million, representatives for the newly-formed company said in a statement announcing the deal.

Current Melita CEO Harald Rösch will take over as CEO while a new role for Amanda Nelson, its current CEO, will be allocated.

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Meet Lord Brar, VP Business Development at Adaptive

We met Lord Brar, VP Business Development at Adaptive for an interview about his company and thoughts about the industry.

Hello Lord, how are you? Are you ready for SiGMA17?

Hi Marius, I am good, thanks! And yes, I am absolutely ready for SiGMA17.

During my last trip to SiGMA16, it was raining all the time I was there. So, looking forward to (hopefully) enjoy Malta’s legendary 300 days of sunshine and the country itself.

How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?

I stumbled upon online gaming space completely by accident. As a performance marketing agency, we operate in a lot of verticals and are constantly being recommended offers by affiliate networks to test.

One of the affiliate managers who I really trust and respect, recommended me to try this casino offer that was performing well. Because I know he never asks me to promote average or under-performing offers, I decided to give it a try.

Since then, casino industry has been good for us and become one of our main verticals.

Lord Brar

Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?

We consider us a data and technology company more than an advertising company. We use a lot of proprietary technology to manage large scale media buying across many verticals and countries.

As for the structure, we work with a team who specialize in various aspects of the game. We have teams of media buyers who specialize in a specific traffic source. Other members of our team include – copywriters, graphics designers, programmers and data analytics specialists.

With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?

No, it doesn’t surprise me at all. Business cycles always work this way. I have seen it happen over and over again in different verticals. Consolidation is a sign of market maturity.

In a way, it is a good thing. Once companies grow really big, they are not able to innovate at the same pace. This gives perfect opening for a “new guy” to come up with something really innovative and market disruptive.

A number of your competitors have gone down the real money operator route, and tried their hand at white labels. Have you also done this?

It is something that we have given a serious thought to. However, there are lot more elements that go into making a casino successful and we are not sure that it is the best route for us right now.

We are currently focusing on doing what we do best – media buying and driving new customers to our partners’ brands.

Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?

A more appropriate description of our strategy would be unique and innovative ways to advertise. Media buying is a really competitive game and you have to be on the cutting edge of innovation to make a profit.

Over next 6 months, our primary focus will definitely be finding newer ways and channels to advertise.

Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?

Our current focus, in gaming industry, is UK, CA and NL.

We want to start testing Latin America as we have had a lot of success in those markets in other verticals. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to yet find partners who have successful brands that convert for us in those markets. But I see a lot of potential there…

How do you find UK market and competition?

We love the UK market. As a matter of fact, it is one of our main markets. Yes, the competition is really high there, but it has performed really well for us and our partners.

Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?

Right now, we are working on scaling our business.

On one hand, you can think of it as really exciting. On the other hand, it is extremely boring routine work. However, it is extremely exciting from the point of view that in future we will have capability to deliver more player for our partners and work with more partners.

What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?

The move to mobile has been one of the best things to happen to us. Over 80% of our traffic is mobile traffic, and the more casinos that support mobile the more partners we can work with.

Think about it – mobile is the way people use internet now. This is not going to change anytime soon. As a matter of fact, this is the way things will grow in emerging markets. We can only look at it as a positive opportunity.

What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?

The first and most important advice that I will give to split-test everything. Test, test and test everything – if you think you have tested everything, I am sure I can think of a few more things to test.  Try to squeeze every penny that you can from each click.

To give one example, once we tested the placement of offer in first half of the page and second half. We were getting a lot more clicks by having the link in first half, but those links were not converting. The clicks from links in second half of the page were performing WAY better. It’s not something we would have assumed if we didn’t test this hypothesis.

The secondly. treat your affiliate business like a real business. With the amount of competition now, you have no choice but to treat it like a real business.

Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?

No, I don’t. I am more of a poker and roulette player. I like to play people – and, I feel more energetic in presence of people rather than stare at screens. As a matter of fact, during AGS Tallinn, it took me a grand total of 2 minutes to lose all money I had for playing slots.

If I do somehow end up winning 1 million euros from jackpot, I’d go straight to roulette table and bet it all on number 13. I can only imagine the kind of rush it will give me…

Passionate about results-oriented advertising and an avid student of consumer behaviour, Lord has been acquiring, building and growing e-commerce and media companies since 1999.

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?