MFSA releases public warning on OneCoin

The governing financial regulating body The MFSA has released a warning to the public stating that the operators of a Facebook page and associated website promoting the cryptocurrency “OneCoin” are not regulated or authorized entities. OneCoin was founded by Dr. Ruja Ignatova, a Bulgarian company.

Although 2017 has seen the inherent rise of the cryptocurrency across the globe, the MFSA stated that OneCoin “Is not a currency issues by any Central Bank or by any other public authority”. Despite the decentralized currency promoting opportunities to invest trade and even mine in OneCoin, throughout social media.

Highly regarded previously as a fraudulent entity, late 2016 saw Italy ban OneCoin. The Italian Competition Authority (L’Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato) ordered to freeze all operations from OneCoin parent company (One Network Services Ltd.), describing the service as a multilevel scam. Authorities from countries such as Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria, Latvia, and Norway are said to be actively investigating OneCoin over fraud allegations, with the Bank of Hungary labeling it a “Pyramid scheme”.

On the contrary, in February at the CEPS Lab ideas conference in Belgium, Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat stated that “Cryptocurrencies could be slowed but not stopped and some financial institutions are painstakingly accepting the fact that the system at the back of such transactions is much more efficient and transparent than the classical ones,” Muscat proposed the notion that Europe should become the first bitcoin continent.

Rather than resist he added, “European regulators should innovate and create mechanisms in which to regulate cryptocurrencies, to harness their potential and better protect consumers, while making Europe the natural home of innovators” Muscat’s comments exemplify that the EU is not a union state but rather a Union of individual states that reflect varying beliefs and opinions.

Have you attended SiGMA last year? 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.

Could the U.S. ban Online Gambling?

Reports emerging in the past days from The Huffington Post, state that U.S attorney general Jeff Sessions is pushing for an online gambling ban to be reintroduced. A federal ban on all state regulated gambling in the U.S looms ahead, despite opposition from the National Governors Association and poor public support. The move would be heavily supported by Republican party key donor (and Las Vegas Sands chairman) Sheldon Adelson who is well known for his anti-online gaming views.

This stark step follows increasing efforts from a number of groups to reinstall America’s Interstate Wire Act. As a result, this would effectively prohibit any means of internet gaming in the country

In order to make this happen Sessions would have to reverse the 2011 Department of Justice ruling that opened the door to state-by-state regulation of real-money online gambling. To date only New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have taken the option to introduce a state-regulated online gaming service, with things going well, several other states are currently considering similar schemes.

Chris Grove, a consultant for stakeholders in the country’s regulated market, informed the Huffington Post that should the ban come into place, it would jeopardize thousands of jobs across the U.S, not to mention stop the birth of tens of thousands of new jobs as well as negatively impact tax income for those states where online gambling has been legalized.

“A federal ban on regulated online gambling would be a tremendous loss for consumers and states. It would be a massive victory for the illegal, offshore betting industry, which has no interest in competing with state-regulated sites,” Grove said.

“That can hardly be an outcome Attorney General Jeff Sessions hopes to achieve; but it is the inevitable effect of any federal action to rob states of their ability to decide whether online gambling regulation is right for them,” Grove added.

Have you attended SiGMA last year? 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.

 

Meet Callie Dove, co-founder & director at AGS Media Group Ltd

SiGMA met Callie Dove, co-founder and director at AGS Media Group Ltd, for an interview about her business and thoughts about the industry.

Hello Callie, how are you? Are you ready for the Tallinn Affiliate Grand Slam 2017 or SiGMA17?

Hey Marius, I’m great, thanks for asking. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to the Affiliate Gram Slam this year, but it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to SIGMA 2017 of course. It’s really great to see new events growing in popularity which offer something different in the iGaming world.

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

I’ve been working in iGaming for over 10 years now, as many know I come from an affiliate management background. I did originally start out as a poker affiliate manager back in 2007. Along the way, I’d always wanted to “cross to the other side” and was very curious about it. It wasn’t until a random chat a few years back with Robert, my AGS Media Group co-founder that we decided to work together, bringing our own skill sets to the table; and AGS Media Group was created.

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

We like to keep things as simple as possible. There are 2 of us working full time. I’m running the day to day business and taking care of content, strategy, accounts and so on. Anything on the technical side is handled by Robert -that’s out of my area!

We also have a freelance content writer who has been working with us for some time too. Although we’re based in 2 separate countries, we talk a lot, plan a lot and make sure we’re meeting up face to face at least every 5 weeks.

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

I’m not surprised really, it makes sense that huge companies buy up the competition and monopolize on traffic with big budgets and resources. Although some acquisitions have surprised me, I think it will be a trend that continues and we’ll be seeing some interesting acquisitions this year as well.

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?

No, I don’t think it’s on the cards for us. We’re happy to continue to grow our business as it is and stick to something we enjoy.

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

We’ll continue this strategy and provide unique content across our sites; add new sites, review new slots and casinos as they launch. I think players like to try out new casinos and it makes sense to review them and keep with the times.

Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets ? How do you find UK market and competition?

For www.allgamblingsites.com, the UK is our primary focus, and although we have sites focusing on Australia, we’re holding off working on them until the legislation situation becomes clearer. The UK market is becoming more and more competitive, especially with recent acquisitions and additional affiliates who are now targeting the UK market, who were not before.

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

There’s some kind of update almost on a monthly basis now, and I think these days it’s important to play it safe and stick to guidelines. The bottom line is that Search Engines appreciate helpful and engaging content that helps the user. If we need to adapt anything, we do and if needed, make changes and make some tests. We think it’s important to try new ideas and not get stuck in your comfort zones.

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

Just to keep on growing sites and the business in general.

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

All of our sites are mobile and AMPresponsive. We’re enjoying the shift to more and more mobile users; I definitely think conversion is higher.

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

The biggest challenges are probably what any SEO affiliate faces – staying visible in SERPS and facing stiffer competition, especially with the stronger affiliate companies who have more resources and budget.

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

I would say don’t give up; you have the chance to make a success, but give yourself time to succeed. It’s cliched, but building up traffic and sites takes time, hard work and patience. Don’t cut corners with SEO and don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to fellow affiliates for tips.

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

I play some progressive slots like Mega Fortune when the jackpot is huge but generally speaking when I’m not working, I’m not thinking about slots or playing at online casinos!

As for winning £1 Million jackpot; I’d invest in a small side business, something totally brand new, exciting and outside of iGaming. I’d also like to take some of that money and buy a (small!) apartment in the Alps somewhere.

Have you attended SiGMA last year? 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.

Ongoing VR and online gaming app trends in 2017

The VR and online gaming app trends in 2017 are already underway, and many of them are progressing as planned. People are starting to see virtual reality technology flourish in this new world.

Since people have been discussing virtual reality for decades now, it’s something of a relief to see that it was not always going to be confined to the realm of science fiction. Of course, the best mobile casinos around were once in the same category. Today, they are mainstream.

Today’s virtual reality might be different from lots of the virtual reality technology that people have been dreaming about since the word was coined, of course. However, for many people, it’s still noteworthy that many of these new trends are happening in the first place. It’s easier to find Aussie pokies that can be played for free, and soon enough, people will have a lot of equivalents in the realm of virtual reality.

For one thing, virtual reality headsets are becoming less and less expensive in general. More people should be able to afford them this year. Owning a virtual reality headset was something that a lot of people knew was impossible only a little while ago, and this has already started to change. While this is a positive development for everyone involved, it does also mean that the industry is moving quickly and that there are lots of important new developments in the world of virtual reality.

The headsets are able to come down in price as a result of the initial success of the industry, the speed at which the technology is developing, and a lot of other factors that show that the world of virtual reality is on the rise.

Virtual reality gaming genres are finally starting to develop in a way that shows the popularity of virtual reality games. As soon as a genre is popular, it expands. It also develops a lot of sub-genres, and this can make it that much easier for people to be able to get what they want from these games.

There are different trends that people will notice in the world of virtual reality games. For one thing, teleportation is a really popular motif. This helps to show the dream-like quality of a lot of virtual reality games. It also demonstrates that virtual reality games actually are going to be different from a lot of the other games available today like Royal Vegas online casino games. People will spend more time casting spells than shooting in a lot of the virtual reality games available today.

However, some of the virtual reality gaming genres demonstrate the fact that a lot of people will be able to realize the virtual reality fantasy in a whole new way. There are many inventive new virtual reality games today. Some of them are modeled after some of the most famous pieces of virtual reality media. People might not be able to visit the world of the Matrix or Tron very time soon. However, they will at least have virtual reality games that might make them feel as if they are there, and that’s a start.

Have you attended SiGMA last year? 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.

MGA’s Vision Steers Malta on the Right Track

Journalist Patrick J O’ Brien examines MGA’s Chairman recent speech in London and how the Gaming Sector in Malta could benefit from Brexit.

At the helm of the MGA since November 2013, The Malta Gaming Authority Executive Chairman, Joseph Cuschieri has not strayed away from his resilient vision to strengthen Malta’s standing as a hub for regulated gambling, finalizing the Island as the Silicon Valley of remote gaming.

Joe Cuschieri

Joseph Cuschieri, Executive Chairman, MGA

“We want operators and players to see Malta as the best location to be based for both our excellent regulatory framework and for the expertise we have created to support the growth of a vibrant industry, he recently stated. Last Month at Portcullis House in London, The MGA’s Executive Chairman participated in the 2017 Gambling Seminar Series organised by the Parliamentary All Party Betting and Gaming Group entitled  ‘Regulating the Future’, co-Chaired by Philip Davies MP and Baroness Golding.

Laying out his organisation’s strategy in his speech, he stated that Brexit, the decision by the UK that will see it leave the European Union was likely to see more online casino and betting companies register their operations in Malta. Considering recent research which heralds that some 40% of British gaming companies say they are considering relocating some or all of their business because of Brexit, he has a good foundation. Companies in the UK have cited losing access to talent and funding as major risks when Britain leaves the bloc.

The MGA Chairman commented on a number of recent developments in the industry, stating that “the rise of cryptocurrencies is inevitable” in a speech mostly dedicated to regulation, and was quick to highlight the challenges faced by casino companies and organisations to deal with the increasing popularity of bitcoin and its other competitors. He has announce that plans are in the pipeline to set up a national betting exchange where bets can be hedged, as well as a European Gaming Institute that will provide targeted and sector-specific training.

“Malta is well placed to tap into block-chain, as it has fantastic financial services and IT sectors and it’s just a matter of bridging the gap,” he said. “Many in Singapore believe Malta can become the Fintech capital of the world, and we can truly take the world by storm.” He stated” He predicted that the use of block-chain technology will soon explode in popularity, just as the internet did in the 1990s following the introduction of web browsers.

Sigma 2016

He did confirm that a study would be commissioned by the MGA to investigate the situation, “to ensure that all the relevant factors are taken into consideration in devising the manner in which best to cater for the use of cryptocurrencies in gaming.” Major online casinos and operators also appear to be looking to move into the fledgling market, meaning even greater need for the regulator to take interest.

The Chairman also spoke about the rise of new formats such as fantasy sports, stating that the MGA had received “numerous queries and interest”, but stopped short of pledging any concrete moves in that direction, citing a need to find out whether the “American phenomenon” would be a hit in Europe, where sports betting is widely legalised. After some research into these evolving products, the MGA found that while the proliferation of certain online skill games offered for money may require regulatory intervention, the risks being presented were different to those being presented by online casinos for example.

Have you attended SiGMA last year? 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.

Meet Björn Einarsson, the co-founder & co-owner of Beck Solutions

SiGMA met Björn Einarsson, the co-founder & co-owner of Beck Solutions, for an interview about his business and thoughts about the industry.

BjörnEinarssonHello Bjorn, how are you? Are you ready for Tallinn Affiliate Grand Slam and SiGMA17?

Hello Marius, I’m doing good thanks! I am very eager to go there now. It’s always nice to meet other people in the business, both affiliates and operators. Besides, I’ve never been to Tallinn so the Grand Slam conference in a couple of days will be interesting.

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

It probably started when I was working with R&D at a Swedish gaming company 12 years ago. I was working with casino games but also back office systems including the affiliate system. I realized you could be greatly rewarded when doing a good job. Since then I’ve been working in another industry as an employee but I’ve always been eager to start my own business. In my spare time I’ve created some websites and had an interest in SEO. A couple of years ago me and my colleague decided to quit our employments and enter this business.

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

It’s a Swedish company. It’s me and my colleague doing most of the daily work consisting of research, coding, content writing, optimization etc. We have some outsourcing when it comes to content writing as well. Although I’ve been working with gaming earlier in my career, doing affiliate marketing in the area is pretty new for our company. We also work with other businesses in the affiliate sector.

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

Not really. Perhaps more surprised of the pace and how aggressively it goes.

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?

We have had some first thoughts about doing that and done some research. We have decided to not do that at the moment.

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

We have a lot of things to work on, not only content. When it comes to content our focus is to have value-adding and high quality information rather than focusing on number of words.

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

Currently our only market is Sweden. It would be really interesting to enter the emerging markets. I think we’ll do that rather than the traditional gaming countries.

How do you find Scandinavian market and competition?

The competition in Sweden is probably nothing to compare with the Americas for instance, but it’s not easy. For the sake of the operators and us as affiliates indirectly, we’ll see what happens here in Sweden, if the changes in the law regarding tax and monopoly comes into force.

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

We have always tried to focus on the visitors of our sites, focusing on getting returning visitors. We have done mistakes and been punished by Google updates and learned from that.

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

We have only seen benefits of the shift to mobile phone visitors. The conversion is better. The challenges is to create a good UX including the content needed on smaller devices.

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

Our primary focus is to keep happy visitors on our sites and of course keep along with the updates from google. Further on there are regulations that we must be prepared on.

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

Focus on quality. We have seen enough of spam sites on the web.
You can’t make a living of it over the night. It takes time to build up good sites.

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

It happens that I play for fun, without expectation to win. Not that much online except for when needed to write reviews of the games. Sometimes I play slots at land based casinos. If I won 1 million euros I would make the market even more consolidated 😉

Björn Einarsson (Swedish nationality) is the co-founder and co-owner of Beck Solutions running the casino affiliate website Casinofinder but also a lot of affiliate sites in other markets.

Have you attended SiGMA last year? 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.

Multilotto Granted Republic of Ireland License

Online lottery betting company’s expansion continues with the launch of Irish website www.multilotto.ie.

Multilotto have been granted a Remote Gaming License from the Republic of Ireland National Excise License Office.

Established in 2012, Multilotto’s key markets to date have been in the Nordics, however the business is now entering a period of international expansion.

Customers at www.multilotto.ie can choose from 11 different international lottery jackpots, including America’s Powerball and Mega Millions and Europe’s top two EuroMillions and EuroJackpot.

CEO Thomas Biro says he is confident Multilotto’s offering will be well received in Ireland.

“Multilotto.ie is the choice for customers who want an accessible and simple way of playing lotteries from around the world and we’re very pleased to bring this exciting offering to the Irish market.

“Our business model is well established in the Nordic region and we believe that Irish customers will be equally attracted to our offering.

“2017 is proving to be a big year for us and we look forward to making several more major announcements in the coming months.”

In March, Multilotto announced they had been granted a Class 1 on 4 Remote Gaming License from the Malta Gaming Authority.

Have you attended SiGMA last year? 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.

Meet Bryan Bailey, Director of Casinomeister

SiGMA met Bryan Bailey, Director of Casinomeister, for an interview about his business and thoughts about the industry.

Bryan BaileyHello Bryan, how are you? Are you ready for SiGMA17?

I’m fine. And yes, I am ready to peruse the crowd and stay out of trouble.

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

For me, it was entirely serendipitous. I started Casinomeister as a semi-hobby site. In the late nineties, I was working for a small translation firm in San Diego – we translated websites and software packages. We ended up translating some online casinos which I thought was a total joke. Playing Blackjack online with your credit card – and the company is in the Caribbean? What a joke! One company (World Gaming) owed us about $3k which they never paid – so yeah, the first rogues.

About the same time, one of the local San Diego casinos approached us – they had a Cryptologic site – and they want to have it translated in four European languages, but they had their reservations. “Translations are expensive. How will the public know that we are the good guys? That we aren’t shady crooks from the Caribbean?” And that’s when I suggested that I could make a website – have some casino news on it, maybe have a guestbook or forum (this was 1998), and a list of good casinos (like theirs), and a list of bad casinos (like the jerks who didn’t pay us). And since I was planning to eventually move to Germany, I could call it “Casinomeister” – I could use it to practice my German.

Casinomeister

Well, that worked. I launched the site in June 98, and within a few months, we were getting about 35 – 50 people on the site per day. In November, I published our first newsletter to about 60 people. We had a forum (html flat files), and around this time we started getting people to complain about their treatment at certain online casinos. I had no clue on casino games, frankly I couldn’t care less about them, but I liked interacting with people and I would do what I could to find points of contact at whatever casino the person was complaining about. Most of these casino managers were grateful, and they would subscribe to my newsletter, or join our forum. That’s about the time they offered to buy advertising space at Casinomeister, or pay revenue share – 5-10%. “Wow!” I thought, “10% is more than twice you’d get at Amazon.com – how awesome is that?!” So at this time, I was able to monetize on my hobby website.

I moved to Germany in November 99, still working for the translation company – but that company went bust within months – and I soon found myself jobless in a foreign country. At this time, I was making a little bit of money from the site – enough to pay half of the bills, and I figured if I put 100% of my effort into the site, it should work out.

I had already set up standards for advertisers (I would not take just anybody on), and the Rogue Casino section was launched in 2000. In December 2000, I decided to attend my first conference, the ICE 2001 in London – and that was a turning point of Casinomeister.

I discovered that most of the iGaming industry folks had been using my site as a reference – on what players were thinking and how they behaved. Most everyone knew the site Casinomeister, and this is when I was able to establish my contacts and professional relationships with the online casino industry pioneers.

That was then – this is now.

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

It’s me, Max (our venerable complaints manager), Vortran007 (our warning robot), Protecto, a couple of content writers, and a couple of back end developers to assist with the new awesome website. That’s it.

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

Nope, I’m not at all surprised. Surviving in this industry is tough – it’s easier by a consolidation of resources.

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 would never want to be an operator. Too much work – and it’s got to be excruciatingly boring.

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

To keep working.

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

I focus primarily on the English speaking market mainly because I can’t be bothered with foreign languages. German is hard enough.

How do you find UK markets and competition?

I find them in London when I go there each year for the LAC and ICE. We have a pretty good time together. Their beer is good, but not as good as Germany’s.

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

I’ve never paid too much attention to Google algorithms. For me it’s content – as long as there is enough original content being produced on the site, and your HTML is sound, then you should be good to go. It’s only recently that I’ve switched to HTTPS, and made the majority of the site “phone friendly” so people can look at the site with their phones without too much aggravation.

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

I’m considering marketing action figures, Casinomeister (me), Madman Max, and Vortran007.  Produce a few thousand, and then mass dump them from C-130s across Europe and the US. It’ll probably piss a lot of people off, but just imagine the viral marketing prospects. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, y’ know. Oops, cat’s out of the bag.

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

That I make the best videos. My jokes are so funny, I even crack myself up.

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

It was a real PITA converting thousands of pages into mobile friendly pages just to appease these young folk that have to have everything on their damn phones. I can’t be bothered with playing any casino game on my phone – I need a big wide screen and a proper PC if and when I do play. We did a survey about five years ago and 25% of or members didn’t even have smart phones. But times change, and you have to roll with the punches I guess.

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

To make affiliate programs understand that there is the right way and the wrong way of doing business. There are quite a number of affiliate programs that think that implementing retroactive predatory terms is acceptable and it’s par for the course. It’s not – it’s unethical and should not be tolerated by anyone. Affiliates don’t realize that they are being screwed over by these affiliate programs. Casinomeister reports on not only rogue casino operations, but on those affiliate programs who take the same dodgy path.

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

Actually – I’m giving three:

Number one, be very careful who you do business with. Generally speaking, most of the larger affiliate programs (William Hill, Ladbrokes, etc.) don’t give a care about the affiliate. They are there only for the money and will throw you under the bus in a New York minute. So do your due diligence – read the terms and conditions carefully – beware of anything predatory like “if you are not able to produce more than x amount of players per quarter your rev share will be reduced to 10%” or something of that nature. That’s a bullshit rogue term. What happens if you become incapacitated, or you are unable to work in that jurisdiction? Terms like that are unnecessary and stem from thoughtless greed.  Additionally, affiliate programs that market casinos that rip off players will in turn rip you off. So be careful who you do business with.

Number two: join the casinos, play the games, understand how the casinos work. Players are looking for an knowledgeable voice – be that voice and care what about you are promoting.

Number three: you are not selling shoes online – you are promoting gambling and you should never forget that. Take problem gambling seriously, and always try to assist others in their time of need. Make sure you abide by proper standards of marketing.

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

I would probably invest it into my dream of making a Tiki head factory. That’s one of my plans for when I retire.

Bryan Bailey has been running Casinomeister for over eighteen years. He provides the direction of the site, writes most of its content, produces three newsletters, the occasional video, and provides consultations to players, affiliates, and operators via the forum or other means of communication.

Have you attended SiGMA last year? 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.

New Tipbet website launched with integrated Full Cash Out Option

Tipbet is thrilled to confirm that its updated website is now active and includes some key additions. The new design incorporates a modern feel with a clean and uncluttered layout to create an even better user experience.

A host of new features are also available making Tipbet an all the more enjoyable destination for betting enthusiasts. Standout improvements to the site’s offering include LIVE CASINO games powered by some of the industry’s biggest providers. VIRTUAL GAMES are also given more attention than ever, with a realistic range of different events, such as dogs and horses, and sports like football, basketball and tennis.

An exciting and new CASH OUT feature has also been integrated into the new design, allowing players to take control of their payout options.Available with pre-match and live bets, the full Tipbet Cash Out adds extra meaning to sports events in which the outcome is unsure.

This gives users the opportunity to take a profit before the end of play or to claw back some of their stake should their prediction look like going awry. The payout amount is dependent on the value of the betting slip, including results of other events in the case of a multi-bet. This possibility is available on all platforms, so can be accessed on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.

Soner GurelliSoner Gurelli, COO at Tipbet, said: “Our new website has been created to be as user-oriented as possible; combining a slick exterior with powerful software. Customers will notice an improvement in the range of gaming possibilities, with the live casino a particularly impressive addition. The Cash Out option is sure to be an extremely popular addition as well, giving added control and convenience to users of our site.”

The website and its enhanced features can be tried out here.

Have you attended SiGMA last year? 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.

Meet Jarkko Hyttinen, the manager of Pokerisivut.com

SiGMA met Jarkko Hyttinen, the manager of Pokerisivut.com, for an interview about his business and thoughts about the industry.

Hello Jarkko, how are you? Are you ready for the Tallinn Affiliate Grand Slam and SiGMA17?

Hello Marius! I’m very well thank you for asking. It’s the busiest time of the year here, so we are heading towards summer with a full throttle. Unfortunately we have so much going on this spring, that I have to skip that Grand Slam event in Tallinn, but of course coming to Sigma once again.

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

Well this is a long story but I will tell you a short version of it. I think it was Christmas 2013 when I was still living and working in Finland, and got a very good friend of mine to visit me for a holiday. This friend was Ville Sissonen, who was a head of Pokerisivut back then. Then – like it usually goes in Finland – we were having a sauna and couple of beers, one thing led to another, and soon we have agreed that I will be joining the Pokerisivut team in Malta. I came to sunny Malta in march 2014 and the same trip is still going on. So couple of years I had a chance to learn from the best all about this industry and now Ville is MD in Good Game ltd, and I’m running Pokerisivut business.

 

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

There has been quite a lot of changes during my time here in Pokerisivut. When I came here, Pokerisivut was a part of the company called Plus one Dreams. Then at some point Plus one Dreams was merged with iGame and we came a part of iGame Group. 2015 Unibet made an huge acquisition of whole iGame group and after that we have been a part of Unibet / Kindred Group.

Pokerisivut office, where the magic happens with our two main websites, pokerisivut.com and pokeritieto.com is located in St Julian’s here in Malta. We have a team of 3 people here and in addition to this we have a bunch of freelancers working for us around the world. Of course we have a huge amount of different kind of talent in the Kindred Group, and Pokerisivut is using resources from several other teams in the group.

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

I’m really not surprised about that. In my experience it’s just the nature of the business, regardless of the industry. Big and ambitious companies obviously want to grow and take a big bite of the market. Mergers and acquisitions is just one way to get growth.

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?

Well, as we are a part of Kindred Group, there is enough operators in da house and we don’t need to put our spoon in that soup. Of course it’s very nice that I have a chance to see close how our operator side professionals are working and time to time have a chat and cup of coffee and exchange some ideas with them.

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

We have been actively researching what kind of unique content we should produce to keep our content the best in the market. Lately we have produced for example “Pokeripaneeli” talk show with poker professionals and that is going to have next episode during summer. In next 6 months we are publishing very unique and rare content in the form of high quality and professional strategy videos – in Finnish language, and for free.

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

We are focusing 100% for a Finnish market. For sure there is a lot of potential in the emerging markets, but for now we keep our focus in Finnish market only.

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

Basically it haven’t affected at all. We have very strong know-how regarding SEO in our company so there hasn’t been any surprises.

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

Yes we have exciting plans going on! At the moment we have site renewal project under production for both of our main websites, and what can I tell you for now – those are going to be super cool! Plenty of new functionalities and technology combined to kick ass content. Pokerisivut won the Best Poker Website trophy in LAC this year, and after this site renewal I guess that 2018 trophy is going to end to my desk as well.

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

Our sites are based on high quality, unique content. We want to give our site visitors the best possible user experience and on the other hand we want to deliver best possible quality traffic for our partners.

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

For innovative and creative affiliate, this just offers fantastic opportunities.

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

As a poker website, main challenges has been the same many years; market is just decreasing all the time. But even it is a challenge, at the same time it is also an opportunity. Once again, smart and innovative dudes can make big changes – so let’s just make poker great again!

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

Come to Sigma for socializing and networking, that’s a good start!

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

Yeah. Actually I love to play some slots once in a while. If I win a million, I would probably invest most of that, but for sure I would arrange something super fun for my family and friends!

Jarkko Hyttinen is the manager of Pokerisivut.com, which is the Best Poker Website winner at the iGB Affiliate Awards 2017.

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