SiGMA met Keith Hathaway from Geeky Gambler for an interview about his business and the work as an affiliate.
Hello Keith, how are you? Are you ready for the Tallinn Affiliate Grand Slam 2017?
I was born ready Marius, it is a great country I head and a new one for me. It will be very exciting with a pure affiliate focus and the best of my peers all in one place. In a far more intimate way than the usual conference setting, I think it’s an awesome initiative.
How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?
I am one of the dinosaurs, I was first a Poker affiliate in the UK back in 2005. That lasted till around 2010 and then “Black Friday” in 2011 killed it off. I then moved to Malta as an Affiliate Manager for the next 6 years, until last year I became a full time affiliate again.
Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?
I am the main face of the business, “The Geek” so to speak, working on the sites full time and day to day. But I am partnered with some strong industry veterans you will all know making a strong and experienced team.
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 learnt not to be surprised long ago, the industry works in waves and is cyclical but I do not believe we have reached the end of the acquisition cycle yet.
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?
Many have, and more will try. It is many peoples dream to have their own Casino and it has never been easier, but do not underestimate the hard work. I have no plans to go in this direction at all right now.
Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?
Very simple, high volume of content without compromising in the quality of what is published. You never stop learning on the SEO side and it is evolving all the time.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets ?
All of our sites are English language only, so Google keeps us strong in the UK but we like traffic from all markets if we can get it. I am fascinated by regulated markets and in theory every newly regulated market can be an emerging market on it’s own. Either that or the regulation kills it. But I believe Latin America and Africa will explode in the next 12-24 months.
How do you find UK market and competition?
The UK is and always will be tough, it has 10x the population that the Nordic markets have and huge player value. It is tough as you are always competing with some very experienced and big budget competition.
How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO and content at your company?
I don’t believe, being under a year live, we have reached close to our SEO and ranking highs yet, so in reality we haven’t suffered at all to date.
Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
Nothing groundbreaking, just a lot of hard work and activity so you will hopefully see us around for a lot longer yet!
What is the main thing that you’d like Sigma readers to know about your sites?
We like to think our sites are fun and informative, we focus heavily and in equal measures on sports and casino, quite rare now as most are firmly one camp or the other. We even sprinkle some Lotto and Bingo in for variety! Oh, and our tips that we run in partnership with friends of Sigma, and partners of AGS Bettinggods.com are flying. Follow us and see for yourselves!
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
We are such a new company and sites that we have always had mobile in mind, so unlike some of the more established sites we haven’t had to make changes as we launched with mobile in mind.
What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?
Traffic, good content and surviving Tallinn! It’s going to be a whole lot of fun but may need a health warning before we check in to the Hilton!
What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
Work hard, be smart, network well and never give up.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
I play slots occasionally, I am more of a sports bettor and social poker player. Every now and then I will have a go on Mega Fortune or other jackpots if they get big. I am not sure what I would do, but I can promise there would be one hell of a party!
Originally from the United Kingdom, Keith Hathaway has been involved in Online Gaming since 2005 and based in Malta since 2010. Having roles in operators from Affiliate Manager, Head of Affiliates, Head of Acquisition and multiple consultancy roles as well as now being in his second spell as a full time affiliate, making Keith somewhat an all rounder in the industry.