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iGaming Super Show update with Alex Pratt and a glimpse into the future at iGaming Business Events

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The world of igaming and related events has evolved and matured, but it seems that it is still growing at a rapid pace thanks to the dedicated team of iGaming Business Events who manage to pull the rabbit out of the hat on every event and amaze the igaming industry each time.

We have managed to catch up with Alex Pratt, the Head of Business at iGaming Business to give us an insight on the results of the iGaming Super Show which was held in Amsterdam between the 23rd and the 26th of June 2015. Alex will also give you a heads up on the new event that everybody is looking forward to attend at the new location.

EEG: We’ve seen the pictures from the event a felt sorry about not being present at the event, would you help us out and explain the mood of the event? What was it like, it certainly looked very successful?

Alex: This was definitely our best Supeber Show to date and the mood certainly reflected this with a genuine “buzz” on the show floor, whether this was people doing business, creating relationships or getting excited about new opportunities they had discovered in the conference rooms.

EEG: Do you have any official numbers for attendance and maybe a stat of the increase in the number of visitors?

Alex: Indeed we do and the great news is the numbers were up across the board. Overall we were up on attendees making the total number through the door 3,906. This broke down to 33% affiliates and 67% non-affiliates which is excellent considering we have a lot more non affiliates at the event due to the b2b zone… Overall we had almost 1,300 affiliates which represents A LOT of traffic!

The most interesting trend is the volume of affiliate that are now working in the binary and FX markets (37% of attendees) as well as iGaming, with binary representing the third most popular vertical to promote after casino (58% of attendees) and sports (45% of attendees)

Below are a few charts on our attendees:

Affiliate and Non-Affiliate Attendees at the iGaming Super Show Amsterdam 2015

Top 25 countries for affiliate attendees by % at the iGaming Super Show Amsterdam 2015

Top 25 countries for affiliate attendees by %

EEG: What was the feedback that you’ve received from the exhibitors or maybe delegates?

Alex: We are currently collating all the feedback from the event but generally it is really positive and in some cases amazing for example Bet365 described it as their best Amsterdam event ever!

This is really a culmination of 5 years of hard work combined with constantly changing the event based on the feedback and I feel we now have something really unique where you have the entire industry meeting under one roof for a multitude of conferences and events which you don’t see at any other event in the sector.

EEG: We have seen of lot of friendly faces from big brands. What was the key aspect which everyone appreciated and pointed at the event?

Alex: People are so different in terms of what they expect and want from an event so I wouldn’t say there was a specific aspect that they appreciated but a multitude of things. Generally speaking though we had lots of positive feedback on the fact the hall was a lot bigger with lots more exhibitors and more places to meet, plus the way we now have multiple networking events targeted at specific niche groups in the sector.

In addition the conference sessions and speakers came up a lot which isn’t surprising considering the huge effort the team put into this and sheer volume of sessions that take place over the two days.

EEG: Great to hear the conference sessions were success. The lineup was amazing, what were your personal highlights?

Alex: With over 100 speakers and 8 conferences it was impossible to see every session but fortunately we recorded them and I am quickly trying to now watch them all in the iGaming Business Intelligence Centre and I have to say the sessions I have seen so far have been extremely impressive…. Personal highlights for me were the eSports session by Newzoo as I find the market fascinating, the session on why the brain likes games and the Asian focused sessions by Patrick Jay and David Jung. In addition the affiliate panel discussing issues was great although we could have done with a few more hours to really hash out what was discussed.

I should also point out the entire payment solutions track was brilliant as this was an area where my knowledge wasn’t the greatest and the sessions were extremely informative and interesting from a personal perspective. I still have a few more tracks to watch including the IMGL and acquisition tracks which I expect to be equally great.

EEG: How about the networking parties, were they packed with quality people enjoying themselves?

Alex: These were amazing this year because we didn’t just have one party every night but instead had a variety of events happening such as niche focused meet ups for niche groups like bingo and sports betting but also unique ideas like a dinner for the payments industry at the Supper Club.

Of course we still had the main parties and they were packed with industry peeps partying till the early hours! Spot Option hired Club Air on the second night and flew in some incredible DJs that literally blew the roof off and was the talk of the event the next day plus we closed the event off with the regular closing party we orgainse at the Euro Pub and Majestic which is an amazing outdoor networking drinks bang on Dam Square.

We also mustn’t forget the wind down session the day after the event ends (usually Sunday Session) which was kindly sponsored by Intertops again. This took place both on a man-made beach in the sun as well as on a number of canal boats loaded with booze and music which took people on a tour round the maze of canals in Amsterdam. 

EEG: With all the excitement of the summer upon us, which is the next conference you guys organize and what are the targets for this year?

Alex: Next event is the Berlin Affiliate Conference which will be our first time in the city. At the moment the event is looking like it will surpass our previous targets in terms of both attendees and exhibitors which I know I always say but we do always seem to keep getting bigger!

I think what’s appealing is Berlin is a new city and one that is really cool to visit no matter what you are into plus its super easy to get to from all over Europe. On top of this its tech central and home to a lot of affiliates that aren’t necessarily in iGaming so offers a big opportunity to get new faces into the show.

EEG: We are very pleased to have your company as a media partner and we certainly hope that by adding and covering your events we can bring a new audience and shape the igaming industry in the Eastern and Central Europe. Any last words, maybe a dedication to the partners that you guys have?

Alex: You know I love your site and what you are doing to boost the Eastern and Central European iGaming market so thanks again for giving us profile and supporting us and the events. I look forward to making the market massive and getting one of our events into the region soon!

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Casino Hacks– the world’s first Casino Bonus & News TV!

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Casino Hacks– the world's first Casino Bonus & News TV!

New online casino affiliate combines the successes of MTV, Top Gear and Late-Night Talk Shows with casino games entertainment


 Online casino fans now have the perfect platform for their interests in slot machines, blackjack, baccarat and roulette. Casino Hacks.comis launching the world’s first TV show for online casino players.

Targeting millions of online casino fans worldwide, and having already partnered with some of the major online casino operators and casino games suppliers, Swedish-owned Casino Hacks has been created by a tight team of former gaming operators, producers, marketing & SEO experts, including former executives at MTV, Mr Green, Bethard, Raketech, Pokerstars and Metal Casino who are also passionate online casino lovers.

Casino Hacks Founder Clas Dahlén was named ‘Sweden’s Best Marketer’ in 2014 when heading up Mr Green in Sweden, and is also the former Founder and Brand Strategist behind Metal Casino. The host of the show, Jonas Lutteman, who worked in the editing rooms of MTV in London will lead the entertainment and competitions in the CASINO HACKS show as well as manage Casino Hacks’ Twitch Program.

Even before the launch, Casino Hacks has already contracted major online casino operators and casino games suppliers to partner up on the affiliate platform and sponsor the TV show. It is a perfect platform to reach casino players and high rollers in a confined online casino games channel. Only a selection of online casinos will be partnered initially, as Casino Hacks only will work with the best online casinos offering the best casino bonuses as a trade off to a new, more beneficial, business model for the partnered online casino.

Clas Dahlén, the CEO, or ‘The Sales Guy’, as he would rather be referred to, says:

“Casino Hacks is here because we believe that online casino players, across the world deserve a higher standard of live entertainment. Looking for tips, hacks and great casinos and the best bonuses should not be like going through the Yellow Pages! We believe this part of the casino experience should reflect all the fun and action one can expect from an online casino today.

 “It’s now my mission to market and sell this amazing website. I’ll be a sales-focused CEO who will introduce our outstanding service to casino players and make sure the content is entertaining. That is my full-time job for now!

 “Coming from the operator side we felt it was time to do something new in the affiliate sector, creating new energy and with great design, broadcasting and all the fun entertainment that the online casino experience truly is about.

“The Show will reveal the latest online casino news, broadcasting casino reviews, new slots and interviews with interesting industry people such as the best Twitchers. The daily show will naturally run fun and rewarding competitions continuously.”

Casino Hacks is set for an international launch this week in Canada and New Zealand, followed by Australia, Iceland and six other territories in 2020.

Clas Dahlén describes their pioneering approach:

“Casino Hacks speaks out loud. We are the new kid on the block, and we don’t give a damn about our competitors’ conventional marketing or offers. Keeping our language real, trustworthy and staying true to our beliefs is something most people strive for. Few live up to it. Our members can count on us. As our brand platform describes, we are creative, honest and passionate in our communication with our members.

“We are Casino Hacks and we deliver winning Entertainment!”

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Do the right thing

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Do the right thing

 

James Ashton from Find My UK Casino says that affiliates and operators must be responsible in their approach to engaging players over the coming months

As an online casino affiliate that prioritises responsibility and compliance above all else, I was saddened to receive emails from several of our operator partners regarding a small number of publishers that have looked to leverage the on-going global crisis to their advantage.

These emails are reminding affiliates of the terms and conditions which they agreed to when partnering with the operator, most notably that all marketing activity undertaken must be responsible and compliant at all times.

For those that are not, they risk having their accounts terminated with immediate effect. And rightly so. Professional online casino affiliates do not need to rely on a global crisis to drive traffic to their sites – if anything, they should be taking additional steps to protect their players.

Since the UK lockdown came into force last week, we have seen traffic numbers increase. This, of course, is to be expected as more people are now working from home or not working but being required to stay at home.

This is good for us and other affiliates, and equally positive for our operator partners. But we all have to take a responsible approach and ensure that we go above and beyond to provide players with the information they need to make an informed decision about if and where to play.

This includes ensuring bonus terms and conditions – significant and full – are correctly displayed while also creating explainers about wagering requirements, the tools available to help keep in control of their play and how to ensure they play at licensed and reputable brands.

We are prioritising pages such as these over high-volume ranking pages that are proven to drive players from the SERPs to our pages and ultimately to the online casino brands we recommended. As a result, we have seen retuning site visitors increase over the past two weeks.

One of the most effective ways online casino affiliates can protect players at a time when site traffic and demand is likely to increase – at least over the coming weeks and months – is to only work with the best online casino brands out there.

These are not necessarily the most established brands or those that hold multiple licences, but those that go the extra mile to educate players about responsible gambling and provide them with additional features to manage their play.

As an affiliate focussed on the UK market, we only work with those that hold a UK Gambling Commission licence. Others don’t do this and some even actively promote brands that are not UK licensed to UK players on pages about Online Casinos Not On GamStop.

This is irresponsible on many levels, but amid the current climate is putting the most vulnerable at greater risk than ever before.

We also work very closely with our operator partners to ensure that all the content we create around their brand(s) is 100% compliant, and also seek feedback on other aspects of our site to ensure we are doing everything we can to meet the highest possible standards.

This is always important but particularly right now as people find themselves with more time on their hands but perhaps with less disposable income to spend. That’s not to say they shouldn’t play online casino, but affiliates and operators must do all they can to ensure they play responsibly.

There is clearly an opportunity to target the growing number of people being confined to their homes, but affiliates and operators must do the right thing and ensure they do not take advantage of the situation and use is to their advantage.

Affiliates and operators should be investing time and resources into helping players enjoy online casino play if that is how they want to spend their time and money, but in a way that is healthy and within their means both personally and financially.

So although I was sadden to receive emails from operators stating that affiliates should not be leveraging the current global crisis and using it to their advantage, I was encourage to see that they had taken serious steps to identify, prevent and punish those that are.

That being said, it is really down to affiliates to do the right thing in the first place and it seems that despite the tremendous efforts being made by regulators, watchdogs, operators and publishers, a small minority continue to act irresponsibly, doing untold damage to the rest of the sector.

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Leading betting affiliate sets sights on Virtual Sports market

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Leading betting affiliate sets sights on Virtual Sports market

In a historic shake up of the sporting calendar not seen since the Second World War, all major sporting events have been put on hold indefinitely.

With markets in turmoil, and traffic to online bookmakers and affiliate sites alike taking a significant hit, there is a lot at stake. Sporting events will eventually return, although it’s unclear exactly as to when.

It means that the iGaming community as whole needs to look to viable alternatives, although some feel that the present predicament actually provides opportunity.

 “We’re aiming to turn this unique situation into one where we can adapt, learn, and hopefully come out of the other side in a much stronger position”, says Eskil Kvarnström, CEO of Leadstar Media. 

 

Viable alternatives to sports betting

“We’re quite lucky in the fact that we’ve always set out to hold a varied portfolio of products that set their focus across sports betting, online casino and a number of international markets,” says Kvarnström.

Indeed that is the challenge for many betting affiliates and online bookmakers alike. How they act and react now could leave a pivotal mark in the immediate and distant future alike.

“One of the areas where we’re already seeing a significant upturn is in the realm of virtual sports, and that’s exactly where we’re setting part of our focus for the time being. It’s providing us with a great opportunity to improve in fields that might before have gone overlooked.”

A flagship product of Leadstar Media, BookiesBonuses.com, aims to provide the best overview of UK bookmakers for its users based in the British Isles, but also further afield. 

“While Bookies Bonuses is primarily geared towards providing a great deal of information on online bookmakers, it is one of our sites where sports betting takes centre stage, although online casino does play an ancillary role in what it has to offer.”

 

It’s important to be reactive

Many sports betting sites are already seeking to develop their virtual sports betting products. The likes of Bet365, Betway and Coral have arguably the most advanced virtual sports packages on the market at present, while the BetVictor sign up offer has recently been updated to highlight its availability to players interested in virtual sports. 

“We’re actually surprised that more online bookmakers aren’t yet seeking to promote their virtual sports packages given that we already know many of the major football leagues in Europe in particular are going to be out of action for at least another month or so. But that’s where we come in”, states Kvarnström.

 

The role of the affiliate

“In many respects the virtual sports market goes overlooked by many players who are interested in sports betting, simply because there is a constant availability of real-life events taking place all over the world at any given time.”

“We see our role at Leadstar Media not only to provide the best products for the consumer, but in being a key conduit of disseminating valuable information on distinctive areas of the sports betting and online gambling sector. It’s not just about what is on offer, but also how particular aspects of the market like bonuses and deposits methods fundamentally work in practice, and providing that information accordingly,” says Kvarnström.

“In many respects the virtual sports market is an untapped resource ready for development, especially in such unique times. Our company has a lot of experience in nascent markets across the world, such as Africa and India, so we feel confident we can inform and advertise to our users everything that virtual sports have to offer”.

In such unique and uncertain times, it certainly provides food for thought in how the iGaming sector as a whole will look to react, adapt and develop, and more importantly, what the landscape will look like when we come out of this period on the other side.

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