Where is the capital of the King Billy Kingdom? The good people at King Billy Casino keep their lips sealed about it – but we know that at least for the night of January 17, their capital was Belgrade, Serbia. Because, it was there, in a spectacular gala in the Hyatt Regency hotel (also broadcast live to the rest of the world) that King Billy landed the big one.
AskGamblers Awards. Best. Casino. 2019.
It is one thing to be winning industry’s big awards when you have decades of experience under your belt and your name has been a synonym for gambling from the early 20th (not 21st) century. But it is a very different thing to be doing it when you were founded only as recently, as St. Patrick’s Day, 2017.
So, in less than 3 years, King Billy Casino has proven its mettle in the AskGamblers Awards by winning Best New Casino in 2017, Best Casino 3rd place in 2018 and now, Best Casino in 2019. We reached out to Volodymyr Harkusha and Ruslan Legenzov, King Billy Casino CEO and King Billy Casino Head of Affiliates for statements.
“It is difficult to express it in words!” an excited Volodymyr says holding the prestigious trophy. “You just cannot put into words, the hard work, the team spirit, the sheer talent and the persistence of our people which brought us this amazing award. Through the good times and the bad times, our staff is there, always passionate, positive, active and effective. I am blessed and proud to be working with them!”
Ruslan Legenzov adds: “The saga of the King continues! Recognition that not only comes from the judging committee, but also from the players themselves is a double proof of what King Billy Casino is offering. We thank everyone and we continue. The best is still yet to come!”
The AskGamblers Awards are one of the most respected institutions in the iGaming world. Their distinctive feature is that they are the only awards where the winners are decided by a joint experts & players’ voting process.
The AskGamblers Awards are organized by AskGamblers, an award-winning portal itself, which provides accurate information about online casinos worldwide, as well as the opportunity for players to resolve their issues with casinos transparently.
King Billy Casino is a new generation online casino, available in 6 languages (English, German, Russian, Finnish, Norwegian and Japanese) with an impressive record in awards and an amazing variety of games and features. King Billy has prioritized the creation of a superb user experience focusing on the myth of King Billy and his Kingdom and treats all players with the specialness they deserve.
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.
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.
Affiliates can cash in as gambling in Canada continues to grow
Canada is in the top 10 gambling countries in the world, with statistic aggregators Statista concluding that 75% of adult Canadians are regular gamblers.
Sports betting has been prevalent in Canada for centuries. It is one of the nation’s oldest hobbies and the country’s first laws regarding gambling were passed in 1774.
It wasn’t until 1985, however, that the Canadian government determined that individual provinces could decide on their own gambling regulations.
Betting on single sporting events remained illegal but Pro-Line betting was introduced and natives could place sports parlay bets.
Fast forward to the present day and billions of dollars are being wagered on single sporting events every year.
According to the Canadian Gaming Association, punters in Canada are wagering $10 billion each year via illegal bookmaking operations, and another $4 billion per year is wagered through offshore online betting sites.
Canadian bettors are free to access bookmakers that are based overseas, and there they can place single sports bets or parlays, as well as enjoying casino games including slots, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and poker.
Leading betting sites such as Bet365, Betway and 888sport accept players from Canada, as well as casino-first products like LeoVegas.
In 1997, Sports Interaction was founded, becoming the first online sports betting site to be set up and licensed in Canada.
Players can use common banking methods such as Visa, MasterCard, Paysafecard, MuchBetter, EcoPayz, Interac, iDebit, and Instadebit for gambling-related transactions.
Some bookies are even beginning to accept Bitcoin, which opens even more doors for online gambling in Canada and will only aid the already rapid growth of betting in the Great White North.
All of the most-watched sports in Canada are available to bet on with the major sportsbooks. Thousands of bets are available every day, with live betting and the cash out function being put to use.
The NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB are all hugely popular among Canadian bettors, while soccer, tennis, horse racing and UFC attract a large number of wagers too.
The opportunity for affiliates to make the most of this meteoric rise has never been better. With more and more punters moving away from provincial lotteries and turning towards online betting sites for better odds, more markets, live betting, and lucrative sign-up offers, player acquisition is sure to be a priority for bookies that accept Canadian players.
Education must also be a focus for sportsbooks and casinos. There is plenty of desire for online betting solutions in Canada, but not all punters are aware of the options available to them.
The consensus within the industry is that the current legislation surrounding gambling laws in Canada is outdated.
There have been efforts to push for an amendment that would allow the full legalisation of single-game sports betting via bookmaking operations based in Canada, but until then, it is fair game for offshore bookies to take advantage of their supply and demand leverage.
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