The search to find inspirational stories for online gambling affiliates goes on. We have stumbled upon an interesting approach in the online casino affiliate niche, a website dedicated exclusively to NetEnt. We have gone thorough its content and found the website really interesting and the content was so well written we had a curiosity to find the affiliate or team of affiliates behind it. We have managed to find the person behind this already well known affiliate brand and let’s just say it’s going to be one inspirational interview for all you affiliates out there who are reading our articles and interviews day to day. So, here goes, our interview with Femke Stigter, founder and owner of NetentCasinos.com:
Name: Femke Stigter
Living in: Malta
Favourite Food: Chicken Caesar Salad
Must Read Book: The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
EEG: Firstly we would like to thank you for this opportunity. We are really interested and I’m sure that all our readers will read this with huge interest.
Tell us a bit about yourself, we want to know who Femke really is, the main person behind NetentCasinos.com. Where were you born? What was the key idea for developing this great review site for NetEnt casino games?
Femke: I was born in the south of the Netherlands where I spent 26 years in different cities before I decided to follow my parents to Malta, who left the Netherlands three years before. After more than eight years working as a publisher in my family’s business, it was in June 2009 I got the opportunity to start blogging for one of the largest casino affiliate sites in the Netherlands. Even though I had never written one article myself until that day, I decided to take the offer which eventually brought me to where I am today. Luckily for me, website content wasn’t of big importance yet which gave me a chance to develop my writing skills and get familiar with the iGaming industry in general.
My first article ever was about the Super Lucky Frog slot and it was certainly not the last article that involved a NetEnt game. Along the way my appreciation for these specific casino games grew, just as I started to respect NetEnt as a company. Being an advocate of transparency in iGaming, I admire NetEnt for being one of the most transparent companies in the industry, the reason I linked my own name to NetentCasinos.com. Therefore a review site for NetEnt games and NetEnt Casinos seemed a logical step.
EEG: Since there are thousands of casino game review websites out there, where do you think NetentCasinos.com stands now?
Femke: Working for online casino sites for 4,5 years already, I knew I was going to enter an ultra-competitive industry. A true challenge, I know, but that was exactly what I needed to achieve my goal: writing half a million words before going online, half of them in Dutch and half of them in English. I started writing in December, 2013 and on the 9th of April, 2014 NetentCasinos.com went online, followed by the Dutch site on June 10th, 2014. Now, exactly one year later, the Swedish site went online as well and I’m sure this will have a positive effect on the site in general. Considering the fact NetentCasinos.com doesn’t exist for that long, I am extremely happy with the performance of the website so far.
EEG: What are the strong points of NetentCasinos.com and why the exclusivity?
Femke: As mentioned before, a lot of content was added before going online in April 2014 and I’m sure this resulted in a huge boost for the site right after its launch. Now the site is being offered in three different languages, I’m sure the site will grow even faster. I also hope that my personal approach is giving visitors of the site the trust they are looking for.
EEG: We have browsed your website and we found a lot of quality content. Do you write on your own or you have a team of people writing the reviews? How many review are there on your site?
Femke: Thank you so much for the compliment which is of course much appreciated, especially because it was me indeed who wrote every single page available on the Dutch and English site. All I want to do is to offer the visitor what he or she is looking for and before the website went online in 2014 over 200 pages were written already. By now 286 pages for each of the websites are available to visitors including general information about NetEnt while every single NetEnt game, live casino game, mobile game and NetEnt Casino got its own review. Besides that I try my best to provide as much information about casino licenses, casino promotions and payment options as possible. Most of the articles I have personally written but recently I have added two new writers, one for Swedish and another for Dutch. Both writers are highly skilled and we work together as a team.
EEG: What can you advise new affiliates that are looking to venture in this great industry?
Femke: To survive in an ultra-competitive industry like the iGaming industry, you have to be prepared to work hard while being patience as well. Around ten years ago, when content wasn’t ‘King’ yet and hardly anyone heard about social media, all you needed was a website and some traffic. Times have changed and being an affiliate brings loads of challenges, also due to the google algorithm updates of the past years. Therefore experience can be of benefit, but even without experience but hard work you can still become very successful in the business, especially when you meet the right people at the right time.
EEG: What were the bumps in your road when you got started and how did you overcome them?
Femke: I can honestly say that I have not run across any ‘Bumps’ as I love every second of what I do and even more so, I love the subject I am writing about, NetEnt! Yes, some things are challenging but I would not call them ‘Bumps’ as there is always a solution to a problem and with the support of my friends and family I always manage to iron out any ‘Bump’/challenges.
EEG: We are sure that you receive daily messages from Affiliate Managers showcasing their products. You of course select them by brands they work with, but what are your thoughts on how Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationships be built?
Femke: Yes, I receive messages on a daily base and sometimes it can become quite frustrating as there are so many different casinos and affiliate managers. A relationship with any person, affiliate managers or even friend takes time to build and is not built within minutes, days or even weeks. I built this site because I love NetEnt and admire everything they do. I did not build it to become a rich affiliate as I do not think that will ever happen. So all I can say is, if any affiliate manager thinks that by throwing around money can get them on the site or even get them a good review is very, very wrong. I work every day of the week because I really like doing it and not because I am incentivised by money.
EEG: Who is your favourite celebrity?
Femke: Nice question, but I simply don’t care much about celebrities or politicians. I respect anyone who is willing to work, no matter if successful or not. If I do have to give an answer though, I would rather go for entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs as I do respect their ingenuity. And even though they are sort of ‘celebrities’, they manage to stay out of the spotlights.
EEG: Do you attend any iGaming conferences? If so, which one and what is your most fun experience?
Femke: The moment NetentCasinos.com was created, I started attending iGaming conferences such as the LAC and ICE in London and the AAC in Amsterdam. It is a good way to network and meet up with people from the industry, but we all know they are famous for its parties. Despite my clumsiness, I am almost sure I managed to stay away from funny experiences during those parties. As far as I know – although I’m sure there have been many more – there was only one moment I can call a bit embarrassing. For the first time since the launch of NetentCasinos.com I visited the stand of NetEnt at ICE 2015. Curious about the new games coming up I entered the NetEnt area. As friendly as the NetEnt employees are, they explained me all about the new Dracula™ slot and after a few more chats here and there I left the NetEnt area with a smile. At least until I realised that the entire time I was there, I was holding a few iGaming magazines with on the back of one of them a slot game advertisement of the competition. Knowing myself, all I could do was giggle, and I’m pretty sure more of these clumsy actions will follow at future iGaming events.
EEG: If you would just open your Youtube search bar, what would you search for?
Femke: NetEnt Official as I am waiting for a new video slot to be announced. When it comes to music I am using Spotify so no need for YouTube there.
EEG: Alright, here comes the fun part….favourite food, where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, some part of the region maybe that you haven’t visited yet and favourite destination around the world.
Femke: I love a good Chicken Caesar salad or an even better steak. Prague is already on my list for quite a while, but so far I didn’t managed to go there. I love travelling these days and therefore I’m sure I will see Prague one day, even though Cuba is definitely on top of my list of countries I want to visit. Living in Florence for almost a year, this is certainly still one of my favourite destinations, just as I was very much impressed when walking around in New York.
EEG: Where wouldn’t you want to travel to in Eastern Europe?
Femke: One of the countries in Eastern Europe that never attracted me is Russia although I heard some very positive stories about Saint Petersburg. Who knows, I might change my mind in the future.
EEG: What is your opinion on EEG(Eastern European Gaming – eegaming.org)?
Femke: I have to admit the site looks very professional, providing a lot of information. With Romania as a new regulated market, the Eastern European iGaming Market is definitely a promise for the future. The faster countries regulate and decide to collect some taxes and protect players the better in my opinion. The market is still to unregulated and any movement towards a regulated market is good in my eyes.
EEG: Thank you for this opportunity and have a great one!
EEG would like to hear your inspirational story as well, be sure to contact us for further enquiries.
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!”
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.
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