Founder and CEO at Mad Money Casino sits down with SiGMA for an exclusive interview where he shares his knowledge about the industry
How did you first get into the affiliate space, and were you always focused on the iGaming sector?
I started out in lead development creating landing pages for Insurance Agents. About 2 years ago I started dabbling in online I-Gaming and developed a few websites to attract players. I focused on developing a website www.depositDIY.com that offers free online tutorials to players who need help with online deposit methods. This was a huge success amongst players and deemed reputable in the affiliate space. Then with the launch of our brand Mad Money Casino, it was a natural progression into the affiliate sector.
How is your affiliate business structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
My partners and I have developed a completely new approach when it comes to our business structure. We have tried to encompass all factors which include, utilising niche marketing with AI Technology to target prospects on all social media platforms. We do this by only surrounding ourselves with likeminded individuals that understand new technology along with the more traditional aspects of the affiliate sector.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
We currently are focusing on Eastern Europe, Russia, Australia, Canada, and Brazil. There is always potential in emerging markets and with the steady growth in the iGaming industry, there is no reason to not think that new markets would not be successful. Of course all affiliates and operators do need to understand that markets are different, so changes must be made to their marketing approach in order to attract the correct prospects.
What makes your traffic proposition / traffic sites unique? What can you offer that others don’t? Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
Our sites utilise AI Technology which can specifically target users by location, age, interests, and even hashtags on social media outlets. This gives our affiliate sites a unique approach that pinpoints our prospects with precision. My partners and I are currently developing a unique AI lead generation system that utilises Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This has been quite a difficult process to master, however it has proven to be successful in the iGaming industry.
Is the grass greener on the other side – Have you considered giving white label casino or sports betting a go?
Our Answer: After seeing the success of our affiliate work and talking to multiple people in the industry we have decided to open our own brand. In winter of 2019 we started development with SoftGamings to develop a unique brand called Mad Money Casino. Although it is not easy and does require a lot of capital, we are pleasantly enjoyed with the results. It comes down to working with a reputable company that knows the business with educated employees that can lead you in the right direction.
Are you concerned by the impact on the affiliate sector from shifting regulatory environments? (In particular UKGC, Sweden’s Spelinspektionen, and Germany’s 2020 State Treaty on Gaming Regulation)
The only constant in this industry is change, and anytime these changes occur the industry has adapted and has still progressed forward. Some regulations have been better than others, however I hope Sweden implements new changes in the near future to accommodate affiliates and operators alike. UKGC has done things in the most professional manner and do take into consideration the industry as a whole rather than just siding with legislation. With Germany’s 2020 regulations being so new, the effects are yet to be seen. Being an optimist, I hope the results favour the industry and players.
What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your traffic? Are you focusing on SEO? PPC? Any other traffic source?
We currently utilise a handful of marketing outlets to source traffic. Although PPC can be difficult at times we do see success in geo targeting specific demographics within our industry. SEO is always part of our marketing approach and this is done on the back end with our SEO team utilising HTML tags and content creation. Our main approach would be AI Technology. This uses artificial intelligence bots to target specific users on social media platforms. This includes targeting specific accounts, lookalike accounts, hashtags, and location.
Are you contemplating bringing in investors to scale or grow your business? Or, with such a big M&A market, have you ever contemplated selling the business?
Currently my partners and I are all financially invested in the operation and see no need for outside investment at this time. Being personally invested in any business gives it a more meaningful approach and decisions are more thorough. With this approach, decisions are made with business solely in mind rather than an outside investor making uniformed decisions. Of course everything has its price tag. If the right offer came across we certainly would entertain the idea.
What can operators do to increase support from affiliates?
It comes down to a few different areas. All operators need to have a detailed back end portal that is easy to read for the affiliates with multiple language capabilities. Portals should have an algorithm implemented into their system that helps the affiliate track how much is being deposited, how frequent, and what promotions are most used by the player. This method of operation makes it more user friendly for affiliates to track what is working. Operators also need to keep in mind that all players use different payment methods depending on the target market. Operators must offer a diverse gaming experience that will attract and retain the targeted traffic. Good customer support and on time payments for both the affiliates and users is a must. Finally, operators need to be proactive in attending events and conferences to create and maintain relationships while gaining exposure.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
With so many markets involved and new ones emerging every year being diverse in your skill set is crucial. Everyone has their own sets of strengths and weaknesses and I think that creating a well-rounded team covers all aspects. This ranges from teamwork, communication, IT skills, relationship building, marketing and much more.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
Technology is a crucial part of our business model and allows us to target prospects worldwide with the click of a button. It is easier to maintain a database while efficiently marketing to prospects and current users. I think that all businesses in 2020 must be proficient with technology as it is the way of the future in such a constantly changing market.
How is the Asian market shaping-up for affiliates?
The Asian market is growing rapidly amongst the iGaming sector. With more regulations dropping and new payment providers coming into the market, we expect it to be the top market by 2024. We currently do not target this market however it is in our 5 year plans.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
Every day is a learning experience in this industry. I wish I was more informed about worldwide markets and how each market differentiates from each other when it comes to marketing and attracting local players within that market.
What’s been your biggest nightmare to date?
My biggest nightmare would have to regulation and the limitations it could have on each market.
What are the challenges in managing relationships with multiple operators?
I think that the main challenge is developing a personal relationship with each operator. With so many moving parts it’s hard to obtain a personal connection.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
Attending iGaming events is great for exposure and networking with likeminded individuals in the industry. It allows you to create new relationships, experience the latest games and technology and it is a great source of information on new rules and regulations within the iGaming industry. With SiGMA being one of the biggest events in the iGaming industry, it offers inside access to new developments and changes within the iGaming sector.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
I have not been to SiGMA yet, however the team and I will be attending out first event at SiGMA Malta 2020. We are excited to showcase our brand and meet others in the industry.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all business is done between people, not just companies!
Being Greek Orthodox my favourite holiday would have to be Christmas. Having all the family together for such a special day really means a lot to me.
Favourite book ever read? Favourite book you look forward to read some day?
My favourite book is Leadership by Alison & David Price and I look forward to reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Where would you relocate with family if you had to pick one city?
I really love my small town of Tarpon Springs, FL. However, if I was to move I would really like to live in the Amalfi Coast.
“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die – Warren Buffett”
Favourite sport and childhood idol?
My favourite sport would have to be American football. I really love the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. My childhood idol was Batman!
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About SiGMA Expo:
The iGaming summit SiGMA is setting its sights on Asia. Our ground breaking Asian iGaming expo will be held in Manila, on the 8th & 9th of June 2020. SiGMA’s largest venue to date will bring together high quality conferences and content, premium networking opportunities, and luxury networking event. 10,000 delegates from across Europe, the US, and Asia are expected to attend, making this one of the biggest shows to unite East and West in the region. To become a part of the fastest paced Asian iGaming event, book a pass or sponsor & exhibit.
For those planning to attend SiGMA Manila, AIBC Manila and ICE Asia at SMX on June 8-9th, this is the buzzing business environment to be expected: