Affiliate marketing in iGaming: Michael Fancher’s perspective

News Team 3 weeks ago
Affiliate marketing in iGaming: Michael Fancher’s perspective

Michael Fancher, CEO of Onlinecasino.amsterdam, recently shared some valuable insights with SiGMA News about his journey in iGaming affiliate marketing. In this interview he sheds light on the latest developments in the Netherlands during his nearly two-decade-long experience in iGaming. He also discussed his websites that primarily target the Dutch market and shed light on the latest developments in the Netherlands

SiGMA News: Could you share with me the story of how and when you entered the iGaming industry? Has your focus always been on gaming?

Michael Fancher: In 2006, I discovered affiliate marketing in the iGaming niche through an article. Intrigued, my girlfriend’s brother-in-law, a front-end designer, and I started a hobby project. Our first site, vegasfever.nl, led to my nickname “Vegasfever” in the iGaming community. Growing up in Zandvoort, home to the first Holland Casino, my family often engaged in gambling and card games. Thus, my focus has always been on gambling and casinos since my youth.

SiGMA News: What distinguishes you from other affiliates in the industry?

Michael Fancher: From a business perspective, we’ve always been a reliable partner for our casino partners, prioritizing long-term profitable relationships over quick wins. We’ve built strong relationships with the operators we work with and have amassed considerable experience and a vast network over the years. This experience opens doors faster for us, a benefit many new affiliates lack.

On a personal level, we believe in balancing work with fun. We’ve organized numerous events on our Amsterdam boats, including the legendary wind-off sessions for IGB. We’ve also hosted cruise dinners and BBQs for major brands like Unibet. As a DJ for 40 years, I’ve performed at various iGaming events, such as Fire & Ice in London. I’m considering writing a book about my adventures over the past 18 years.

SiGMA News: What aspects make your website stand out from the rest?

Michael Fancher: Our website, Onlinecasino.amsterdam, is unique in several ways. Firstly, the domain name is appealing and versatile, reflecting our identity as local Amsterdammers. While our current focus is on Dutch players, the domain has the potential for global expansion, which we intend to pursue. Technically, our site is one of the fastest in our niche in the Dutch market. We prioritize providing visitors with quick and easy access to the right information. A key focus for us is safety, reliability, and responsible gaming, which is evident in our extensive content on responsible gambling and addiction care.

SiGMA News: What are the key factors contributing to your website’s success? Could you also share the primary challenges you are currently facing?

Michael Fancher: Our success stems from attracting high-value players for casino operators, fostering long-term relationships with brands, and working with knowledgeable affiliate managers. When the Dutch market opened, we quickly navigated through inexperienced affiliates to establish our presence. Currently, we face challenges from rogue foreign affiliates who manipulate search engines and promote unlicensed providers. Google’s recent update targets these sites. Compliance is another challenge, especially with the new advertising legislation since March 2023 and the upcoming player limit of €700 in the Netherlands. This necessitates increasing traffic to maintain turnover. As players open accounts at multiple casinos, we anticipate a rise in CPA income. We hope political restrictions on advertising and gaming will ease, preventing a blow to channelization experienced in other countries.

SiGMA News: Could you elaborate on the transformations in the Dutch market following the implementation of the Online Gambling Act in the Netherlands?

Michael Fancher: Since the adoption of new rules and laws on October 1, 2021, the Dutch iGaming market has matured significantly. 27 licences have been issued with more in the pipeline. The market has seen numerous consolidations and mergers, including the takeover of Onlinecasinoground by Casinonieuws and Goldrun Casino by Betsson. The transition from a wild, unregulated market to a more structured one has brought challenges and increased workload, but also a sense of nostalgia for the earlier days.

SiGMA News: How do you envision the future of affiliate marketing, particularly in the context of the Dutch market?

Michael Fancher: Despite the constant changes in rules and Google’s frequent updates, I maintain a positive outlook on the iGaming affiliate niche. However, for newcomers to the Dutch casino affiliate scene, the ship has sailed. It’s challenging to start a profitable business in this area, leading many to acquire existing sites. I’ve recently launched iGamingfilms.com, an ad production company unrelated to affiliation but leveraging my extensive iGaming network. If I were to start a new venture in the Dutch iGaming market today, it would be far removed from affiliation.

SiGMA News: Do you produce all the necessary marketing materials for promotion internally, or do you rely on outsourcing?

Michael Fancher: Our marketing materials are created through a mix of in-house staff, outsourcing, and personal effort. Finding skilled writers willing to associate their names with our gambling site, especially after Google’s recent E-A-T updates, is challenging. The influx of cheap, optimized content due to the AI revolution has made it difficult to discern quality. Even Google struggles with this issue.

SiGMA News: You’ve been invited multiple times to SiGMA Affiliates as a Spartan. Could you describe those experiences?

Michael Fancher: I have been attending SiGMA in Malta since its second edition, and have participated as a Spartan multiple times. What’s great about it is that an entire program is specifically organized for affiliates. You get to meet colleagues from all over the world, each with their own unique stories and specific challenges. It’s always interesting to hear their experiences. Moreover, you always end up making valuable contacts. SiGMA is indeed a very special event.

SiGMA News spoke with Michael Fancher, the CEO of Onlinecasino.amsterdam.

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