Imagine that we are holding a book that contains the story of your life. What can we read in the first pages of your existence? Who were you until this very day?
Firstly, I would like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity. Your question is deep one. I guess for me the one thing that I’ve always believed in is “there is always room to push your own boundaries”. I like to challenge the flow and explore roads less travelled. When one feels that they have reached the end of the road and nothing more can be done, its time to change the road, but continue the journey!
I have always believed in my dreams and have always pursued them regardless of what the outcome might be, or even they are seemingly crazy ;). To me, breaking a mould sets me free. It clears the clutter.
We’re skipping a few pages to a more recent chapter, the beginning of your business. How did it came to you and what were the first steps?
I’ve been involved in the industry for a long time now. I came is an operator some 18 years ago when there were just a handful of us around. I’ve seen the industry morph from its nascency to stages of maturity. In the process I’ve witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly bits of it. Over a period of time I felt my calling was player advocacy. It was then that I decided to create a platform which made it possible for players to experience the best of online gaming. I felt it was the need of the hour as operators were mushrooming left, right and center and players were somewhat lost.
My first step was to consolidate a team of professionals, including professional casino critics who independently tested the service level at online casinos. I guess the beginning is the most critical part and once you’ve crossed this bridge; it’s time to analyze the current situation and act in the most profound manner. I guess we did good, didn’t we?
How did this job influence you in what you are doing, and how did you managed to integrate this in your day-to-day life? How much time do you spend doing this?
I like to follow the words of my hero Steve Jobs, who said
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
I am insanely in love with my work and it has become my routine. As far as the amount of time is concerned, I have no hours, but I make sure I don’t miss out on anything that concerns my business. It’s not like I am always occupied with work, but I enjoy every bit of it.
What are the key markets you are targeting?
Areas within the industry are flourishing everywhere as Internet usage is booming even in developing countries. Providing authenticity and ground reality to players is universally appreciated. Speaking to this specific question, we have targeted Europe and United Kingdom in the past because these markets were mature.
Eastern Europe and Asia are our primary focus now. There is a lot of potential in these markets and based on our preliminary research, these two continents will grow at a higher rate than any other for the coming 5-7 years. At CasinoBonusTips.com, the spotlight is on Eastern Europe and Asia and we are negotiating specific deals with reputed operators in these markets to offer our players the best promotions and service levels.
Also, online gambling laws will get simplified in the U.S. in the future, so that is an area we will re focus on when the time is right.
For India, we have recently launched rummypassion.com, which is an e gaming site for rummy, a popular card game in India.
I noticed that one of the key points in your business is the simple, yet very effective software. What other things come together to make CasinoBonusTips what it is today?
Thank you – we take that as a complement! We constantly want to improve user experience. The more complicated things get, the more your user stays away. To keep up to date with the latest technology, without making things complicated for the users is the challenge. This has been our success mantra; we’ve just launched Casino Bonus Tips on a new technologically advanced platform. With this, our website has become nimble and intuitive. All the necessary details for Online Casino Reviews, Bonus Codes and informative articles are clearly displayed so that a user can extract the most value quickly.
Were there any moments when you thought things might not go so well? And if so, how did you overcome them?
There are tough times in life and the same goes for business as well. Obviously, there were some hassles but we’ve managed to overcome them and become stronger than we’ve ever been before. Talking about those days, I won’t lie that it didn’t bother me, but I was determined to make things right.
Tell us about the mechanism behind the web site and the people working to sustain it and the content.
We have skilled players on board who help us critique online casinos on certain set parameters. Carefully devised metrics and algorithms are the backbone of our casino rating system. The metrics are based on player dynamics. Very simply put, we give players information they seek. We leave out extraneous details because really, who has the time. Our players don’t want to be bothered with unnecessary information.
Our writers are trained to write so facts are simplified for the end user. Even if we are providing marketing or promotional information, we stick to details of the promotion and cut out the riffraff.
What are the things you rely on, when it comes to creating the website content? And how do you manage to separate the “good info” from the “bad, useless” info?
This is a great question, thanks for asking. We always prefer quality over quantity and content management is a vital part, primarily when you are in the gaming business. The online casino reviews we publish on our site are player oriented; we cover all details that matters to them most. Security parameters, banking options, licensing authority, game variety and promotional offers, all are published on our site. We also manufacture related content on topics associated with online gambling. Technical vocabulary is explained in the simplest form so that even a novice can play their cards right.
The best way to do this is to walk in the users shoes. If a user can’t make sense of content, it is left out!
You interact on a daily basis with Affiliate Managers. Tell us about your experiences with them, and what would you improve?
There is huge room for improvement in Affiliate management. Primarily building trust or the foundation layer is critical for any relationship. Sometimes the early greetings are never meant to be taken seriously. We are always looking for genuine partners to equally share responsibility and innovative ideas for business.
We find that newer operators tend to be our best partners because they are open to suggestions and the often bring in innovation. They are eager to excel and work hard to establish their brand.
Where do you see the gambling industry in the next 3 years? Or maybe 10, let’s say 10 years from now. It’s 2026 and we are looking at the industry. What can we see, considering the direction we are heading today
I am an optimistic person and the current trend is obviously forecasting in the favor of online gambling. The laws are getting simpler and most countries are opening up to online gambling. The tax revenue generated is substantial and in days of economic slowdowns, governments are exploring to add new tax sources. Perhaps in the next 2 to 3 years, the industry might be partly regularized in America and in the parts of Asia as well. In the long term, I feel more operators will conform to legality and there will be more consolidation. We have seen a growing trend in the past few years of M&A’s.
We can look to Eastern Europe and countries like India for exponential growth. As fresh revenue streams begin to dry up in mature markets, the big brands will turn to these countries to grow their top lines.
If you would have full liberty to change anything in the casino affiliate system, what would that be?
Affiliate management is what brings us business. Many affiliate manages get bogged down by bureaucracy and don’t have too much leeway in spending marketing money. They like to stick to CPA or revenue share deals, or sometimes hybrid ones to get traffic. I feel that they should be able to assess marketing opportunities other than the traditional options. There is a lot of new potential out there and it remains largely unexplored.
Do you have a celebrity that inspired you, or maybe some famous person that motivates you?
Inspiration comes from everywhere and I guess everybody has somebody in their life to look up to. I’ve watched a lot of movies not just for the sake of entertainment, but also to get inspiration. From the character played by Sylvester Stallone in the movie ‘Rocky’ to Will Smith who has played Chris Gardner in the ‘Pursuit of Happiness’; these guys have been my source of inspiration.
But, if I have to pick one, Will Smith is my favorite. Have you seen his movie ‘Focus’? If not, then you should probably buy a DVD of it.
Consider YouTube is closing forever. What would your last search be about?
I will probably search a video on “Apocalypse of the Digital World”.
What do you think debuting affiliates should look forward to, in order to have a beautiful uplifting experience in this industry?
Affiliates who are just starting out should be mindful of the benefits of brand building. It’s a slow process and most debuting affiliates get deterred because there is little immediate gratification. Most want instant results, which should be a short run goal. However, they should balance their short and long term goals and invest in establishing sources which will fuel organic growth.
How is the famous search engine Google contributing to your web site’s existence in the virtual space? Is it helping or isn’t it?
Google is great! With time it is adding and improving its intelligence. It is also forcing websites to be more user centric.
We’ve seen a lot of iGaming conferences lately. Is there any conference you would like to attend? Have you ever participated to a conference and left with a “bag of beautiful memories”?
It’s always great to connect with people from the industry. So many best practices are shared and networks are built when like minded people meet. I’d like to see an emerging markets conference of high caliber organized soon. It’s the need of the hour. I think the Eastern European Gaming Summit is a great start because it is well structured.
What do you think of today’s affiliate conferences? Is there anything you would change about them?
I think some of them have become too large and unwieldy. I’d like to be part of smaller, more specific groups now. I think specialized is the way forward. ICE is very large, but I love it because within the larger ambit, smaller exclusive groups can network comfortably.
Tell us a bit more about yourself. If you could travel anywhere in Eastern Europe, where would your first stop be and why?
I’d love to travel to the Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and the Ukraine. These places are steeped in history and culture and exploring places I have held in awe will be a memorable experience. I’d make my first stop in the Latvia. I think Latvia can become the center for online gaming in Eastern Europe. It has immense potential.
What about a place where you wouldn’t even stop for a coffee, and just drive by the whole region?