Name: Bobby Garg
Hometown: Chandigarh, India
Living in: Chandigarh, India
Favorite Food: Thai curry
Must-Read Book: The Art of War by Sun Tzu
(This interview was originally published in the February 2017 issue of the GPWA Times Magazine.)
How did you first get into the iGaming business?
I got into this industry when I was 26, and I was one of the first operators of Microgaming. We were hugely successful and ran the show for four years. I decided to move back to my home country at that point and reentered iGaming as a casino review and ratings platform with Casino Bonus Tips.
Tell us about your role at Casino Bonus Tips team. How and when did you get involved?
I wanted to see a transparent platform where players could read the truth about online casinos they wished to place bets with. Explosive growth in the industry and an uncertain legal environment caused temporary chaos, and some operators took advantage of the situation.
Their shortsightedness altered player behavior, and consumers began to distrust the medium and small operators. At that point I felt there was a need for independent casino critics to come in and review online casinos, much like restaurant critics who publish an account of their dining experiences. This is how Casino Bonus Tips was born.
What makes Casino Bonus Tips unique?
At Casino Bonus Tips, we start out by reviewing individual online casinos and score them on a variety of facets. This is done by our in-house casino critics, who are "mystery shoppers." Scores are then compiled on the basis of algorithms we have defined in our software. Players look at the scores and decide to make a deposit. They appreciate that they do not have to go through heaps of information to make an informed decision. Once they've made up their minds, players can view promotions and bonuses offered by the casino they wish to play at. So CBT is a one-stop shop for players.
Do you gamble online or in brick-and-mortar casinos?
I play rummy online now. Rummy is a skill-based card game that is very popular in India. The Supreme Court of India, through its various verdicts, has declared the game legal in the country. It's the first big step in the right direction by Indian authorities. Once in a while, I visit Goa and Vegas.
How often do you get to see and interact with other people in the industry? Have you attended any conferences?
Iíve attended ICE, LAC and AAC on several occasions. It's important to interact face-to-face with affiliate managers and be part of the strong energy at conferences; but at times my schedule doesn't give me liberty to attend and I communicate via Skype and calls.
What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?
Affiliate managers should be detail-driven. They should communicate well, and to be honest, most do. They need to work to strengthen the brand they represent. Cubby-holing to just hit numbers is a short-term strategy that loses steam quickly. They should build brands to last.
An affiliate program should be fair. It should present a value proposition to the operator and the affiliate. Promising too much and giving too little doesn't work, for obvious reasons.
What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you?
The GPWA is the best platform that allows collaboration between anyone and everyone in the iGaming industry. It's a great place to make contacts and form associations. The resources offered are helpful and relevant, especially the forums. They keep up with industry and legal news without losing objectivity. I've found their affiliate program rep directory to be a comprehensive resource.
What do you like about the industry?
It's constantly renewing itself.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
I would make things as transparent as possible. I think that iGaming can contribute to the world economy in a more meaningful way if we let it. We need to build trust by improving the legal environment, especially for large, untapped markets in South Asia, the U.S. and Russia. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is the best thing that could have happened, and I wish more countries would come forth and adopt a similar structure.
What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate?
They know I love what I do. My family has been most supportive. Friends have always encouraged me.
How do you manage your to-do lists? Do you use any special software?
I find my iPhone to be extremely helpful at the moment. I've some great apps on it which sort out my life for me. I'm looking forward to significant enhancements in AI devices. When that happens, it will bring a paradigm shift in how I work.
How much time do you devote social networking for your site?
A good amount! Social networking is consumer-driven, and so are we. Our SMM strategy has paid well so far, and we are bullish on it going forward.
What's the most difficult thing about running your site?
Initially, we had to figure out what our players were seeking. Not too much information about player behavior was available. What was out there was sketchy and incomplete. So we decided to do some testing and behavior analysis on our own. It was time-consuming, but the results gave us good direction and we based our site development and software on the outcome of this research. We continue to study player behavior and reaction because the game changes quickly.
What's the best thing about running your site?
Affiliate managers can independently change the quantum of business they drive from our site. They can participate directly once they have registered with us. The more active they are, the better results they see.
What do you do to stay in shape Ė both physically and mentally?
I find quiet walks outdoors therapeutic. Good music is a true stress-buster. I also volunteer at our local animal shelter.
What do you do with your spare time?
I like to catch a good movie and spend time with family when I can.
What did you dream of doing, both professionally and personally, when you were a kid?
I've always been a keen entrepreneur. My goal is to create businesses from scratch and grow them to a point where they deliver good value. Iíve recently entered the iGaming market in India with rummypassion.com, a portal that offers the finest rummy games to players in India.
If someone from out of town were visiting you, what's the one place you'd definitely take them to see?
The Rock Garden in Chandigarh. It's genius personified. It is full of surprises and quirk.
When you need to get as far away from work as possible, where do you go?
I enjoy what I do and wouldnít ever want to run away from it.
What's your all-time favorite movie?
In the Pursuit of Happiness
If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?
Will Smith, Narendra Modi, Serena Williams, Bob Marley and Tim Berners-Lee
Name three things that people reading this magazine don't know about you.
1. I have three post-graduate degrees.
2. I've been a restaurateur.
3. I volunteer regularly.