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    GPWA Daniel is offline Associate Editor
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series - Jamie G.

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    (This interview was originally published in the February edition of the 2020 GPWA Times Magazine)

    You mention in your GPWA member bio that you have been working in online gaming for 6 to 7 years. In what capacity were you working in the industry?

    I started experimenting on social media and had a friend who used to own three independent bookmakers. After he sold these he was working as a professional trader. He used to give some useful tips now and again, so I had the idea to set up a website called Twilight Betting and share his tips on social media. From this, we moved into affiliation.

    What did you do before getting into the online gaming industry? How have the experiences you had or skills you developed in other positions helped you as an affiliate?

    My background was as a civil servant, so nothing that I can think of that helped me directly as an affiliate. I found my way into affiliation due to the background of the other owners of betclever. However, I have always had an interest in gambling and poker. I was playing online poker semi-professionally for a short time, too.

    Are you a full-time or part-time affiliate?

    I was part time for a while, however, I have now been full-time since January 2016. Once we launched the app it was clear in order to make a success of it that I needed to commit fully to it. There was too much work involved with working a job, working for betclever and trying to balance a social/family life too.

    The betclever app launched in December 2016. Please tell us about the app, its development and how it has evolved over the last three years.

    The idea for the app came about from myself and betclever’s managing director, Roberto Romanello. We have been friends for a long time and after working around social media and Twilight Betting for a while I came to him with the idea of doing something together.

    Eventually we came up with the idea of an odds comparison app to help people with their football accumulators, which is a huge thing for U.K. punters. We needed to find a name and couldn’t have found a better name than betclever in terms of what we offer.

    Next we needed to find someone who could make our vision a reality. We were lucky to find a developer locally, which made things easier to have face-to-face meetings. Despite this, it still took us almost two years to get it live. Since we launched it we have added horse racing and there is also a Spanish version that is ready to go live. We have also added a website version of the app that includes our blog where we are now adding regular content around match/betting previews. We still have many ideas of how we want to take it forward into the future, however, a lot of those will depend on the growth of the company.

    What have been some of the challenges of promoting a gambling app with Apple and Google Play?

    With Apple, there has been no issue at all. There has never been any issue with submitting a gambling app and since we launched we have luckily had no issues with updates, etc. Now, Google is another matter altogether. In terms of Apple, you have to pay a small membership fee, but if you want to develop an app for IOS you need to go through Apple.

    With Google, anyone can develop an app for Android without having to submit it to the Google Play Store and have a direct download to people’s phones, so when we launched the Google Play Store it didn’t allow gambling apps, so we went with the direct download approach.

    Google then decided to allow gambling apps, so we submitted an app into the Play Store. All was good for about 18 months and then Google decided to suspend our app, despite there being many similar apps currently listed. It is very frustrating as you can’t speak to anyone on the phone, which makes it impossible to get any sort of sensible answer on how to proceed. So (as of December 2019), we are back to the direct download approach for Google.

    How big is your operation? Do you have employees or use freelancers?

    We are a very small operation. There are 10 people involved, in total, however, only four who actively work on betclever day-to-day. As you said, we mainly use freelancers to outsource any work. We have a local company that developed the app for us and they still maintain it and deal with any ongoing issues to this day.

    Why did you choose football and horse racing in the U.K. as your primary target audience/market?

    It was a simple case of these being the two most possible betting markets in the U.K., and of course, the U.K. market is where we are based and the market we have most the knowledge of.

    You also have sections for casino, poker and bingo. Tell us about the cross-section between these verticals and sports/race betting.

    To be honest, 95% of our conversions is sports. People come to our app/website for that market and that’s where they mostly stay. There is a small cross-over of traffic, but not as much as we would like. More casino traffic is something that we are looking at and definitely want and is something we are going to focus on very soon.

    How have the many recent regulations changes in the U.K. affected your business and how have you adapted?

    I think looking at what others have gone through we have been very lucky. Our developer designed our own custom backend so updating offers, changing text, banners, etc. is very simple. We don’t have thousands of pages and multiple websites like some affiliates, so this has also made things very simple. Like others, we have been affected by some program closures, but none of them had a major impact. We have focused on the major U.K. brands so apart from SkyBet we still have all our programs open and producing traffic.


    You have a strong following on social media (30,000 Twitter followers, 15,000 Facebook followers, 13,000 Instagram followers) and you remain active with all three channels. How did you build this large following?

    As I mentioned earlier, before I was an affiliate I was active on social media. The above mentioned accounts are the betclever brands. We also own other social media accounts and have strong links to other major social media accounts that we have used to grow the betclever accounts in the last five years. Even though we launched our app in December 2016, the betclever brand has been active on twitter since July 2014.


    Many affiliates we have interviewed in the past have stated that social media isn’t worth the time and effort? Your thoughts on this opinion?

    Social media has changed a lot in the last few years, for sure, and is a lot more difficult now than it was. However, our business was launched purely on the back of social media. No SEO, PPC. 100% through social media. Roberto is one of the best poker players in the world and has been for 10 years, so this also has a major impact for us in terms of our social media presence. We have social media accounts totalling to over 750,000 followers so people may be familiar with some of these accounts, but have no idea that they are owned by us.

    How do the three channels differ from each other in terms of the audience and content you post?

    Twitter was and is our main focus. This is where we get the majority of our traffic. At the moment, with Facebook and Instagram, we are focusing on building our following. We rarely post any affiliate links or offers until we get them to a level we are satisfied with.

    Instagram is definitely a younger audience. Videos and good quality pictures definitely get better interactions, whereas memes and jokes will get more response on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook also has become a lot more difficult the last year. They have made changes to their algorithm, which prioritises personal posts over pages, so a normal post on Facebook normally gets half the interaction it would have gotten a year ago, despite us having more followers.

    What's your approach to SEO and drawing traffic to your sites?

    SEO is something we are now looking into a lot more. As mentioned earlier, we have a website version of the betclever app and are now focusing on more content and getting pages listed on Google. We outsourced some SEO work last year and around the odds comparison terms we have gone from being non-existent in Google searches to being in the top 20. The next focus in developing a strategy that gets us into the top 10 and then into the top 5.

    Do you gamble online? What about in brick-and-mortar casinos? Why or why not?

    I use to play poker a lot, both online and live. Not so much anymore as work and family life have taken priority. I do like to bet now and again but more on big football matches and big horse races when it takes my fancy. Now again, you will get a tip from somewhere that I will have a bet on too. Being an affiliate I guess the level that I have gambled has decreased as I am focused on the other side of things being an affiliate.

    How often do you get to see and interact with other people in the industry?

    One of the first bits of advice I got was to always build a face-to-face relationship with the brands you work with. When we were developing the app and after it launched we attended every iGB conference for three years. Those who have met Roberto would know he is a very likeable person so we have been lucky to have been invited to a few lunches and events during conferences and got to meet some good people and develop some good relationships. I would still consider us as a small affiliate compared to many others and have no idea if this has any impact, but when a lot of the U.K. brands were closing down affiliates we managed to keep all ours open and I always look back to that first bit of advice and wonder if it had any relevance to that.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager and affiliate program?

    As we where launching our app in the U.K. it was important that we focused on the major U.K. brands that people are aware of and see in their day-to-day lives. It wouldn’t look right, I don’t think, if you are telling people they can compare the best price and you don’t include bet365, for example. In terms of affiliate managers, they can be very hit and miss. There is always a lot of turnover, however, I would say we have had the same bet365 affiliate manager since we started and they are a level above the rest and the standard the others should be aiming for.

    Why did you join the GPWA?

    I am sure Michael Corfman has met a lot of people over the years and not sure if he will recall, but we were invited out to lunch by bet365 when the affiliate conference was held in Berlin and Michael, his wife and two employees were also in attendance. Michael had two employees with him who looked more like bodyguards. Despite his wife’s best efforts to take it easy it wasn’t long before ourselves and Michael’s two employees where drinking shots and were a bit worse for wear. And, of course, through discussion I heard about GPWA and joined not long after that conference.

    If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?

    I have no idea of how it would work or if it could work, but I would love to see better regulations on affiliate programs and operators. Every time you go to a conference we see endless amount of new companies which you can pretty much guarantee won’t be around in a year. There are far too many stories about affiliates not getting paid and ending up out-of-pocket for the work and effort they put in.

    What do you think the industry will look like in five years?

    I can only speak for the U.K., but I wouldn’t be surprised in five years if every high street bookmaker has closed down and the whole operation will have moved online. The U.K. government really has it in for the gambling community at the moment so would like to think that within five years we can get to a place where all the uncertainty in terms of regulations has passed and people can look forward to the future instead of always having to think what is coming around the corner.

    What do you do to stay in shape – both physically and mentally?

    We have a one-year-old dog, so physically that is where I get most of my exercise. I am hoping to start playing a little bit of football again soon if my knees can take it. I also enjoy swimming now and again, when time permits. Mentally, no matter what is going on in work and family life I always try to have an hour or two to myself each day. Even if it’s just sitting alone watching a football game, it just gives me a chance to relax and forget about everything else for a few hours.

    If someone from out of town were visiting you, what’s the one place you'd definitely take them to see?


    We are based in Swansea, Wales in the U.K. We are lucky to live on the Gower Peninsula. We have around 25 beaches within a 45-minute drive with some stunning walks and breath-taking views. Just need to find a day when it’s not raining and you can’t beat it.

    If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you and why?

    I can’t say I am very useful when it comes to do-it-yourself and camping, etc., so would definitely need a “Stranded on a Desert Island for Dummies” book. Maybe something to listen to music on. That would keep your mind occupied, and a hammock for a good night’s sleep. I am sure my wife will agree that I am a bit grumpy when I don’t get enough sleep.

    If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?

    George Best – The greatest football player of all time
    Noel Gallagher – Favorite musician
    Derren Brown – Favorite magician/illusionist
    Anthony Hopkins – Favorite actor
    My wife – Imagine the earache if I didn’t invite her!

    Name three things that people reading this magazine don't know about you.


    1. Me and my wife had our first child on 14 October
    2. We adopted a dog called Gingerbread in January 2019 from the Dogs Trust
    3. I used to work as a lifeguard when I was in University
    Last edited by The Buzz; 13 May 2020 at 4:07 pm.

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to GPWA Daniel For This Useful Post:

    BettingBoss (12 May 2020), ddm (12 May 2020), drifter8 (13 May 2020), GPWA Maria (14 May 2020), Renee (12 May 2020), Robbie Billiams (16 May 2020), The Buzz (13 May 2020)

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