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    GPWA Daniel is offline Associate Editor
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series - Mr Live Casino

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    (This interview was originally published in the February 2018 edition of the GPWA Times Magazine)

    How did you first get into the iGaming business? What did you do before becoming an affiliate?

    The idea of making an affiliate site came to me when I worked at one of the bookmakers. My initial idea was to use my gambling knowledge to help other people, answer common questions, etc. I created the first sites together with someone else, learned a lot from my mistakes from every aspect and moved forward to the ones I have now.

    Before becoming an affiliate, I was working for a digital marketing agency doing PPC for gambling and some nongambling clients, but I have also worked for two of the biggest U.K. bookmakers in customer service and trading departments.

    Tell us about your sites.


    The sites bestuklivecasinos.co.uk and froutakiaonline.gr were launched almost at the same time. About six months later, I concentrated on bestuklivecasinos.co.uk because that site had started making some revenue. Not a lot, but enough to make me believe there was potential. After spending a year exclusively on bestuklivecasinos.co.uk and establishing it, I decided to create some more sites to diversify my portfolio.

    Your U.K. site focuses exclusively on live casinos. Why did you decide to pursue that niche?

    This was a decision I made based on what I thought was going to be the new trend in online casinos. I could see live casinos becoming popular, and at that time, some online casinos had started adding a separate tab in their menu for live casinos. For me, this was a sign that they wanted to push this particular product and that the product had potential. I did some keyword research to confirm the trend and decided to go ahead with that niche.

    The live casino market is constantly evolving. Just think a few years back: the video quality, the tables, the technology – everything has changed for the better and is taking over the computerized versions of the games. With virtual reality around the corner, I believe that we will see even more exciting developments in the future.

    Are you a full-time or part-time affiliate? Do you have employees, or do you run your sites by yourself?

    I started as a part-time affiliate for four or five years, but I have been full time for the last three years.

    I do most things myself, but I now have an amazing content writer in Greece for the Greek site who is also helping me with various tasks. I also hire freelancers from time to time for some other tasks on the other sites.

    Your sites target the U.K. and Greece. Why did you target these particular markets?

    I target Greece because I am Greek and I have the advantage of the language and the knowledge of the local market, and the U.K. because I live here and I also have a great knowledge of the market and the trends in the industry. Greece is a bit complicated because of past and current regulations. There are only a few active operators with a license in Greece, and there are restrictions on the way you can market them. For example, you are not allowed to advertise a welcome bonus.

    The U.K. is more straightforward when it comes to advertising, although we have seen recent regulations changing here as well. The competition in the UK is very big because you are competing with a lot of other affiliates as well as operators.

    Do you have plans for additional sites?

    Yes, I am building more sites at the moment, gambling and nongambling ones. I believe that having a diversified portfolio is more secure long term. I am focusing on my main sites but slowly adding more. I want to have a couple of nongambling sites because there are fewer restrictions when it comes to retargeting and other marketing tools that I want to utilize.

    What makes your sites unique?

    I am always trying to keep the sites up to date and offer valuable information. I am also trying to keep the design of the sites as simple as possible to make user experience pleasant and not overwhelming with information, promotions, etc.

    How do you decide what casinos to promote?


    Before I add any casino to my site, I register and test it myself. I play a few games, contact customer support with a couple of questions to check how fast they respond, and make a withdrawal to make sure everything works in a timely manner and is customer friendly. I also make sure all the sites are licensed and regulated by a respectable authority, like the U.K. Gambling Commission.

    Do you gamble?


    Well, as I said before, I register with the casinos and test them before I add them to the site, which means I have a lot of accounts, which I use to gamble from time to time. I go to brick-and-mortar casinos as well, but not on a regular basis – only as a social thing with friends.

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

    I have met a lot of affiliate managers, and the ones that stand out for me are the ones that that see me as a partner, not as an FTD number. So when I get the question of how many FTDs can you bring us, it's a red flag and a minus point for me. I have a great relationship with some AMs for years now, and even if they move companies, I am always happy to work with them.

    When it comes to an affiliate program, apart from the AMs, I believe it is also very important to treat affiliates as partners. We have seen recently that this is not always the case, with a lot of programs treating affiliates like their employees. I don’t like working with these kind of programs, as my idea of a partnership doesn't contain ultimatums or any kind of instructions. Both parties should work together, and each party knows what they have to do to make the partnership successful.

    What's your preferred method of communication with affiliate managers?

    E-mail and Skype are usually how we communicate throughout the year. And then face to face at the conferences.

    What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you?

    GPWA is a great place to meet like-minded people and discuss work, check out news in the industry, and ask and answer questions that are work related. I enjoy the forum conversations with other affiliates, and it's good to see different approaches from people in the industry. The forum has also helped me avoid some mistakes and move toward the right direction.

    What do you like about the industry?

    The industry is constantly evolving, and for me that's very important because I never get bored. There is always something new or something going on. I also enjoy a lot the conferences – they are very lively, and it's nice to see familiar faces there.

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

    I believe there should be some sort of body to aggregate between affiliates and affiliate programs. Every now and then there is some sort of complaint from affiliates about programs changing their T&Cs, not paying, suspending accounts, etc. We have the GPWA and other forums to shout about these, and sometimes the issues get resolved, but I believe it would be beneficial for affiliates to have an official body to investigate any complaints.

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

    I believe we will see more regulation in various areas. I can also see more operator and affiliate mergers and acquisitions.

    What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate?

    My friends and family think it's a very interesting and different way of making a living, even if some of them don't understand it fully. My family in the U.K. is happy because I can spend more time with them, and my family in Greece is extremely happy because now I can visit them more often and for longer periods.

    How do you manage your to-do lists? Do you use any special software to help you out?

    I prefer to write down my to-do list in the morning and go through it during the day. I also use Trello, but mainly to keep track of freelancers' tasks.

    How much time do you devote social networking for your site?

    Not much time, mainly because I don't have a lot of spare time and I prioritize other tasks. I am trying to automate or delegate a lot of social stuff.

    What's the most difficult thing about running your site?

    Too many tasks, too little time in the day. Also competition is very high, and SEO is becoming harder, PPC more expensive and social media marketing more demanding.

    What's the best thing about running your site?

    The enjoyment that I get when I hit my targets and when I see that the things that I am doing are working the way I have planned.

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

    Not much, to be honest, but I really want to do more. I go through stages of going to the gym and doing some yoga, but then other things take over and I am back to doing nothing for months.

    What do you do with your spare time?

    Watching football, going out and playing with my daughter.

    What did you dream of doing, both professionally and personally, when you were a kid?

    When I was a kid I wanted to become a professional footballer, but I never even attempted that! It was only a dream. I also wanted to travel all around the world and see different countries. I guess I still have time to achieve that dream.

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

    If he or she was a football fan, then definitely go watch Man City or Man United. If they like nature and landscapes, then the Peak district and Lake district are great places to visit.

    When you need to get as far away from work as possible, where do you go?

    Greece! Especially in the summer.

    What's your all-time favorite movie?

    Fight Club.

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

    I want to say my grandparents from both sides, but it will be unfair for my parents not to be there as well. So I will go for a bit of a mixture of great personalities: Wayne Dyer, Bob Marley, Jose Mujica, Socrates and Sotiris Moustakas.

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

    1. I am Greek.
    2. I am an AEK Athens fan.
    3. I don't eat meat.

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    vtyunby65 (9 July 2018)

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    That was an excellent affiliate interview series, Yannis. There is a lot that I have learned from it today. Much appreciated and good on you for taking the time to do this interview with GPWA.

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    Nice interview. I enjoyed reading it. I must say that I love the design of your best UK live casinos site. It's brilliant !!

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