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Lotus Affiliates outsources its affiliate program to your company, Affiliates Portal. Many online gambling companies run in-house affiliate programs. When do you think outsourcing makes sense? What are some of the advantages of outsourcing an affiliate program?
I can only answer from my own experience in that Lotus Affiliates chose to outsource to me because they recognized the need to bring fresh perspective to the program, and at the same time were looking for a novel merger of ďold and new,Ē if I can phrase it like that.

According to your company profile on LinkedIn, your clients' interests range from insurance, financial and debt solution campaigns to, with Lotus Affiliates, online gambling. How different are the affiliate programs in these industries?
Not so different at all. Affiliate programs have one sole purpose and that is to drive revenue. The biggest challenge is the variations of mediums used to generate this revenue. While the insurance, financial and debt recovery sectors are geared more toward lead generation where Iframe and SMS marketing seem to be the key focus, the online gaming industry has staple towers of strength in the banner and direct download form of marketing, and in conjunction with that, any innovative and interesting way to reach your audience. This is almost an organic process as youíve got to keep up with changes and developments while at the same time catering uniquely to the target.

You've only been working with Lotus Affiliates for a few weeks now. While there's still a learning process, what are some of your initial observations about the online gambling affiliate marketplace in general? What are your thoughts about Lotus Affiliates?
This is not actually my first time working within the gaming industry. I was introduced to the online gaming industry in 2006 via another program where I started as an affiliate assistant and climbed the corporate ladder to managing their mobile casino. The Lotus Affiliates program could be considered fairly young, which always presents a great opportunity to grow within a group. What I like about the program is that itís unsullied. They have maintained a good standing with their affiliate partners and are uncompromising about professionalism and integrity.

You've worked in Internet marketing for nearly a decade. What attracted you to the industry? Is it still as interesting now as it was when you first started? And how has online marketing changed in that time?
This field held an interest for me from an early age. I initially wanted to pursue a career in graphic design/online marketing and this morphed into where I am now. The nature of technology means constant change and development, and a continual learning curve. The only thing you can be sure of from day to day is that there WILL be a new development, a novel way of doing something, and faster, better and quicker access all the time. Iím highly appreciative of this journey and feel lucky to be in an environment where I experience the results firsthand. With technology, what may seem impossible now will be possible in the near future.

Lotus Affiliates is the affiliate program for Lotus Asia Casino, Black Lotus Casino and fone casino.What markets do these casinos target, and what differentiates these properties from other online casino offerings?
Our reach is global with the exception of a handful of countries due to gambling legislation. Currently the focus seems to be Asia. With large-scale growing interest weíre focused on establishing a unique product niche and to communicate our key elements that will keep players coming back for more. Having said that, I want to add that you can expect an inventive and updated version for all three brands in the future. And Iím extremely excited about future prospects as the direction of these developments will launch the Lotus Brands into a new realm in the immediate future.

fone casino was developed specifically for mobile phones and tablets. How does it cater to a mobile audience? What design elements maximize the mobile experience? And how important is the mobile/tablet market in the industry?
Mobile casinos were destined to elevate gaming to another level because of choice, accessibility, comfort and instant excitement, and you can get it all wherever, whenever. Itís a crucial element in the online gaming industry and the undeniable star of the future. Our software offers a seamless experience with crystal-clear sound effects, stunning HD graphics and one of the largest selections of games available on all mobile devices.

One of the most important issues online casinos must address is problem gambling. What do the properties that Lotus Affiliates promotes do to try to identify and help players with gambling problems?
For the majority of casino players, online gaming is a form of entertainment that they can enjoy anytime. As a responsible gaming provider we are committed to creating a responsible and safe online casino gaming environment for the members who use our services. As part of our ongoing efforts, responsible gaming is one of our most important and main priorities. We educate our staff to recognize responsible gaming patterns, and in order to assist our players in gaming responsibly we provide a selection of options to help, e.g., self-exclusion; direct links to responsible gambling organizations; and tools and management systems to protect against compulsive gamblers.

It's one thing to bring in new people to a site. It's another thing entirely to get them to stick around. What do your properties do to retain players sent by affiliates?
A customer-focused operation provides a destination for players not only to play, but a place to stay. We actively strive to maintain a very high level of retention, and we ensure that every player gets personal attention, no matter his or her level of play. From recreational to high stakes, we are focused on rewarding players in a tailor-made way that suits their play. Automatic membership to our Loyalty Club gives players the opportunity to redeem points earned while they play.

A quick synopsis: monthly and daily promos; player-tailored plan following the playerís dynamic behavior throughout his/her lifecycle; hundreds of campaigns running on a daily basis aimed to activate, reactivate, convert, up-sell and cross-sell; and of course our unique marketing strategy that goes along with it, which includes a 95 percent call and e-mail response success rate and a five-minute average speed of answering queries.

Lotus Affiliates offers a simple revenue share plan with commissions of 25-40 percent based on gross monthly revenues. How long has this commission plan been in place, and how is it working out so far?
This rev share model has stood the test of time since the Group opened its virtual doors. The tiered structure definitely does provide a consistent push for the affiliate to always try to maintain at a higher level. The commission plan works but I feel it can work a lot better, and this is why I have re-structured the commission so that affiliates will receive a massive 45 percent rate for their first month.

Lotus Affiliates will also work with affiliates who prefer CPA deals. Many programs are hesitant to offer CPA deals because they have been burned too many times by CPA fraud. How do you combat CPA fraud?
I stay away from CPA deals until working very closely with the affiliate for some time, and once comfortable and satisfied with the delivery and quality of players, I might consider a CPA deal. I believe that if an affiliate is so confident on his CPA proposal then I should be given the opportunity to test his quality for at least one month on a rev share.

Where do you think the industry will be in five years?
Online gambling is here to stay and can only increase in size.

You are based in South Africa, correct? Is that where you grew up?
Yes, I was born and raised in South Africa and lived in a few different parts of the country.

Last year, South Africa celebrated the life of Nelson Mandela with an incredible funeral and memorial. Describe what Nelson Mandela meant to South Africans. And can you tell us what was it like to be there during that period of remembrance?
We refer to Mr. Mandela as Tata, which means Father in Xhosa, his home language. This is because essentially Madiba became the father of our nation. At his passing the atmosphere was one of extreme sadness, with people openly crying in their cars or on the street, strangers embracing and hugging each other. It was a close and personal loss to each South African, not just to a nation or mankind, and I donít think the world has ever witnessed such a display of collective grief. It also drew us all closer together as we treasured memories, anecdotes, inspirational quotes and his incredible joy for life.

If someone from out of town were to visit you, where is the one place you would have to take them?
I would have to say the Kruger Park. With 19,633 square kilometers in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, it is an extreme adventure, a magical experience and a very real bush safari. Itís a MUST.

What is the last book you read? Did you enjoy it? And did you read it on an e-reader? Or do you need to have a copy of the physical book in your hand?
Iím going to be upfront and confess that due to time constraints I donít get round to reading books. Does last monthís edition of FHM count? It was the actual physical magazine, not the online version ...

What's your favorite movie?
I donít have a favorite per se, but enjoy a good horror story.

What do you use for most of your Web surfing: A desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone?
Iím pretty much all over them. Laptop at work, desktop at home. And when not in the office I have a smartphone and tablet.

If we picked up your iPod or iPhone and pressed play, what song would be playing? And where do you listen to your music? Spotify, Pandora or iTunes?
You would hear ďSaints and SinnersĒ from Godsmack on their The Oracle album. I listen to music while working, so in the office on my laptop, but also through Google Play Music on my mobile.

If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
Italy. Itís been a dream of mine to go there during the F1 race in Monte Carlo.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?
Legendary F1 driver Michael Schumacher, Chester Bennington from Linkin Park and my late cousin.

Name three things that nobody reading this magazine knows about you.
On the quirky side: I seldom wear jackets or jerseys and I wear short sleeves even during winter. On the professional side: Apart from being an affiliate manager I am also a designer and Web developer. And on the personal side: Three angels chose me as their father.