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(This interview was originally published in the October 2016 issue of the GPWA Times Magazine.)

Before joining Tipbet, you held other marketing positions at online sportsbooks like 666Bet/Metro Play. What drew you to this line of work? What lessons from your previous experiences have been the most valuable in your work at Tipbet?
I joined this industry because I realized very early that it is very dynamic with a lot of opportunities, and my initial thoughts were proven correct. During the last 10 years, I have received many lessons that have helped me improve my professional career and my personality. The most valuable lesson is that you need to have guts if you want to survive and be successful.

What did you do before joining the iGaming industry?
Before I joined this industry I was working in the pharmaceuticals industry, but honestly, it was something that I did not enjoy. So I discovered this amazing world of iGaming, and I am very satisfied that I chose it.

Tell us about Tipbet's customer base and marketing. You're based in Malta; what countries do most of your players come from?
Tipbet's main markets are the German-speaking countries/DACH, but we will be expanding into other markets as well. We are in the process of finalizing the license acquisition in some regulated markets. Also, South America is in Tipbet's plans in the near future. I would consider our marketing quite aggressive. We have just renewed our sponsorship with Fortuna Dusseldorf, the football team from Germany, for the 2016/17 season. We are currently in negotiations with other football teams for sponsorship agreements. We are also the sponsors of a local football team here in Malta, FC Gzira United. We decided to get involved in this deal because we want to help the local community in Malta where our headquarter offices are located. The Ad Finem team is a top team in eSports and we are the official sponsors, so we help them grow and progress in the field of eSports.

We participate in all major industry events like ICE, LAC, AAC, BAC and EiG. In October, the Tipbet team will be exhibiting in Berlin at EiG. At BAC, we will have a stand and we are the main registration sponsors.

As I mentioned before, our main customer database is from the DACH countries, but we have customers from many countries in Europe because they trust our brand and they are impressed with the simplicity of our website. Additionally, our live streaming option for top matches from all sports around the world helps us increase acquisition. Our live streaming option is free – the user just needs to have a valid account at Tipbet, unlike other operators, which require the customer to make a deposit or to make at least one bet in the last 24 hours. At Tipbet, it's totally free.

What do you think the emergence of eSports means for the affiliate market?
eSports is the new trend in our business, therefore, at Tipbet we are offering a wide variety of all bets in CS:GO, Starcraft, League of Legends and Dota 2. In September, we planned to focus much more on eSports, with special bonuses and promotions. This new trend means a lot for the affiliate market, since affiliates have one more weapon for boosting their monthly affiliate commissions.

The site has English, German, Greek and Turkish as language options. Why did you decide on these languages, and do you have any plans to expand to other languages in the near future?
For English and German, the reason is obvious – those languages are a must. For Turkish and Greek, the company has plans for the near future in those territories. Other languages will be online very soon, as we are expanding rapidly in other markets. Tipbet's future plans are extremely big, and we are going to be one of the top operators in the iGaming industry.

Describe your role in regard to affiliates. How much of your traffic is attributable to affiliates?
I hold a multitasking position at the moment at Tipbet, and I am also in charge of the affiliate managers. We try to close fair deals with our affiliates, and we want to keep them happy and satisfied. We keep in close contact with all of them, discussing their problems. We listen carefully to their suggestions and we help them increase their monthly commission amounts.

Tipbet offers affiliates lifetime revenue share of 25-50% based on monthly net revenue, including an up to 10% commission bonus and with negative carryover. Why did Tipbet decide on this commission model?
We decided on this reward plan because we think that it is fair for both sides. Hardworking affiliates can earn up to 50% commission, while smaller affiliates are able to have a decent income by promoting Tipbet.

Tipbet recently became a GPWA Platinum Sponsor. Why do you feel it's important to support the GPWA?
I have known about the GPWA for a long time, and this Platinum Sponsorship is essential for us. The GPWA helps us build our brand in the affiliate world, and also the communication between them via the forums is very effective. In my opinion, if you want to be considered one of the leaders of the industry – and this is our purpose – a Platinum Sponsorship with the GPWA is very important.

How do you ensure that payments are sent out on time? And when do your payments go out?
We start the procedure of paying our affiliates on the first of each month, and we devote all our working time to processing the payments. We normally send the payments to our affiliates by the fifth of each month, but there have been months that payments were sent by the third of the month. Generally, our payments are processed quite fast.

It's one thing to bring in a new person to a site. It's another thing entirely to get them to stick around. What does Tipbet do to retain players sent by affiliates?
Our purpose is to keep as many players as possible active at Tipbet. There are a lot of actions that we take to retain the players affiliates send. Just to name a few, we run special promotions for specific sports events; we give reload bonuses to loyal customers; we give birthday bonuses, free spins in the casino and many other promotions. We give a lot of attention to customer support in the language of the customer, so we have fast payouts and that is appreciated from all players.

Problem gambling is a serious issue for our industry. What does Tipbet do to protect players that may have a gambling problem?
We are very strict on gambling addiction problems, and we try to help users overcome this problem. In the case that we identify a problem gambler, we do not try to enable them. Sports betting and casino gambling should be fun and must not create problems for the users.

Describe your typical work day.
Hmm . . . my typical work day is extremely busy and involves many tasks. My position is multitasking, and I enjoy it a lot – the working environment at Tipbet is amazing, and all my colleagues are cool! I am trying to assist all of our affiliate managers in case they need help or advice. I do not send many e-mails during the day, as my role is more of an advisory role. I have known some of my best affiliates for many years, and we are also friends. I avoid long meetings due to a lack of time. There are lot of things that are running at Tipbet at the moment, as the company is growing rapidly.

Describe the office culture at Tipbet. If we were a fly on the wall, what are some of the topics of conversation we'd hear about at the water cooler?
The office culture at Tipbet is great! We have an amazing team of professionals, and we want to grow Tipbet. Every day we have lunch together, as the company provides it and it's the best place to listen and participate in interesting conversations. Some are talking about their next tasks after lunch break, others about their plans after work, or discussions about sports events. Generally, there are a variety of topics discussed. That's the good thing about being at Tipbet: You never get bored.

Have you had a chance to attend any gambling industry conferences yet (LAC or ICE)? If so, what were your first impressions?
Last year, I attended all of the big industry conferences. ICE is amazing, very glamorous and with high standards. The same applies to the affiliate conferences. All of those are great opportunities for networking and making successful business deals. I strongly believe in face-to-face interaction rather than Skype chats or phone calls.

What do you wish you could change about the industry?
I would like to make the industry fairer for all parties – players, affiliates and operators. It is no secret that in everyday work, we have to deal with cheaters and abusers. It requires a lot of time to handle them appropriately, so it is quite costly.

Where do you think the industry will be in five years?
I think sooner or later all markets will be regulated, and I consider that a necessity. The most important thing is that the regulation will be fair in terms of taxation for players and operators.

What is the last book you read? Did you read it on an e-reader or hard copy?
Honestly, I do not read books, but if I did I would enjoy a hard copy, rather than an e-reader.

What's your favorite movie?
I have a lot of favorite movies, but since I am a fan of comedies I would say that my favorite movie is Dumb and Dumber with Jim Carrey.

What do you use for most of your Web surfing: A desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone?
That depends on my mood and what I am going to do. If it is about online shopping, I will use my laptop. If I have to speak with my family via Skype, I will use either my laptop or my smartphone.

iPhone or Android? If we took out your earbuds, what would we find you listening to?
I use both because I have two telephone lines, one Maltese and one Greek. If I had to choose, I would go with the iPhone.

If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
With no second thought, I would go to Greece. Greece has numerous places to visit.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?
Since I am sports fan, I would like to go to dinner with Ronaldinho, Michael Jordan and Novak Djokovic. I admire all of them as they are great athletes and, in my eyes, great people.

Name three things that people reading this magazine don't know about you.
1. I am the proud father of 22-year-old girl.
2. I am a low-profile person.
3. The third one is secret; I'll keep it to myself.