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  1. #1
    GPWA Dan is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Manager Interview Series: Michael Gold - 7Red Affiliates

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    What experience do you have in the industry? And why did you decide to join up with a brand-new online offering at 7Red?

    My experience with the industry is mainly as an affiliate from 2008 to 2009. Since I'd been developing and marketing affiliate programs for businesses for the previous four years I decided to combine my knowledge in that area with the gaming market.

    I joined 7Red after meeting with their warm, professional staff and discovering that their moral standards are as high as the quality of their games – both criteria which are most important to me and I think that this industry is lacking.

    What has it been like to build the brand from the ground up? What have you learned in the early going and what are your plans moving forward?

    Building a brand from ground up is a true challenge. It means endless hours in front of the computer, many staff meetings and mandatory attendance at all of the industry's shows. I learned to be more patient and calm when there is a lot of work pressure and to delegate responsibilities.

    7Red is a no-download, Flash-based casino. What are the advantages and disadvantages of running a Flash casino from an operator’s point of view? What are the advantages and disadvantages from a player’s perspective?

    The only disadvantages a no-download casino might encounter are that you have to adjust it to all kinds of browsers perfectly and that if you don't keep a powerful server the players might experience long loading times. The advantages, however, are numerous as players can start playing instantly from anywhere, including cellular phones. There is also no need to constantly download updates, and the graphics are just awesome.

    You offer a free version of your games without requiring players to sign up for an account. Can you explain the thinking behind that decision? How has it affected your deposit rates for people who go through the sign-up process?

    Allowing players to play for free without needing to open an account just makes it easier and faster for them to experience our top-notch games. On 7Red there is no need to lure players into opening an account as all we desire is for them to experience the quality of our games. If players like them, and they usually do, they will create an account out of their own free will. The fact that we don't require players to open an account before playing has a positive effect on sign-ups as players are smart and can spot when someone is trying to force them into something. I believe that players appreciate the fact that we give them the freedom of choice.

    You have a wide range of offerings, from traditional 3-reel slots like Lucky 7, to 3D bonus slots like Enchanted, to table games like blackjack and roulette, to video poker, and even virtual horse racing. What are your most popular games? And do your players tend to stick with one genre of games? Or do your players tend to cross genres and enjoy a variety of the games?

    Each player has his own taste and chooses the genre he likes most. I don't see players moving across genres much. Most players like the 3D slots, which are actually the crème de la crème of 7Red. Players tend to choose the slot they like best and stick to it…well, at least until we release a new, more exciting one.

    What do you think the three greatest challenges facing the industry are right now? And what would you do to solve them?

    I think there are only two main challenges facing the industry: The first one is regulation, which I can't actually do much about, but if I were one of the big casino owners I guess I'd try to join forces with other owners and try doing some lobbying. The second challenge is market saturation, but luckily 7Red is an innovative casino which only integrates top-notch games as they are released so I'm not really worried about that.

    One way to keep affiliates happy is to pay them on time. What steps has your program taken to ensure that they’ll be paid on time? And when do your payments go out?

    Our payments go out on the 15th of each month by wire transfers. We are working on integrating more payment options as we speak in order to make our affiliates happier.

    The casino got off to a bit of a rocky start. Some affiliates were upset that you had some incorrect information and logos on the site. Can you talk about what happened, and what you did to resolve the problem?

    We had some incorrect information on our site due to a miscommunication between our designer and management. Most of the things were fixed instantly, but there is some text on the site that still needs repairing. Since 7Red is a new brand it takes time to get to it all done, as we're trying to combine adjustments with new development. I believe we'll get to it all soon and that the affiliates who were upset understand now that this was an honest mistake and that no one tried to manipulate them, especially due to the fact we're talking about a new brand, with such high standards of service and games, that wouldn't intentionally take any risks of starting off on the wrong foot.

    There was recently an issue with a spammer promoting a number of operators, including 7Red. What do you do in response to spammers? How do you deal with affiliates who violate your anti-spamming policy?

    When we find out an affiliate is spamming we give him a warning and the opportunity to show us opt-in records of the recipient that complained. When the affiliate provides us with proof of opt-in we try to resolve the case with the recipient. If an affiliate gets two complaints we simply terminate his account, as we have zero tolerance for spammers.

    Affiliates and affiliate program managers have several things in common. One of them is that their e-mail inboxes are always full. How long do you give yourself for responding to e-mail? And what e-mail management tips can you offer?

    I try to respond to e-mails within 24 hours during workdays. Since there are times you just can't reply to everyone on time, I browse through my e-mail and flag items that are more urgent than others. I like having my inbox full as it gives me no dead moments during the day. Whenever I get some less intensive minutes I open my mailbox.

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

    In the past six years, since I started in Internet marketing, I don't think I’ve ever been able to clear my to-do list. There are always new things coming up while you're dealing with older ones. In order to complete as much as possible I use an Excel sheet to manage all of my tasks and a paper sheet for my urgent tasks, which I update on a daily basis.

    Do you gamble yourself? If so, what games do you like to play? Were you an online player before getting into the industry?

    I gamble mostly on 7Red. I love playing Mr. Vegas 3D slot machine and on our new heads-up 3D poker platform. I also play Texas Hold'em with friends and sometimes in casinos.

    What advice do you have for someone just starting in the industry?

    I'd advise a new affiliate to choose carefully who to work with, focus on niches with low competition and create high-quality content on his Web site.

    People in the online gambling industry have been known to party. What’s your best party story?

    My best party story took place in Amsterdam but I can't discuss it here in order to protect your readers' innocence.

    What’s the best movie food? And why?

    Sushi. It comes to your doorstep, fresh, tasty and healthy.

    What is the last book you read? Did you enjoy it? Why or why not?

    The last book I read was about the Theory of Games. I loved it as it gave me new perspectives and encouraged thinking outside the box.

    What is your favorite movie? And why?
    My favorite movie, as of now, is “Inglorious Bastards.” I love Tarantino's movies – they’re light, funny and have great casts.

    If you could change one thing about the online gaming industry, what would it be?

    I'd change the regulation and make it legal everywhere.

    If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would they be and why?

    I'd have dinner with my father, who died years ago, because I miss him.

    If someone is visiting you, what's the one place you have to take them to see?

    I guess I'd take them to the promenade to see the ocean.

    What are three things that no one knows about you?

    I have no skeletons in my closet and I'm a sharing person so I can't even name one…

  2. #2
    ecobika's Avatar
    ecobika is offline Public Member
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    very interesting interview. Unfortunately I dont like RTG casinos.

  3. #3
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    CityGuard is offline Former GPWA Program Manager
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    7Red is powered by Betsoft Gaming, not by RTG.
    I have left the industry and earned a law degree at Indiana University Bloomington, Maurer School of Law. Here are ways to stay in touch with me:
    > Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StevenCorfman
    > LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevencorfman
    > Skype: StevenCorfman
    > Phone: +1 617 785 9324

    Inquiries intended for an administrator or staff member can be directed to Anthony Telesca through the forum (username Anthony) or to the general contact address manager AT gpwa DOT org.

  4. #4
    ecobika's Avatar
    ecobika is offline Public Member
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    Thank you for the correction, but the interview is very interesting, isn't it?

  5. #5
    mgcasinos is offline Public Member
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    Great interview, I like this manager

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