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  1. #1
    GPWA Gary's Avatar
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    Default Affiliate Manager Interview Series -- Nicolas Johnson -- Regal Affiliates

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    How long have you been in the online gambling industry? Why did you decide to enter the field? I’ve been in the online gambling industry since 2001-2002, so it has been at least 7 years. I didn’t so much find the industry as the industry found me. Being a geek with some HTML/CSS knowledge but no experience, I was hired as an SEO Apprentice, and have enjoyed not only personally growing in the industry but also watching the industry evolve.

    What was your background before entering the online gambling industry? I was a student… I’ve actually only worked in this industry.

    What does it mean that Regal Casino is one of the first online casinos owned by shareholders? What’s the history behind Regal Casino? Well, we understand that all companies, whether public or private, have shareholders. But what makes Vegas Regal Casino different in this aspect from everyone else, is the fact that we are the first private iGaming company launch to have a share offering open to the wordwide public. We are the first online casino to be funded and launched by players and affiliates.

    You also offer a unique commission payment option which allows affiliates to invest their earnings to own a piece of the casino. How does that work? How popular has it been with affiliates? Here at Vegas Regal Casino we believe that giving employees, affiliates and customers the option to own a part of our business will not only create added benefit to the people who make us who we are, but it will also ensure we receive stronger input and direction from the right sources, since people who have a vested interest in our company will do more to ensure its ongoing success. This payment method has to be requested of your affiliate manager, and while I can’t give exact figures as to how many people have requested this method, it is safe to say that it has sparked some interest in this industry that seems jaded to virtually all the business models that can be applied.

    Why did Regal Affiliates join the GPWA? We joined GPWA because we want to be close to our affiliates. The forum and community that GPWA represents not only allow us to enjoy a wonderful medium of communication, but also provide us with a spotlight for affiliates who didn’t know of our offerings to become familiar and eventually profit from a relationship with Regal Affiliates.

    Vegas Regal Casino is also fairly new. How do you market yourself against much more established online casinos? What distinguishes your affiliate program from other affiliate programs? Our casino was designed with input from affiliates, players and industry veterans. This has allowed us to first and foremost provide our affiliates with an offering that converts at dramatically high rates. And while we understand that high conversions and player value are of utmost importance to an affiliate’s bottom line, we have also chosen to complement this with personalized service. This choice is reflected in our two affiliate managers.

    You have made posts not only on the GPWA message board but also at AGD. How important is it to remain active on these boards? We consider it very important. As I stated in my last reply, personalized service is one of our objectives. So many times companies set aside large budgets for advertising to affiliates in places affiliates aren’t interested in hearing from the company, yet ignore affiliates who are requesting assistance on a forum. We want to be there for the iGaming affiliate community, whether they are one of our affiliates or not.

    Most of the affiliate managers we talk to say building trust with their affiliates is critical to success. How do you go about building trust with your affiliates? Well, we would like to think that one aspect or another of our business is what builds trust with affiliates. But to be honest, we know that the main factor that builds trust is consistency. Consistently high profitability. Consistent timely payments. Consistent fast, quality service. All of this, together with integrity, personalized service and branding efforts, all done on a consistent basis and over years of effort, is what builds trust. It would be foolish of us to think otherwise.

    Besides trust, what are the keys to building successful relationships between affiliates and affiliate programs? Communication and working together in an honest and open fashion to maximize traffic profitability. Again, this is only valuable if done on a consistent basis.

    If you wish you’d known one thing about the industry before you entered it, what would it be? I wish I’d known how big this industry was going to grow, and keep growing. I remember back when PayPal pulled out of the market. People thought the industry was going to come to an end. I actually believed that the legislative challenges were insurmountable. I now know otherwise, but not having known this earlier made my involvement in the industry less passionate than it is today. I remember missing out on some good domains I could have registered as well as some good opportunities I passed up on.

    What advice do you have for someone just starting in the industry? My advice is to be consistent, honest and patient. Nothing worthwhile has or will come easy. Some people underestimate the online gambling market as easy money. And this is a mistake. While this industry continues to enjoy high profit margins and a low entry barrier, it is a highly competitive industry where only the strong survive. I forgot where I heard the quote, but I heard someone say, “Yes, business is a race, but it isn’t a sprint, it is a marathon.” Those, IMHO, are words of wisdom and should be kept in mind when joining any industry (well, except maybe sprinting ;o ).

    If you could have dinner with three other people, living or dead, who would they be and why? Number one would be Thomas Jefferson, because I consider his political ideas inspirational. Two would be Warren Buffett, because not only do I admire his financial prowess but I also admire his humbleness in spite of his amazing success. And the last one would be Angelina Jolie because I have a crush on her.

    What is the last book you read? Did you enjoy it? Why or why not? One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez. I loved it because, IMHO, it captured the essence of Latin-American culture.

    What is your favorite movie? And why? I can’t quite decide if I like “My Dinner with Andre” or “The Seventh Seal” better. I like both because they have touched me spiritually.

    If you could change one thing about the online gaming industry, what would it be? UIGEA and rogue operators that give us all a bad rep.

    What are three things that no one knows about you? I’m obsessive compulsive, I’m a nerd and I’m optimistic… wait… you said “no one,” not “everyone”… doh!

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  3. #2
    SuperiorShare is offline Non-sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Great interview. Way to go Nick!

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    NicolasJohnson (1 December 2009)

  5. #3
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    Interesting and lengthy interview as always from the GPWA team..............

    Time to transfer these interviews into a new format like a taped voice interview or a video interview from the conferences.

    I am sorry to say,but they are all starting to sound the same............

    Have a wonderful tading week to all

    Keith
    KEITH WILLIAMSON | INDEPENDANT GAMING CONSULTANT

    SKYPE= ironman20001


    http://twitter.com/ironman20001

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    NicolasJohnson (2 December 2009)

  7. #4
    Renee's Avatar
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    Great interview Nick.

    I'm curious to know what you're obsessive compulsive about?
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    Great interview. Interesting having - if I read it right, payment in company shares. I guess there are various tax advantages attached to this that might interest high tax paying affiliates.

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    NicolasJohnson (1 December 2009)

  11. #6
    robert.green is offline Sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renee View Post
    Great interview Nick.

    I'm curious to know what you're obsessive compulsive about?
    I know but won't tell! We worked in the same office for a few years.

    Nice interview Master Nicadus! Still think you missed your calling, your an SEO god!

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    NicolasJohnson (1 December 2009)

  13. #7
    Renee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert.green View Post
    I know but won't tell! We worked in the same office for a few years.

    Nice interview Master Nicadus! Still think you missed your calling, your an SEO god!
    That's totally not fair!
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    NicolasJohnson (2 December 2009)

  15. #8
    GFPC is offline Private Member
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    Great interview!!!

    Obsessive compulsive? LOL- Sounds like me!!

    Steve

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  17. #9
    Topboss is offline Private Member
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    Great interview Nicolas.... I am interested in those shares you talk about. Contact me!!!!
    Last edited by Topboss; 26 November 2009 at 1:21 am. Reason: spelling of name

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    NicolasJohnson (1 December 2009)

  19. #10
    mojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topboss View Post
    Great interview Nicolas.... I am interested in those shares you talk about. Contact me!!!!
    Me toooo please!

    Great read nicolas. I didn't know you were so young! Really liked the interview.

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    NicolasJohnson (2 December 2009)

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