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    GPWA Aaron is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Manager Interview Series | Sasha Sushko, Gambling Attack

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    Prior to joining Gambling Attack, you spent two and a half years as an affiliate manager for Mobisoft, a leader in the mobile device management industry. Talk a bit about your role with the company and how important affiliate marketing is to the mobile industry.
    I was thrilled to get a challenging offer from Mobisoft to start an affiliate program from scratch under another brand name. Of course, it is tough to get a new program up and running and thatís why it has been even more enticing. I started with a small team of five and in less than two months we had affiliates promoting our newly developed cross-platform app for smartphones and tablets. There was much to be done, from getting the system running to coming up with lucrative deals for affiliates while staying within the profit margin. Affiliates will only invest in marketing your products or company if they are sure their consumers have trust in buying from you. So my primary task was to build a strong, trustworthy brand as well. Much effort was put into hiring a good technical development team to ensure a stable system operation. If these elements are in place, the task of attracting affiliates gets much easier. Affiliate marketing is an essential part of any industry and involves companies of all sizes. While mCommerce is no longer in its infancy, the real growth is still ahead of us. Itís a rapidly growing business with an ever-increasing number of people using their smartphones for Internet surfing and shopping. The mobile industry undoubtedly sees continuous growth now thanks in part to the increasing capabilities of smart devices, and the growing availability of broadband, and this shows no signs of slowing down. Affiliate marketers should take a closer look if they havenít done so already.

    You've been with Gambling Attack for almost a year now, correct? What prompted you to join the gaming industry?
    I have always been fascinated by gaming and marketing, and here I enjoy the mix of the two. Itís no secret that itís a fun industry to be a part of; itís exciting, fast-paced and unlike any other. Johan Huizinga tells us in his Homo Ludens that ďplay is older than culture, for culture, however inadequately defined, always presupposes human society, and animals have not waited for man to teach them their playing.Ē Play is something that comes from within, and I like to deal with authentic things. In short, combining gaming with affiliate marketing, with which I have been involved for a pretty long time, makes it an easy, interesting, natural transition. Also, I would like to use my experience with mobile marketing in that area. As far as I can tell, most gambling affiliate sites donít work with mobile traffic although it can bring in even more money at the same costs.

    What have you learned about the gambling industry in your relatively short time period working for Gambling Attack?
    Every industry has its peculiarities and gambling is no exception. There is tough regulation nowadays and everyone should keep an eye on upcoming laws in different countries to accordingly make necessary changes in advance and to foresee the possible issues in order to be ready to provide necessary solutions for affiliates. This industry is more like a family; everyone knows each other. What is different here, like in no other industry, is the extreme importance of building personal relationships with affiliates. I enjoyed organizing meet-ups and big events for our affiliate partners. That definitely makes it a fun industry. On top of that, we are always looking at new and emerging markets. It would be interesting to expand to Asia or Latin America.

    Gambling Attack is the affiliate program for MaxCasino, IceCasino and CrystalCasino. What markets do these casinos target, and what differentiates these properties from other online casino offerings?
    We are open for all markets that are not blocked by our games providers (Playtech and Microgaming) and billing system. For now our target is Western Europe and Scandinavian countries. We are planning to expand to new markets, as well. We think that Asia and South America will have bright gambling futures, so we are working hard to build an established presence in these markets now. The casino team strives to make their projects one of a kind and competitive, providing a unique status system for players along with cool bonuses on very affordable wagers Ė among the lowest in the industry, Iíd say. Also, players like our daily tournaments and lotteries. We are almost ready to launch a huge update on CrystalCasino and as soon as early September our players will be able to play in a much more engaging and appealing environment thanks to a new design, a unique levels and achievement system, plus additional ways to get in touch with support right from the profile page, where all the answers will be conveniently stored.

    MaxCasino offers live dealer blackjack and roulette. How popular have these offerings been so far? And will IceCasino and CrystalCasino also have live dealer opportunities in the future?
    Live dealers are not so popular as far as we can see, although itís also true that we are not promoting them properly. Not all players who like online slots and roulette are fond of playing them live. We had some requests from affiliates to have these games, so we enabled them on MaxCasino. Now we are preparing more marketing creatives and brand-new live dealers on Crystal Casino, so be patient and wait for it; it will be a great new experience! Our casinos are always in contact with players and affiliates alike and are ready to make necessary alterations on request. I hope we will also receive some comments after this interview, to make our casino even better.

    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 do your properties do to retain players sent by affiliates?
    Small things matter Ė everything from design elements to promotion mechanics keeps players hooked on the casino and makes them come back for more. Of course, we have a team of friendly support representatives, call managers and VIP managers who know players well enough to make their playing a fun experience. Moreover, we provide affiliate websites with cool bonuses and then run exclusive campaigns for players referred to us by one affiliate. In addition, we are always open to figure out and implement new promotions together with our affiliates. We donít treat a player like a money bag Ė no way Ė but just like a real friend. Our managers will always ask about their mood, how they are doing. If a player is unable to deposit but still willing to play for real, they might offer that player a no-deposit bonus. We have seven unique statuses for players that can be achieved with active play and of course comp points that can be easily converted into real money. Almost all of our players take part in weekly and daily tournaments. Retention, in my opinion, is the most important thing in the current market. You can easily attract a player to your casino by giving $300/$400/$500 bonuses, but upon the first deposit this player will leave your casino. Thatís why we have a separate retention department that works closely with our support and affiliate departments.


    One of the most important issues online casinos must address is problem gambling. What do the properties that Gambling Attack promotes do to try to identify and help players with gambling problems?
    Thatís a serious question and we treat it accordingly. In our casinos any active player has an assigned manager who controls wagering behavior and is quick to help and chat with a player. Should our manager notice that a player loses control over how much money or time he or she spends gambling, he will persuade the player to hold back from playing for a while and recommend some ways to get professional help if needed. Moreover, a player can use options to set bet limits or take advantage of the time-out tool that allows taking a short break from gambling for a seven-day period. During this time a player will be unable to bet. Alternatively, players may self-exclude themselves by contacting support. Self-exclusion means that their account will remain closed for a minimum period of three months, and will not be reactivated under any circumstances during the exclusion period. Also we are working closely with support communities and are engaged in education initiatives to help prevent or better manage problem gambling.

    Gambling Attack offers 40-60 percent revenue share and "lucrative CPA plans" for referred players. How are those percentages calculated and just how lucrative are the CPA plans?
    By default, we offer a dynamic 40-60 percent rev share plan according to which an affiliate will earn a percentage of the casinoís net gaming revenue. The percentage varies depending on the number of first deposits made by referred players. The rev share percentage will rise automatically without any control from the affiliate manager Ė affiliates just have to choose our dynamic rev share commission plan and meet the requirements to get a higher percentage. All formulas for percentage and revenue share plans are published for all webmasters in their profiles.

    As for CPA plans, the amount is discussed individually with every webmaster for each casino separately and calculated depending on the country, traffic quality, etc. If the traffic sent by an affiliate exceeds expected results, CPA payments can be increased.

    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?
    To put it in a nutshell, affiliate marketing is still a relatively new industry with low barriers of entry. It would be irresponsible for publishers to blame affiliate programs or vice versa for fraud incurred. Both parties have to proactively do their job to ensure quality and control. First, we enable CPA plans only for checked affiliates with quality traffic paying for first depositors. Second, the process is designed to eliminate any fraudulent activity by itself as we place a one-month hold on CPA payouts to have time to perform necessary checks. Moreover, we have a team of skilled analysts and risk managers who leave no chances to scammers. And ó the most important thing ó weíve developed a brand-new automatic antifraud system that helps our affiliate managers to make correct decisions. This system is connected to our support department and we can contact every suspicious player directly. In the end, as an industry both affiliates and affiliate programs have to think long term.

    Gambling Attack pays affiliates on a weekly basis, rather than the industry standard of once a month. Why did the program decide to go this route?
    A good question. Any business is all about the money in the first place. With high competition and a wide selection of strong brands on the market, there was a pressing need to find and offer some additional advantages to the good casino brands already available at Gambling Attack. Obviously, nothing makes a program stand out from the crowd more than fast on-time payouts. We decided to go even further and guarantee weekly payments, thus letting affiliates get an almost instant reward for their hard work and dedication. We have weeded out any factor that can delay payments. Our payment manager works every Monday all year round, even if it falls on a holiday. He ensures that the payouts are issued in good time every Monday. Thatís guaranteed. As you can notice our company is named Attack ó so we are attacking on every side! You are talking about the industry standards, but I think our program will introduce and set new standards in the market.

    Where do you think the industry will be in five years?
    Nobody can predict the future for sure, but a closer look at some of the more recent industry shifts and trends gives a good indication of what we can expect. The gambling and gaming industry will maintain its pace and continue to grow. I believe it will get more social and mobile centric. With smartphone penetration continuing to grow, the industry is destined to learn how to leverage smart device capabilities and adapt to the new mobile-centric player. I think if we want the gambling sector to grow even faster, game providers need to bring new games for players.

    Describe the office culture at Gambling Attack. If there were a fly on the wall, what are some of the topics of conversation it would hear about at the water cooler?
    Everybodyís role is very dynamic; day-to day tasks are different and call for much work. Overall, itís a casual atmosphere with the ďwork hard Ė play hardĒ vibe. Iíve built great relationships since Iíve started and Iím grateful for that. We often discuss current issues or new ideas or just plan our regular team outing. My colleagues share a common interest in sports and chat about them and other hobbies.

    If someone from out of town were to visit you, where is the one place you would have to take them?
    Thatís a tricky one. I am used to a personal approach in everything and it does depend on the person. I can walk someone to the Saatchi Gallery or we can go to the Aqua rooftop bar and enjoy a great view of London whatever the weather. Anyway, there are so many things to do and it is tough to say what to do in the first place.

    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?
    Apart from business literature I love reading history, philosophy and psychology and find it convenient to get books quickly in my Nook. One of the best books Iíve read is Arnold J. Toynbeeís Civilization on Trial, interesting and riveting. The book gives a top-to-bottom look at history and civilization development not torn by national interpretations. It gives a deeper understanding of historical processes as a whole as it addresses not separate nations or countries but rather a wider notion Ė civilization and how one civilization is based on the earlier ones. Itís curious how Toynbee attempts to depict the uninterrupted historical process and explains the cause and effect of crucial historical turning points.

    What's your favorite movie?
    The Wolf of Wall Street. It was the best movie I have seen in a long time. Any film that is as provocative and controversial as this one gets my vote! Here you can take a full look at themes like drugs and endless greed, including the consequences.

    What do you use for most of your Web surfing?
    Desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone? I use mostly my laptop for work and when on the go my phone does the job.

    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?
    Thatís an easy one. At the moment I listen endlessly to ďWaves,Ē by Mr Probz. It reminds me of a recent business trip to the AAC conference. In general I like different music, from drum & bass to rock or soul.

    If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
    I am sure many adore traveling, and Iím no exception. I plan one day to go to Peru and see the fascinating city of Machu Picchu together with my friends.

    If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?
    Carl Jung, H. G. Wells and Alvin Toffler. All of them earned prominent places in their fields, Ėand who wouldn't want to discuss how you can reshape your own world in your head with Carl or chat with Alvin about how to deal with his predictions that actually shape the world ahead?

    Name three things that people reading this magazine don't know about you.
    What can be interesting to know about me is my passion for dancing. I attend my modern choreography classes and that keeps me fit and always upbeat.

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  3. #2
    Gamer's Avatar
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    Slava is East European name (and nice one). Anyway, welcome to GPWA.
    Interviews are always sweet, time will show.
    I do not have enough time to read yours terms & conditions. I'm just curious if Rev Share players are lifetime? Negative carryover? and minimum players restriction to get paid?
    Can you tell me, why you joined Gambling Attack, not the other well-known gambling affiliate program?
    Have a nice day! Cheers!

  4. #3
    Slava Sushko is offline Non-sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Hi Gamer,

    Thank you for a nice welcome

    Yes, GamblingAttack offers a lifetime RevShare. Negative carryover is zeroed every Monday once payouts are issued. And here comes another good news - there is NO minimum players restriction to get paid. The minimum payout amount shall be as low as $2.00 and that's it. Your $2+ payout will be released next Monday. Join us now and benefit more from your traffic

    I like challenges, Gamer. So, developing a new program from scratch is my call for now. I like it and I will do my best to make it the most known casino affiliate program.

    Feel free to add me on skype and discuss everything more in detail.

    Cheers)

  5. #4
    Gamer's Avatar
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    Wow! Slava is fighting!
    "I will do my best to make it the most known casino affiliate program"
    Wow!
    Time will show
    Program really looks sweet. Where is the catch? I am just small boy and curious??

  6. #5
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    Have found somwhere that you ofer "the affiliate game embeds"
    Could you tell us more about this marketing toll ?

  7. #6
    Slava Sushko is offline Non-sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Absolutely no catch here.

    Join and check yourself

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    Hi,
    Your homepage makes me feel seasick
    So you zero negative accounts each week? Couldn't that have a detrimental affect on your revenue? I personally can't see how that will be sustainable long term. Very affiliate friendly though, and well branded.

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  10. #8
    Slava Sushko is offline Non-sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambling Joe View Post
    Hi,
    Your homepage makes me feel seasick
    So you zero negative accounts each week? Couldn't that have a detrimental affect on your revenue? I personally can't see how that will be sustainable long term. Very affiliate friendly though, and well branded.
    getting motion sickness?) It’s kind of a training program! Gradually you get more comfortable ‘ swimming’ not only against the current but also rough waters of life circumstances.
    Yes, we zero negative accounts every Monday and that prompts affiliates to drive us more traffic and earn more. We earn as long as our affiliates get paid. It's a win-win situation.

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  12. #9
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    Great interview. I enjoyed reading it. The Wolf of Wall Street is one fine movie. I loved it.
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