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  1. #1
    CityGuard's Avatar
    CityGuard is offline Former GPWA Program Manager
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    Default Portal Webmaster Interview Series: Laurie Lewicki - casinolatte

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    Casino Latte’s Success Secret: A Highly Helpful Husband

    Real name: Laurie Lewicki
    City currently residing in: Thunder Bay, Ontario
    Age: 37
    Favorite food: Teriyaki
    One book everyone must read: Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
    Sites: Casino Latte (www.casinolatte.com)

    How long have you been working in the online gaming industry?
    I started Casino Latte in July of 2006.

    What first drew you to the business?
    The reason I decided to start my own online gaming site was my husband, Pat. He is an amazing husband and father. He breaks his back as a truck driver to support us and I wanted to one day be able to say to him, "Honey, quit." I love to play online, and I knew the online gaming industry was growing and that I wanted to be a part of it. My end goal is to be successful enough for Pat to quit his job and pursue his dream of owning his own electronics store.

    Casino Latte is a very interesting brand name. Why did you choose it?
    When I decided to start my Web site I wanted to have a name that would be easy to remember, along with a catchy phrase. So “Casino Latte. A Whole Latte Fun!” was born.

    You do something that is quite unique among affiliates in that you offer Casino Latte merchandise for players to buy. What prompted you to start that side of the business? And how is it performing for you?
    Casino Latte merchandise has just recently been added. The merchandise carries the Casino Latte logo in a variety of products: mugs, shirts, calendars and so forth. The designer and operator is my best friend of 25 years, Teena. This works out to be a perfect partnership. Teena takes care of all the business aspects of Casino Latte's merchandise and in exchange I have some unique advertising.

    You recently redesigned your site. Are you pleased with the results so far?
    Redesigning Casino Latte actually started with the help of GPWA members. I had asked for some advice on the look of my web design. I received a lot of feedback that the content of my site was great, but that the site was very flashy and hard on the eyes, especially on a black background. So I went for a softer look and easier navigation. I am very pleased with the outcome and there are still many aspects I will be improving on.

    You've mentioned that you have five kids ( ages 5 to 18 ). How do you balance family life with your work as an affiliate? And what kind of time management tips can you offer your fellow GPWA members?
    Surprisingly, balancing motherhood and working as an affiliate isn't as hard as some might think. Although as I mentioned earlier I do have an amazing husband and no, I can't say that enough. Not only does he work extremely hard, he is also a great father and husband. For example, if I am up late working on Casino Latte on the weekends he will get up with the kids for me in the mornings. Pat loves to fix our house up all the time or change rooms around. We even laugh about it, for I will be watching football and he will be hanging the curtains. We are a bit backwards. I love sports and Pat loves interior decorating (lol). I was also the owner of Lil Darling Day-Care for five years and was running it up ‘til this last year, when I decided to work on Casino Latte full time. I would love to have some rewarding advice for GPWA members on how to manage their time; however, every situation is different and the individual is the only one who can decide on what works for them. I will say that success does not happen overnight and it does take dedication, and when you feel like packing it in just remember to keep swinging.

    In an ideal world, how would you divide the efforts you put into your site?
    In the beginning it was 95% designing and 5% advertising. Now I spend about 40% searching advertising techniques, about 35% updating Casino Latte and 25% in forums and working on my books.

    How long did it take for you to start earning money?
    I was a late bloomer, so to speak. I have only started to make a secondary income in the last few months. Casino Latte is growing and I feel in another year the income level will increase.

    What surprised you the most about the industry?
    Lol, I think what surprised me the most is the people in this industry. There is a certain underlying respect and friendship, especially in the GPWA forums. I have found everyone to be supportive to my questions and they take the time to be helpful.

    What's surprised you the most about players?
    Players are tough to figure out. So far I’ve found they like to try different casinos with free offers and in the end they generally stick to one casino in particular.

    What advice would you offer someone who has just started in the industry?
    To all new affiliates my advice is join GPWA, ask questions and have members check your site and give advice. If you want to be a success, then don't give up and you will reap the rewards.

    If you had to pick 5 keys to success as an affiliate, what would they be and why?
    1: Always check out a casino’s reputation before adding it to your site. Otherwise you may lose players and respect.
    2: Never be afraid to ask the top affiliates questions. They have the best insight.
    3: Join a successful forum (GPWA). Invaluable information for affiliates and players.
    4: Keep your site clean and fresh with lots of rich new content. This will keep your players coming back.
    5: Remember, nothing worthwhile happens overnight, so just keep swinging! You will be surprised in the end.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?
    Affiliate managers should always respond in a timely fashion and answer all questions no matter how small they may seem. Affiliate programs should have fast, correct stats and new banner content on a regular basis and keep all their advertising fresh.

    What prompted you to join the GPWA? And how has it helped you so far?
    The GPWA is fantastic. When I first started to advertise Casino Latte I received a lot of bogus information, and being new to the industry I really didn't know anything. When I came across GPWA I noticed instantly that the information in the forums was excellent. I have had amazing feedback from forum members on how to improve the quality of my site and how to advertise. I highly recommend that anyone who is working in the online gaming industry become a part of the GPWA.

    If you could change one thing about the online gaming industry, what would it be, and why?
    The one thing I would like to change is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Affiliates and players should have their own rights, and this bill should be scrapped.

    What’s your favorite game to play online? And why?
    I have a few favorite games I love to play: Polar Dash, Mardi Gras, Hitman. I love the bonuses in these games. I have always had a good outcome playing them.

    In the forums, you're a noted hockey fan and avid Toronto Maple Leafs supporter. If you had to place a bet, when will Toronto win its next Stanley Cup?
    Yes, I am a diehard Maple Leafs fan, with the emphasis on the "die." I would love to see the Leafs win in my lifetime, but as it stands right now I will be happy if they make the playoffs. Montreal has a young goalie with a ton of potential and I believe in the next three years the Canadiens can go the distance.

    What is your favorite movie? And why?
    My favorite movie has to be "What Lies Beneath." Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford are a great combination with a very surreal atmosphere that turns the movie into a perfectly believable story.

    If you could have one "super power," what would it be? And why?
    I would like to be able to make myself invisible in any given situation. Just think of the things you could learn if no one knew you were there.

    And finally, what are three things that nobody knows about you?
    Lol. Boy, I could get into some trouble here! Just kidding. Hmmm, three things people don't know about me…. I use a dream board to motivate me to get the things I want. I used to practice in White Wicca for years. I always wanted to be a sports writer, so I could interview the male athletes in the locker room.
    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.

  2. #2
    masontech's Avatar
    masontech is offline Private Member
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  3. #3
    thepokerkeep's Avatar
    thepokerkeep is offline Private Member
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    Good interview. Thanks for sharing. It's always fun reading about our peers, especially my Canadian counterparts.
    Terry - The Pokerkeep
    President / CEO - Gambling Affiliates Union

    Casino Affiliate Programs
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    Email: admin @ thepokerkeep.com



  4. #4
    GamTrak's Avatar
    GamTrak is offline Private Member
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    Great interview! I really enjoyed reading it.

    I only have two small dogs to manage and they work my nerves when I have to stop what I want to do in order to address their needs LOL so I can't imagine having five children to raise. You are lucky to have such a great hubby.

  5. #5
    Nandakishore's Avatar
    Nandakishore is offline In Memoriam, 1935-2014
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    Very entertaining interview, Laurie. I always love to read the interviews, always a real pleasure. One of the reasons why they are good is: always very good questions, almost tailor-made for the persons interviewed.

  6. #6
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    Great interview Laurie! I really enjoyed reading it. It's great to see other "real" people in the business. I'm not married, but I do have a son that I take care of. So, it's great to see other casino webmaster parents like me.. lol.

    By the way, your site has come a long way.. great job!

    Cheers!
    Last edited by LiveCasinoPartners; 31 July 2008 at 7:22 pm.

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