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  1. #1
    GPWA Dan is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series | goals

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    Hometown: Athens

    Living in: Athens

    Favorite Food: My wife’s spaghetti carbonara

    Must Read Book: Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall, by Anna Funder


    How did you become involved in the industry?

    When I was serving in the army (that’s obligatory in Greece) back in 2002 I met a guy who was running one of the first bet tipping websites in Greece. As I was a web developer, he asked me to rebuild his website and that’s how I got my first taste of the gaming industry. He is the best tipster I have ever met and is currently the CEO of a gaming company.

    How long did it take for you to start earning money?

    It wasn’t until late 2005, when the sites started picking up significant traffic, enough for gaming companies to take notice and start offering deals.

    All three of your sites are sportsbook oriented. Which one came first, and what was the process that led to developing and launching the other two sites?

    Goals and Globalscore were built at the same time, one after the other, in 2004. Goals was our entry website in the Greek market, while Globalscore was an investment in the dotcom market. Betscores was developed as a multilingual livescores website in order to tap into more local markets in 2006. The driving force here is to always be on the lookout for opportunity.

    Your sites are very soccer (football) oriented. Do you ever think you'll branch out beyond soccer to other sports? What about other gaming verticals like casino or poker?

    Goals already features a modest basketball section besides football, and with those two sports I believe we are currently covering more than 85 percent of our audience’s needs. However, coverage of more sports is always in my mind, although it would probably be something I would implement on Globalscore, as the audience there is much bigger and the expansion cost would be more easily covered.

    As far as casino and poker are concerned, they are in my plans but I would probably go about creating one or two new websites for those, as I would not want to spoil the character that the livescores websites have come to acquire over time.

    Your sites have an incredible wealth of information and statistics for soccer bettors. How difficult is it to keep that information up to date? Is everything automated?

    The core of the statistics and information on our sites is indeed automated, as keeping track of updates for the amount of leagues we cover would be a huge task. However, over time, I have created several mechanisms to enrich the core data with information that I gather via several resources, and that is what adds value to our content.

    What is the current position of the Greek government regarding licensed vs. unlicensed online gaming sites in Greece, and how has the issue affected the operation of your sites?

    This is perhaps THE most key issue in the Greek gaming market at the moment. Unlicensed operators are completely banned, with ISPs blocking access to their websites and financial institutions doing the same on a transaction level since the summer of 2013. On the other hand, the 24 licensed operators are currently working under so-called “interim licenses” which allow them to “host” third-party operators under their license. The biggest examples are bet365 and Interwetten, which operate as intermediaries under two interim licenses. Given the unstable situation, everybody in the market has been waiting since 2011 for solid legislation to be put into place. This has affected my websites as it has affected the sites of every affiliate in the market, with big players having pulled out over the past two to three years, causing income levels to plummet.

    Are you a one-person shop or are you part of a larger organization?

    I have gone through various stages. I initially launched my websites as a hobby with a couple of friends. The hobby then turned into a real business that was really profitable for a few years, but as austerity hit the Greek economy and legislation changes forced major operators to pull out of the market, the people working on projects for my sites decided to move on, so I was left alone to support them. In the past couple of years I have managed to again turn them into a profitable operation, with help from my brother, and I am now looking into slow expansion.

    Describe your work environment. Do you work from home or in an office? If you work from home, how often do you get to see and interact with other people in the industry?

    As I am currently involved in a number of projects besides my affiliate websites, I work from my office. I used to take my work home, but ever since my baby daughter was born I prefer to devote whatever time I have at home to her rather than work.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?

    I look for people who are really into what they are doing and are not just trying to make a living. I have found that they understand the ups and downs of the business a lot better and are going the extra mile to help and guide you. As far as affiliate programs are concerned, good commissions, no negative carryovers and good creatives are what I am after if I am to successfully promote a brand.

    What’s your preferred method of communication with affiliate managers? Do you like to talk on the phone, by e-mail or via Skype?

    Well, as people in my line of work tend to communicate with lots of people every day, e-mail is the way to go for day-to-day tasks. But if something more serious or innovative is to be discussed you really need to get on the phone and have a chat for 10 to15 minutes to get the job done.

    What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you?

    Having heard stories from fellow affiliates in the past of how affiliate managers would delete customers from their platforms, or put limits on their commissions, I thought that joining the GPWA would be a good way to protect myself from such mishaps. If something like that happened to me I would go public on the GPWA site and at least hope that other affiliates would avoid programs that use such practices.

    In two years as a member of the forums, you've made just four posts, which makes you one of our many lurkers. What prompts you to join a conversation in an online forum?

    Lack of time has been the real reason behind my not taking part in the discussions. Moreover, the current situation in the Greek gaming market seems to be so different from everywhere else that I find I don’t have that many things in common businesswise to discuss with affiliates from England, for example.

    What do you like about the industry?

    I really like how you can make sports so much more exciting by adding the gaming element and of course the excellent payout margins that are unparalleled in any other industry.

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

    The notion that all people who gamble have a gambling problem. Gambling can be fun as long as you treat it that way.

    What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate?

    At first it was a bit difficult to explain exactly what I was doing, but after the proper introduction they thought it was really interesting and a unique way to put food on the table.

    Do you gamble online? If so, what do you play?

    I do gamble, although not that often, and when I do it is almost always on football. I prefer to treat gambling the way it was really meant to be treated, as a form of entertainment, not a way to make money.

    How long do you give yourself for answering e-mail? What e-mail tips can you offer?

    I try to answer e-mail within the same working day and e-mail from visitors within a couple of hours. Their feedback is all you can rely on to improve your service. When there is some action required on my part, I answer the e-mail, then set it to unread so it’s always there before my eyes until I actually complete the action required. Only after I have done what is needed do I let it slip into the ocean of read e-mail.

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

    Google Calendar is my friend as far as tasks are concerned, although I do write down the day’s tasks so I can further expand them into sub-tasks and details.

    How much time do you devote to SEO and/or social networking in order to drive more traffic to your sites?

    Not as much as I should. This is one of the areas I am currently looking into outsourcing as time is really limited and as I also know that there are people out there with a far greater skill set than I have in terms of SEO and social networking.

    What’s the most difficult thing about running your sites?

    After having done this for 10 years now, there is not one thing I would say is difficult. Staying online 24/7 is a challenge, but having help from an excellent system administrator has really made all the difference for me.

    What’s the best thing about running your sites?

    Watching the visitors’ numbers grow day by day, month by month and year by year. Then you know you are doing a good job as the audience is the ultimate judge.

    What do you do to stay in shape – both physically and mentally?

    I should really be doing much more, but at the moment I only have time for an hour of 5-a-side football per week. Reading the month’s National Geographic also helps take your mind off your little everyday world and into more serious matters such as world poverty.

    If someone were visiting you, what’s the one place you’d definitely take them to see?

    Haven’t given much thought to that. The obvious answer here would be the Parthenon, perhaps Greece’s most famous archaeological site.

    When you need to get as far away from work as possible, where do you go?

    My weekly 5-a-side football game is the one hour of the week when my mind completely empties of anything and everything work related.

    What’s your favorite vacation spot?

    That would be Corfu. I have been going there with my wife for vacation ever since we met 11 years ago and every time there is a new beach to discover, a new restaurant to eat in and something new to do.

    What’s your all-time favorite movie?

    Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. I hate racism of any kind and I think that movie has both a serious and a funny way of getting that message across.

    If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?

    I would have a nice dinner with my wife, my mother, my father, who passed away a few months ago, and my wife’s parents, whom I never met as they passed away before I had met my wife. That would make the best family gathering.

    What are three things that nobody knows about you?

    "Nobody" is really not applicable for a person living with another person for more than 10 years now (LOL), but the next best things, what very few people know about me, are:

    • I own more than 200 domain names, each of which is a business idea waiting to be developed.
    • My big love in terms of work is 3D programming and I am currently working in my spare time on a personal project that combines the web and 3D.
    • I work as an operations manager in a gaming company in Greece.

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to GPWA Dan For This Useful Post:

    DanHorvat (16 September 2015), edgarf76 (16 September 2015)

  3. #2
    edgarf76's Avatar
    edgarf76 is offline Private Member
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    excellent interview! Congratulations!

  4. #3
    sweetbet's Avatar
    sweetbet is offline Public Member
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    Great interview. I love spaghetti carbonara

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    TheGooner is offline Private Member
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  6. #5
    thebookiesoffers is offline Former Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGooner View Post
    I thought exactly the same earlier so had a look


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  7. #6
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    Miles_FTA is offline No longer with Fast Track
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    Great interview. I love spaghetti carbonara also of my favorits

  8. #7
    Ejames is offline Private Member
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    Superb read. All the best in the future.

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