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    GPWA Daniel is offline Associate Editor
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    Default Affiliate Manager Interview Series - Adrian Toshkov

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    (This interview was originally published in the July 2020 edition of the GPWA Times Magazine)

    Let’s start by hearing about your background. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.



    Long story short, I grew up in a town called Ruse which is situated on the banks of the Danube River in the northeastern part of Bulgaria and is also known as Little Vienna as it impresses with a very aristocrat architecture. Since a young age, I have always been very good at building good friendships and dealing well with people in general. My father was heavily involved with running gambling halls in the north part of young democratic Bulgaria in late 90s. I guess this has something to do with my affinity for the industry as I spent most of my summer vacations travelling with him and visiting the venues.


    I have been flirting with the gaming industry since my teenager years. In my student years I had been through croupier courses in the city of Varna where there is a landmark live casinos. However, I got really involved in the gaming industry during my five-year period in Dublin, Ireland. It all started initially with a customer support position that I took with one of the fastest growing bookmakers, Sportingbet. I was working shifts for both the Bulgarian and the Spanish market as I am fluent in Spanish.


    Your roles in the industry have spanned everything from customer service to VIP manager and you also spent nearly three years working for Skrill in business development. How did all of this past experience in different roles prepare you for your current role as COO and co-founder of Dench eGaming Solutions?


    As the time went by, I was offered to help the VIP team and especially the sportsbook division. And I was taking care of more than 500 high value customers for the brand Miapuesta.com.


    I quickly went through the customer support role and the VIP management looking for more responsibility, diverse experience and relocation as I could not stand the weather in Ireland. So I relocated to Sofia, Bulgaria and started working for Moneybookers (Skrill). I joined the company during extremely dynamic times. They were going through a rebranding from Moneybookers to Skrill as the word ”Bookers” was related to sportsbook and this was seen as something that would not help them very much in the U.S., one of the markets they wanted to expand to.


    Working for a payments company can be very interesting as you get to see the business from different angles such as commercial matters, technology and heavy compliance. I witnessed and participated in the whole regulation of the Spanish market and I managed to introduce Skrill to more than 70% of the land-based casino entrants on the scene.


    The job at Skrill, and later on working for the manufacturer of slots, Casino Technology, really got me to think that the whole industry was kind of relying on a pretty old technology, more specifically the platforms.


    What attracted you to make the move to Dench eGaming Solutions in 2016? Is it true that in urban British culture, Dench stands for “awesome and cool”?


    The great thing about the iGaming industry is that you meet a lot of open minded and very opportunist people that chase their vision and aim high. This is actually how I ended up teaming up with Dobromir Mitev, the CEO and Founder of Dench eGaming Solutions. We are ex-colleagues from Sportingbet and before this venture we worked together on other iGaming projects. The result of Dench and the whole technology really turned up to be “awesome and cool” to use.


    We always joke with him as I remind him from time to time that the whole concept around our Giselle V2 product was born around this funny idea that Dobromir wanted a completely automatic real-time bonus and engagement automation tool that you pre-program, launch and just open a box of pop- corn and a beer and enjoy the show. Four years later, believe it or not, we enjoy the show for real with some of our white-label brands that that have rolled out the whole arsenal of gambling tricks that Giselle offers.
    Please tell us about the company’s B2B enterprise turnkey solution.


    It is the platform to have if you think about entering the industry.


    We have built the Dench platform in order to provide more intuitive user management, deeply integrated sports betting and casino verticals, advanced BI instruments delivering full operational transparency and well-structured payment service.


    As a separate solution, we developed Giselle V2, product that is simplifying and structuring customer data in real time and providing the operator with advanced player analytics, activity and value segmentation, event driven bonus automation scenarios as well as in house developed communication tools.

    The unique combination between Dench and Giselle on one hand simplifies basic day-to-day operational process and, on the other hand, sophisticates the way operators interact, entertain and reward their players. The revolutionary way we handle customer data and translate it in actionable insights creates the perfect environment for marketing teams to anticipate, encourage and, most importantly, design the depositing and playing habits of clients.


    You recently expanded your commercial presence through a Progressive Web Application. Can you explain the strategy behind this move and how it benefits both players and affiliates?


    We are acknowledging that the iGaming industry has always been thirsty for reliable performance on par with the native apps, and at the same time, remove the App Store legal burden at reduced cost. Hence, for the last 12 months our development and product team has been developing our new frontend technology which will tackle the extreme necessity of operators to bridge the gap between web and mobile. Our operators’ websites are being designed in line with the latest tech trends using Progressive Web App and React in order to bring user experience to a whole new level where operators can engage with players seamlessly across different channels, improve navigation experience including faster loading times and deliver the native app experience by removing the need for app download form the App Store.


    I believe that at the end of the day it is all about removing friction and making it easy for the players to get to what they want. Once the industry gets even more pressure with increased regulation and bonus restrictions, the only brands that will survive are the ones powered by stable technology delivering the best product and user experience.


    How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you both personally and professionally?


    I am a very social person and I have got a lot of friends, which I really miss, and I am very eager see them in person. Professionally, we roll online most of the time, so I don’t really feel that much of a difference.


    What else makes Friends of Dench unique and attractive to affiliates?


    What really makes Friends of Dench unique and attractive is the fact that behind the brand you have got unique proprietary technology, a team with handfuls of experience. As a matter of fact, one of the founders has been around since the early 2000s in the gambling industry leading one of the biggest bookmakers through the sale to bwin.party. We know what affiliates really care about and we are ready to provide it. And as it strange as it might sound to some of you, no, this is not CPA. (Laughs).
    We try to constantly provide new content, recognition through our newly launched section “The Likes” and unique promotional concepts such as Spinify and Spincash.


    Our on-boarding process is completely hassle-free. We take away the heavy lifting and the annoying registration of the affiliate account for our partners and send them all of the information over an email.

    How does Friends of Dench work to retain players sent by affiliates?


    As mentioned above we have recently launched two novelty and proprietary promotional functionalities, Spinify and SpinCash.
    Spinify is a promotion that awards one free spin for every five consecutive lost rounds. Once you get 10 free spins collected you can play them out. We are extending it to 50 free spins with the plan to move on up to 500 free spins (later this year). This is a mighty tool that lets us present new gaming providers in really innovative way.


    Our second promo concept that we are just about to launch on CasinoSinners.com is called SpinCash, which offers real money instant cashback per spin. You have to try it. Once the player enters our VIP levels it will get to Turbo SpinCash and Mega SpinCash.
    What do you most like about the iGaming industry? What do you dislike or what bothers you most about the industry?


    As a B2B provider, what really bothers me is when you go to big exhibitions and see providers showcase products that are still in architecture phase and advertise them as something they really have at the moment when the reality is that they might be able to offer it in production maybe next year.


    What would be your advice to an affiliate just getting started in the business?


    Test your tracking links! It is shocking how over-reliant affiliates can be.


    Seek feedback and interact with the operator more often. Create content, as I believe this is what it makes the difference between a good affiliate and just a brand ranking affiliate website.

    Do you gamble yourself?


    I like to play the live games of Evolution when I play online. And I like Gonzo´s Quest. I remember when it first came out and it was a great success. I was getting free spins from our Casino Manager in Sportingbet quite often.


    Tell us about your typical work day.


    I wake up early and in the first two to three hours is when I get to finish most of the important work for the day. This is the time when I get most of the fresh ideas, my keyboard is on fire when I don’t have clients or partners asking distracting questions.
    At lunch time I go to the gym for very quick training of one hour and 15 minutes. It is exactly what gets me re-charged for the second part of the day and I start over really energized.


    After 19:00 I meet some friends for a beer or go shopping and cook dinner. I love cooking, it really offloads the stress for me.
    What's the office culture like at Friends of Dench?


    Well, we are having this nice duplex in the city center of Sofia that has got an incredible mountain view on the left and great views of the city on the right.


    The atmosphere is really relaxed at the end of the day this is a huge apartment and the idea is that everyone should feel like at home.


    In the city of Varna we have one floor of an amazing cultural heritage, exactly a five-minute walk from the beach. It is the place to be in the summer months.


    Even though we are over 20 people as of now, the culture is very much like any start-up. Break and fix all day long and trying to get people to try new stuff, get them to think and create.


    What are your hobbies? What takes up your time when you are not working?


    I like to play tennis and go to our mountains in Bulgaria on weekends.


    I love partying as well and when I get the chance, I go to Ibiza for closings.


    What’s your favorite book? Is there a particular book about business or life that has been helpful to you?


    My all-time favorite book is The Godfather and the book that got me thinking a bit different is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
    Favorite business book is Anyone Can Do It: Building Coffee Republic from Our Kitchen Table. I read that book in my student years, but there is one definition about marketing that got stuck in my head ever since: “Marketing is giving things to customers they never knew they wanted.”


    This is so much true for any industry out there.


    Favorite movie?


    That is hard. Goodfellas, Casino, The Godfather.


    If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?


    Calvin Ayre, Roman Abramovich, Michael Jordan

    Name one thing that people reading this magazine don't know about you.


    I’ve got game. (Laughs).
    Last edited by GPWA Daniel; 23 September 2020 at 11:15 am.

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  3. #2
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    Hi Adrian,

    If you work with bookmakers who offer sportsbooks odds lets talk !

    Thanks,

    Kyle

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    Very nice interview.

    Few marks :

    - "Godfather" - book and the movie - top ones. Especially young AL Pacino playing as Michael Corleone and Marlon Brando as the old don.

    - Skrill part - very , very interesting. Even now they are far away with technologies comparing to Paypal, Revolut and Transferwise.

    - Varna - for all those who have not been there to the sea capital of Bulgaria, just come and take a view.

    Good luck in all your future endeavours , Adrian.

    P.S Not on the last place, Ruse is also fanatstic city. Brick-and-mortar casinos are far too popular there as many people from Roumania come and platy too
    Seven times fall, eight times stand.

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    GPWA Maria is offline APCW/GPWA Program Manager
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    Lovely interview Adrian!

    100% Casino and Goodfellas, for some reason I have never watched The Godfather and my husband is crazy about this one.
    Feature your Affiliate Program with us and enjoy the rewards!

    Regards,

    Maria Florides
    GPWA Program Manager
    GPWA.org | iGamingAffiliatePrograms.com | FinanceAffiliatePrograms.com | GPWAtimes.org | iGamingPocketDirectory.com | APCW.org

    Mob: +35796453758 | Skype: Maria.florides1 | Email: Maria@gpwa.org

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    Adrian, that was a great affiliate interview series for the GPWA. You make a very good point when you say you always have to test your affiliate tracking links. It's easy to just put up your links and take it for granted that they'll continue to always work when in reality it can be quite the opposite if left unchecked. You can't just assume they're okay and that's it.

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    Denrich Alldone is offline Brand New Member
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    A good story life Mr. Adrian..
    N i want tobe like u

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    Hey everyone,

    Thank you for the kind words!

    I am very glad that most of you found the story interesting.

    Let´s pick and roll..
    Adrian

    FriendsofDench | CasinoSinners.com | Winludu.com

    Skype: live:cid.e85e86f8a7d9cc68 | Email: friends@denchsolutions.com

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    Varna is our bulgarian iGaming village

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