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    GPWA Daniel is offline Associate Editor
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    Default Affiliate Manager Interview Series - Fabiola Olaso

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    (This interview was originally published in the October 2019 issue of the GPWA Times Magazine)

    Please tell us about your background. Where are you from and how did you find your way into the iGaming industry?

    Iím from Costa Rica, the land of paradise and gambling. Costa Rica is still hot nowadays and is the home base of hundreds of sportsbooks and casinos. My first step into iGaming was back in 1999. I was given my first job as a customer rep at 5Dimes casino and sports betting when I was only 18 years old.

    I left for few years and moved to the U.S. to study at university. After that, I made my way straight back into the industry with a job at another online gambling site. I grew there and stayed for many years, moving from the QA department to affiliates (agents) supervisor. I became a big fan of horses, even managing to run the horse department.

    I have always been hungry to learn, and I have had great friends every step of the way. My bosses became my friends, and they saw a young woman with potential who was not willing to stop. I managed to become a line runner for a couple of years until I decided to focus more on the marketing part, trying to improve the companyís overall performance. We needed to see how we could make the player experience better, and thatís why I decided to take a new direction in my career.

    And how did that turn out?

    I went and studied psychology to understand people better and, in turn, provide our customers a better playing journey. We started modifying our customer service department; our reps became more knowledgeable and covered more areas. The player journey starts from the signup and not from the first deposit, so I simply became involved in all aspects of the player journey. No matter how many pieces or departments you try to break it down into, they all connect within the cycle and must work together. The owner made me his right hand, and I thank him for that.

    When I joined the company back in 2012, we had maybe 50 affiliates. Now we have hundreds actively earning commissions. With the privilege of knowing that we own the first online bingo site in America, Iím honestly very proud of the company, what it is and what it has become over the years.

    What are the main responsibilities of your job as marketing director at Vista Gaming?

    I started as a marketing director from Day 1 and trust me, this was a big challenge, as there was so much to learn. All the brands were new to me, including bingo. I didnít have a clue about online bingo. My background was sportsbook and casino. Bingo is more complex than you might think, but I came with my mind set on how I was going to make the bingo players' journey better and how the house was going to be able to provide better retention and conversion.

    My work starts with affiliates, and we tailor everything to suit that specific affiliate right from the start. This includes the best affiliate deal according to their target geolocation. I might not appear to be contacting affiliates on a daily basis, but behind the scenes Iím there every step of the way. If they need me, they know where to find me. I am very accessible, and I respond quickly as I know that affiliate traffic is the key to growth.


    You've been at Vista Gaming for more than six years. In the iGaming industry, remaining at one company for an extended period of time is unusual. Can you explain why Vista Gaming has been such a great fit for you and your career?

    I simply think that it was meant to be. I found a home and I believe in the company, and more importantly, that they have a great product that is unique. And I believe in the brands. The casino project was something that I had always dreamed of doing, and slowly it has evolved into what it is today, VegasCrest Casino. It has the largest variety of slots compared to any other USA-facing brand, and it also has some game providers that are unique to the American market. U.S. players can only play these games on our brands.

    CyberBingo has the honor of being the first online bingo site in America, and it uses our own unique software that is 100% mobile friendly. The products are great, and I have taken part in the projects and had my say in their development, so I feel that I completely identify with the brands, as they are my own.

    I would like to thank the company for making me useful in so many areas. The same way that they earn respect from me, I earned respect from them, trusting that I had what it takes to do all those projects with them.

    What makes Vista Gaming Affiliates stand out from other affiliate programs? How much does it benefit you and your role that the company has 23 years of experience in the industry?


    I know that we are a trusted affiliate program ó affiliates know that with us, the player and their earnings are secure. We are here to stay. I think that our strong reputation is a great asset: A good affiliate knows we can have them running in no time and generating great earnings. We have tested several modules of campaigns, so we know what converts. At the end of the day we are all here for the same reason, and that is to make some money. So they know that with us, we are not wasting anyoneís time, we simply want to help them set up their affiliate account and have it generating good revenue within minutes.

    Vista Gaming Affiliates offers 50% rev share for the first three months, then up to 45% revenue share with no negative carryover and a tracking cookie overwrite. Why did Vista Gaming decide to go with this model? How flexible is it?

    50% rev share is a very generous offer, more so when you see the real picture of how much expenditure is involved from the operator behind the scenes. I think it is the right step to start with, and it gives us a three-month window to see the affiliate potential in generating traffic and how they perform. After three months, we are open to negotiations. Nothing is set in stone. The trial period will give the affiliate and us a great understanding as to what is best for our brands.

    What do you most like about the iGaming industry?

    Everything! Working in the entertainment industry every single day, there is so much more to learn. I am a person that believes that I donít know enough. There are always new marketing trends, a new market, new target markets, new products, tools and games. Itís a never-ending list that never stops growing. The networking, attending events and seminars, and listening to others peopleís perspectives are nice ways of learning, and you end up meeting some amazing people along the way.

    Speaking of industry events, you attend quite a few of them. What do you like most about these events?

    I think that face-to-face contact is key to this business, and you also end up becoming friends with your affiliates, providers and even other operators. It is not a competition ó we are all here for a reason, and helping each other along the way is what makes you stand out from the crowd. I have managed to meet so many people over the years who have helped me and I have helped them. Of course, there are lovely events where you enjoy having a beer or two ó or more (laughs) ó with those industry friends.

    Do you have any advice or suggestions for affiliates or others in the industry on how they can make the most of the events when they attend?

    Rule No. 1, donít be shy! We were all there once. Read, ask questions, get involved, donít be ashamed to be honest. Say it out loud, there is no such thing as a wrong question. Please read all the latest conference and marketing trend information that is published. We work in an industry of technology, so be prepared and be open to the fact that what is cool, new and working today might be old and outdated very soon, so stay up to date and get to know your customers. Remember that affiliates are your friends and you can make it. Make suggestions, tell them what you believe, and it will help your brand convert on their portal or the other way around. Listen to what they have to say based on their experience. Be respectful and kind ó it is business, but there is also a human behind the screen at the other end.

    How does Vista Gaming Affiliates work to retain players sent by affiliates?


    I can proudly say that over the years we have implemented an automated system based on player behavior. This allows us to target the right players with the right offers. This combination of Mailer system, eSMS platform and dynamic platform for calls and SMS has been integrated to our back office and is recapped on a daily basis so that we can optimize according to stats.

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

    Donít be cocky (laughs). Start slowly and securely. It will take a lot of work, but if you stay focused and work positively, it will pay off. If you keep your portal up to date and react to industry trends and changes, Iím sure that you will succeed. There is always room for more affiliates. With new and exciting markets opening up all the time, there are always new players to be found. So, work hard and if you manage to get the right brands for your portal, I am sure that you will be making money in no time. But invest time and energy into your portal!

    Do you gamble yourself? If so, what do you play? If not, why?

    I do actually like to gamble, but honestly I just donít have time these days. I love playing slots, and I can call myself a gambler because there was a time when I actually had a monthly budget so that I could sit at home and spin or play some online poker. I have been lucky and I have been unlucky; I do it for pure fun. Something that I enjoy even more is a land-based casino, but I like that if you donít have the time or ability to go out, there is always the convenient option of going online and playing.

    Where do you think the industry will be in the next five years?


    I see new generations of players constantly emerging. The numbers continue to grow, and with easy access to technology and the internet, I feel that we are only just getting started. The latest game graphics and features are immersive, and a new style of gaming is evolving with all products at our fingertips.

    New countries and opportunities are opening up with online gambling, one after another like dominoes falling. The key is to stay focused on providing players with what they want.

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

    I would like to see the industry be more involved in giving something back to the environment. We could use all new and ongoing license taxes to focus on our planet. The way that we provide entertainment creates a huge amount of pollution, much more than any of us would imagine when you think of the power used to run all the servers where we store all our information and games, etc. We should find a balance and a way to help the planet. In fact, I think that we should find a way with all things that we do in life to be more responsible for our environmental impact.

    Tell us about your typical work day.

    I wake up as early as 5:30 a.m. most days so that I make sure that Iím at work by 7 a.m. Since I became a mom, my life has changed in a lot of ways, and I must make the best use of my time so that I have as much time as possible to be with my kids as they grow up.

    I work nonstop until 3 p.m. and then itís a quick dash to pick up baby No. 1. As a mother of two, life has gotten really busy over the last three yearsÖ nothing a woman canít handle. I canít thank my team enough; I work with these amazing people every day and I think by now they are almost mind readers. They make the best use of their time to ensure that we always meet our deadlines. They are spread all around the world and somehow, the magic simply happens.

    I know that I can be a pain in the ass, but I also believe that I am a great team leader. This work is not a one-person job; it is the result of many peopleís hard work and support along the way.

    What's the office culture like at Vista Gaming Affiliates?

    Itís a very relaxed atmosphere within the office. Sometimes the owner says that it is like a cemetery, but that is only because everyone is working hard to reach their deadlines. Itís not all work without play, though ó there is always something to laugh about. An example would be the new healthy station that we created to promote good eating habitsÖ it is always full of chocolate bars.

    If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?

    I would love to travel to Asia. That is on my bucket list. As soon as the kids are a little older, I will try to make that dream come true.

    What was the last book you read?

    Influence, by Robert Cialdini. I can tell you that I learned a lot from this book. I also read How to Potty Train Your Child in One Day. As kids donít come with an instruction manual, this book didnít really help meÖ my kid is still not potty trained.

    What's your favorite movie?

    Pulp Fiction is one of my favorite classic films, but there is always room for a good cry with PS I Love You. I guess I am a typical gal.

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

    That is a very difficult question to answer. I guess my first choice would be my grandma. I simply miss her way too much. My second and third choices would be Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, because it would probably be the most intense conversation ever. I am sure it would be filled with rich subject material and a good laugh. Intelligent conversation combined with a great sense of humor.

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

    Iím married to an Italian who is also a manager within the gaming industry. We have two amazing kids, and during our free time we love to spend time together as a family. I have catphobia ó once, while I was pregnant, a cat was left out on our apartment building, and the lift was broken. My husband had to carry me blindfolded down the steps so I could leave the house and go to work (laughs)!

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  3. #2
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    Nice interview.
    Seven times fall, eight times stand.

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    Hi Faby,

    I loved the interview, thank you for sharing.
    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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    Great Interview Fabiola!
    Connie Burstin
    Burstin Marketing Group Inc.
    www.burstinmarketing.com
    info@burstinmarketing.com
    Gmail: cburstin@gmail.com
    Telegram: @connieburstin
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    Faby VGA is offline Sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Thank you very much x

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    Faby VGA is offline Sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Hi Maria,
    Thank you guys for the opportunity x

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    Faby VGA is offline Sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Quote Originally Posted by Connie B View Post
    Great Interview Fabiola!
    Thank you very much Connie I hope to see you at LAC x

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    Sincere answers will help for "new-comers" in the gambling to trust more in our industry.

    It sounds like cliche, but everyone knows what I mean
    Seven times fall, eight times stand.

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    Faby VGA is offline Sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Quote Originally Posted by drifter8 View Post
    Sincere answers will help for "new-comers" in the gambling to trust more in our industry.

    It sounds like cliche, but everyone knows what I mean
    Dear Drifter8,
    Thank again for your positive review and yes I totally agree with you

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    She looks very young from her pic. Good genes considering she started in 1999, when I just finished high school.

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    A great affiliate interview series for the GPWA with Fabiola. We can all learn something from her.

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    Faby VGA is offline Sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malikbhai View Post
    She looks very young from her pic. Good genes considering she started in 1999, when I just finished high school.
    Hi Maliknhai I guess maybe i need to thank my parents or im againg with grace LOL , thanks again for your kind words.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cash Bonus View Post
    A great affiliate interview series for the GPWA with Fabiola. We can all learn something from her.
    Hi Cash Bonus , thank you for the great feedback and if is anything I can help do not hesitate to contact me fabiola@vistagaming.com skype fabysky1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faby VGA View Post
    Hi Maliknhai I guess maybe i need to thank my parents or im againg with grace LOL , thanks again for your kind words.
    It is definitely the Latin blood
    Feature your Affiliate Program with us and enjoy the rewards!

    Regards,

    Maria Florides
    GPWA Program Manager
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    Mob: +35796453758 | Skype: Maria.florides1 | Email: Maria@gpwa.org

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