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  1. #1
    PhilF (ex-WhichBingo)'s Avatar
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    Default Anyone interested in launching an online bingo skin?

    I wrote this http://www.igbaffiliate.com/articles...ine-bingo-skin for IGB Magazine.

    Hope you find it useful.

    If if anyone needs any additional help or advice please feel free to get in touch.

    Phil

  2. #2
    Dmitriy Joen is offline Public Member
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    Really useful article. Thank you.

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  4. #3
    -Shay- is offline Public Member
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    Default

    Quit reading when Andy Edwards was involved in the article.

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  6. #4
    RacingJim is offline Public Member
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    Good article though. It's something I've thought about, launching a brand be that casino/bingo/sportsbook. Interesting read and did give me some food for thought.

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  8. #5
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    I would have preferred the article to actually go into details the affiliates would not know.
    Things like finances, expected costs and spends, time required and real return.

    I mean a how does a list like this help any experienced affiliate?

    • Choose a domain name
    • Select your network/software supplier
    • Create a logo and design the site from the template supplied
    • Decide how you will differentiate your product and your marketing
    • Create your marketing collateral
    • Commence your pre-launch marketing
    • Launch the site with unique launch offers
    • Launch your marketing campaign
    • Begin marketing to the bingo affiliate community
    • Commence customer retention and restart marketing

    Instead of writing a generic piece actually talk about useful start-up info.

    Things like :
    - upfront spend and ongoing expenses,
    - cash flow and working capital
    - extra tasks beyond normal affiliation
    - any customer facing or deposit / withdrawal tasks?
    - are there liabilities if the skin loses money?

    I got to the end and all I had found was a bunch of generic affiliation platitudes.
    There was nothing outlining what it's like to run a bingo skin - compared to simply being an affiliate.

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  10. #6
    PhilF (ex-WhichBingo)'s Avatar
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    Hi Gooner

    Sorry that it didn't answer your questions but it was positioned as an idiots guide to getting into owning a skin rather than an in depth business analysis, or financial modelling.

    However to very quickly answer your questions;

    - upfront spend and ongoing expenses - set up costs differ by s/w provider but I'd say <10k start up cost. Main on-going expense is marketing (and staff/freelancers if you choose to go that route)

    - cash flow and working capital - Your cash flow in will be your rev share normally paid the month following. Cash flow out will be as above. So working capital needed to set up? Set up cost plus two months marketing and staff.

    - extra tasks beyond normal affiliation - Sending an invoice for your revenue earnings plus marketing tasks.

    - any customer facing or deposit / withdrawal tasks? Nope.

    - are there liabilities if the skin loses money? As with affiliate revenue it nets off. On a previous skin that we owned we lost big on a slot in the first month and it took 3-4 months to actually get back to positive revenue, but hey the punter wins sometimes....

    There was nothing outlining what it's like to run a bingo skin - compared to simply being an affiliate. - it's WAAAAY easier! It really is as simple as 'launch it, market it, get the revenue in'. You get out as much as you put in.

    I hope the above helps, if a little brief, but if you need anything else please ask.

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  12. #7
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    Thanks for the follow up - appreciate the effort and I think you might agree it adds to the article.

    All the real back room work with customers, deposits, security upgrades, KYC rules, site maintenance, hardware maintenance, new game releases is handled by the master provider?

    So other than software start-up cost, and the fact that the skin has your name on the door - it's just the same as affiliation (but a bigger percentage)?

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  14. #8
    PhilF (ex-WhichBingo)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGooner View Post
    Thanks for the follow up - appreciate the effort and I think you might agree it adds to the article.

    All the real back room work with customers, deposits, security upgrades, KYC rules, site maintenance, hardware maintenance, new game releases is handled by the master provider?

    So other than software start-up cost, and the fact that the skin has your name on the door - it's just the same as affiliation (but a bigger percentage)?
    Thats a very simple view, but, in principal, yes.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

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    It's useful to have someone who can cut to the bone for info.

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  17. #10
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    I disagree about the "marketing budget" which is always mentioned when talking about white labels.

    For God's sake, we're affiliates. Affiliation is a way for operators to get free traffic (and they only pay if/when they make money), hence zero upfront cost. And I doubt you can even market your bingo skin without an aff program, therefore affiliation deserves more mention than a "marketing budget".

    There's SEO.

    There are numerous other ways to market a product and most of us are quite skilled at them.

    And most of us already got sources of traffic (we're affiliates), perhaps even entire networks of websites. Phil can market a new bingo skin with ease.

    So reducing all that to "you need x,xxx marketing budget" is a bit pointless. A simple-minded marketing manager would approach the problem in that way. Most of us affiliates are way more skilled than that, we're people who are experts in the conversion funnel. I guess a competent affiliate with a source of traffic can bootstrap the whole thing and only start paying for marketing once the income starts pouring in.

    Wouldn't make sense to invest that much money into a venture that is only 50-70% yours but all the real benefits of the operation are with the parent company.

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  19. #11
    PhilF (ex-WhichBingo)'s Avatar
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    In reply, Dan, I use the term 'marketing' very very broadly, and include in that both SEO and affiliation.

    Taking affiliation specifically, one problem you WILL find is that getting affiliates to promote YOUR skin rather than the other 30/70/100 exactly the same skins on the same software that they already promote is not easy at all. Inevitably it then becomes a discussion on size of rev share or CPA, which cuts deep into your earnings. And worse, the affiliate you are talking to probably has his own skin on the same software. Why would they want to promote your skin over their own?

    With regards to SEO you will have a 'me too' product that a) Google sees as something close to 'duplicate content' and b) as yet another bingo game in a market of 400+ you are now competing against some of the biggest brands out there. Why would Google rank 'randomnamebingo.com' over Foxy, Tombola, Mecca, Gala et al? I'm not saying it's impossible but I would argue those VERY VERY few that do rank do so with, if not black, very dark grey hat tactics. Does your site 'uniquely' answer what the searcher is looking for, as Big G says it wants sites to do? I'm not sure.....

    Yes of course you can bootstrap it, this is why I didn't put a real number on a marketing budget. And many do bootstrap, and make a nice profit, thank you. We built a great portfolio of skins with little to no marketing budget. But in contrast, did you know Foxy Bingo started out as a network skin? They definitely didn't bootstrap.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanHorvat View Post
    There are numerous other ways to market a product and most of us are quite skilled at them.
    I totally agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanHorvat View Post
    I guess a competent affiliate with a source of traffic can bootstrap the whole thing and only start paying for marketing once the income starts pouring in.
    Again, I totally agree. If you have existing traffic then of course you would use that as your core marketing activity.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanHorvat View Post
    Wouldn't make sense to invest that much money into a venture that is only 50-70% yours but all the real benefits of the operation are with the parent company.
    Not sure I understand your point here. As a skin owner you own the brand, the site, the data. The network owner is simply taking a Rev share/management fee.... whatever you want to describe it as. The rest is yours. They don't own it you do. You invest in it what you want. You could invest 0000s in design, or put it on Fivr. You could spend 0000s on PPC or you could simply only put it on your own portal. As I said earlier, 'You get out what you put in'.

    Hope the above clarifies a few points.

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  21. #12
    DanHorvat's Avatar
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    Thanks Phil.

    My last point was about all the various benefits that come from owning a business. And it's still their business and you're still an affiliate, albeit with a certain degree of control over the product. But it's still their product that's growing when you invest money in marketing your skin.

    Although the same could be said about any franchise business. But in this case I think the skin provider owns the most important asset - the players. And the provider can show the player numbers to investors while you can not do such a thing.

    Anyway, the vast number of identical skins is a real problem. Can you as a skin owner change your product enough to differentiate it from the other brands using the same skin? Do you do it on your end or do you have to ask the provider to do it for you and pay them? I mean, where is the code of the skin, on their server or yours?

    What about translations, who does them?

    One thing you didn't mention in the article - what cost is involved with actually becoming the owner of the skin? Do you pay a setup fee or how does it work?

    Of course, if I decide to pursue this I will talk to the skin providers and ask them dozens of questions. Just trying to clarify some things first.

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  23. #13
    PhilF (ex-WhichBingo)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanHorvat View Post
    My last point was about all the various benefits that come from owning a business. And it's still their business and you're still an affiliate, albeit with a certain degree of control over the product. But it's still their product that's growing when you invest money in marketing your skin.
    Incorrect. Read the first paragraph of my article. Both 8Ball and Tarco are simply skin owners, but on a HUGE scale. Together they sold for 70m.


    Quote Originally Posted by DanHorvat View Post
    Can you as a skin owner change your product enough to differentiate it from the other brands using the same skin? Do you do it on your end or do you have to ask the provider to do it for you and pay them? I mean, where is the code of the skin, on their server or yours?

    One thing you didn't mention in the article - what cost is involved with actually becoming the owner of the skin? Do you pay a setup fee or how does it work?
    Different networks will allow you a varying amount of flexibility. Same with set up fees, they vary. My original version of the article had a Q&A section with the three main network suppliers asking these questions but IGB cut it out (for 'editorial guideline reasons'.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanHorvat View Post
    What about translations, who does them?
    As far as I'm aware this hasn't been done before so I don't know!

  24. #14
    DanHorvat's Avatar
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    Incorrect?

    I can also sell an affiliate website operation but that doesn't mean I own the players referred to Bet365. Denise Coates owns them.

    If there are no tasks related to customers, finances, etc., then you do not own the business.

    Everything is managed internally by the provider. The source code, I presume, is also managed by them and they won't give you too much control as they wouldn't expose their core product like that.

    While I can live with it, don't tell me I own the code if it's not on my server or that I own the player if someone else is handling him.

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