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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: Dave Sawyer ("Webzcas")

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    From Gibraltar to Bath,
    Dave Sawyer’s Rockin’ Steady All The Way

    Full Name: Dave Sawyer
    Current Hometown: Bath, England
    Age: 33
    Favorite food: Italian
    One book everyone must read: Clough: The Autobiography (the best-selling autobiography of a controversial sporting legend, a true working-class hero: the most charismatic manager in football who, as a player, scored 251 goals in 274 League appearances)

    You've been part of the online gaming industry for some time now. How did you get started?
    I come from an IT background with nearly 15 years experience working in the IT Field within various industries. I have been working in the online gaming industry for some seven years now, the last two as a fully fledged full-time affiliate. My introduction to the online gaming industry came about as a result of the manager of the IT Department for the company I worked for in Bristol, England leaving to take up the position of IT Controller with Ladbrokes International in Gibraltar. In the summer of 2000, he got in contact with me and offered me a position within the IT Department with Ladbrokes. The opportunity to work for a well-established and respected company, thus furthering my career with the added prospect of living abroad, was too good to turn down and I subsequently took up my new role with Ladbrokes at the start of October 2000.

    You worked for Ladbrokes for several years in Gibraltar. What were the best parts of that the experience? What was living in Gibraltar like? Why did you leave Ladbrokes? What did you learn from Labrokes that you've taken with you into your work as an affiliate?
    I spent five enjoyable years with Ladbrokes. Highlights include the launch of Ladbrokes Casino at the end of 2000, the launch of Ladbrokes Poker in 2002, and in addition my first experience of the Grand National in 2001 from a bookmaker’s perspective – ensuring along with the rest of the IT Team that the online sportsbook remained operational alongside the systems for telephone betting. Servicing a fully-manned call centre was something else – very challenging and rewarding.

    Gibraltar was a great place to work and live. My wife and I enjoyed six years there and made some very good lifelong friends on the rock as a result. The online gambling industry is the largest private sector employer on the rock and due to its small size you can’t help but to get to know people from all the other gaming companies based on the rock. Our apartment building also had a great view of the Rif Mountains in Morocco across the Straits of Gibraltar. Add to that the fact of having the Costa Del Luz and Costa Del Sol on your doorstep, and it made for a great base. The motto whilst we were there was certainly work hard and play harder.

    I left Ladbrokes in August 2005 to concentrate on making it as a full-time gambling affiliate. My first site, Online Casino Reviewer (, was started the previous year as a hobby site, putting to good use my own experience and knowledge of online gambling gained during my time with Ladbrokes. However, it became clear to me that once I started to achieve good rankings in the major search engines I had to decide to take the gamble and work full time on OCR.

    You now run Bath Rock Media Limited. What does the company do?
    Bath Rock Media owns all the websites that I manage. Primarily, we are an online marketing company focusing on the online gaming industry, although we are currently exploring other areas online to move into.

    What are the most difficult challenges for you as an affiliate? And how do you handle them?
    Obviously this has to be the legislation changes in the US and elsewhere concerning online gambling. The UIGEA in particular has had a massive effect on the industry as a whole. Ensuring you are not solely reliant on any one source of traffic is of paramount importance to all affiliates if they are to still be around in a couple of years’ time. As an affiliate you need to learn quickly to adapt to change. Dealing with site scrapers and search engine spammers who steal your work is also a continual day-to-day occurrence.

    What is currently the most difficult part of your work? And why?
    Dealing with site scrapers and content theft. This is a never-ending task and takes time away from important areas, such as providing new information to our visitors.

    How did you grow your business?
    Adding content daily and thus increasing exposure within the major search engines. Working up to 14 hours a day on a daily basis in the beginning was necessary and to an extent still is.

    How has the GPWA helped you as an affiliate?
    The GPWA enables you to communicate with other like-minded individuals, sharing knowledge and resources. It is invaluable for networking, not just with fellow affiliates but also with the affiliate programs. The GPWA has introduced me to many different people, whom I have subsequently met at conferences and thus become good friends with.

    What advice can you offer people who are just starting up in the industry?
    This industry is not a get rich quick scheme. To succeed you need to be prepared to put a lot of hours into research, content writing, learning seo and also website design. It is a continual process. Ensure you do your research. The days of banner farms earning webmasters a lucrative revenue are well and truly over. View your site or sites from a visitor’s perspective. After all you want people to keep coming back and also recommend your site to their friends and family. To this extent only promote casinos, sportsbooks or poker rooms you would be happy to frequent as a player. Trust is very much the key in this industry. Use Google. After all, Google is your friend. Join webmaster forums such as the GPWA and benefit from the knowledge of those who have been involved in the industry for a long time. If you can afford to, visit affiliate conferences such as CAP Euro or the CAC. Networking is invaluable and allows you to put faces to names. Last but not least, do not become disheartened. If you are passionate about your work and are prepared to put the hours in, it will come good eventually.

    If you had to list three keys to success for an affiliate, what would they be?
    Perseverance, honesty and integrity.

    How long did it take for you to start earning money?
    A little over a year.

    What was your favourite subject in school? And why was it your favourite subject?
    History. I’ve always been fascinated by past events and the causes and consequences of them.

    If you weren't working in online gaming right now, what would you be doing?
    Working in IT.

    Do you gamble online? If so, what's your favourite game and why?
    In moderation. My favourite game has to be Tomb Raider.

    Which football team do you root for in the EPL?
    I don’t support a Premiership team. But I am an avid fan and season ticket holder of my local team, Bristol City. We are currently enjoying a good start to the season in the English Championship and who knows, we may even be in the Premiership this time next year!

    What's your favourite World Cup moment?
    England getting to the semifinals of Italia 90. This was also my worst World Cup moment when West Germany beat us 4 – 2 on penalties in the semis.

    If you could pick any animal to be for one day, which one would it be? And why?
    It would be my puppy Jess. She is 4-months old and is adorable. I’d like to view the world from her perspective for a day.
    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:
    > LinkedIn:
    > 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
    Topboss is online now Private Member
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    March 2002
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    Its great to see what you finally look like Dave.
    I have been dealing with you for years and nver knew that YOU were "Webzcas"

  3. #3
    Webzcas's Avatar
    Webzcas is offline Private Member
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    March 2005
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    Thanks Heather
    Exit stage left

  4. #4
    pgaming's Avatar
    pgaming is offline Public Member
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    July 2005
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    Good view Dave perhaps I should have taken your advice and hook up.


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