“Land-based casinos have much to learn from the thriving affiliate industry”

Kristoffer Holten Madsen is Head of SEO at Fable Affiliates.

(Exclusive interview).- Kristoffer Holten Madsen, Head of SEO at Fable Affiliates, granted an interview to Focus Gaming News and he talked about the iGaming affiliate industry situation and its plans for the future.

Fable Affiliates owns and operates both affiliate sites and casinos, so Kristoffer has experience working on both sides of the fence. His main focus is link building with specific white, grey and black-hat methods specialized in the UK market.

As online gaming industry is one of the biggest businesses worldwide, it still experiments some changes in all markets. How is Fable Media & Affiliates assessing the current dynamic to set further agreements and acquisitions?

Although I can confidently state that we have been very successful in what we do, we are always in the process of developing new ways to acquire players. That is done in a variety of ways and through an interdisciplinary approach within our team – everyone collaborates with each other to ensure that our products and services add value to the players and keep them genuinely interested. It’s a daily job to keep up to date with the trends in all of the markets that we are currently operating in.

In terms of Fable Affiliates in specific, we make sure that we stay open-minded to all kinds of new player acquisition opportunities. We keep a really close eye on the results of how we are currently doing, meaning that we usually have our values calculated based on the acquisition methods and can estimate with high accuracy what value we get out of each type of traffic. We use all of the traditional channels such as email, SEO, PPC and social, but don’t shy away from the more non-traditional type of stuff too.

Which are the most relevant markets and the biggest challenges for the company?

The market that we mostly focus on is the UK. We have all of our casino (ie. Gowin.co.uk) and bingo brands established, regulated and operating in the UK and we therefore naturally started our affiliate business over in the UK. Since we’ve been in this market for quite a while now, we like to think that we have it under control and I cannot distinguish any large challenges that we are facing.

That said, we have recently launched several affiliate sites in Scandinavia. With those, the biggest challenge by far is the language barrier. Finding good writers and content producers, who know both how engage the reader and how to optimise articles in terms of SEO is very difficult.

We are always in the process of developing new ways to acquire players. That is done in a variety of ways and through an interdisciplinary approach within our team – everyone collaborates with each other to ensure that our products and services add value to the players and keep them genuinely interested.

Can the online casino and bingo industries in the UK be an example to export to the world?

Yes, to a certain extent. You always need to be aware of the cultural aspects and habits of the players. Acquisition and retention strategies differ hugely between markets, even from the seemingly minuscule details such as the colours used in the advertising materials, currencies and, of course, languages. Therefore, I’d say it’s always recommended to have a local in your team when you’re thinking about entering a new market. What works in the UK may not always work equally as well elsewhere.

How can the affiliate industry empower land-based businesses in their first steps in the online world?

The land-based casinos have much to learn from the thriving affiliate industry, especially if they are to venture into the digital world of gambling. I’d say that the cost per acquisition (CPA) numbers are the most telling of the value of an online customer.

Now, we have loads of techniques that we can use to keep our customers engaged, track and analyse their every move and general behaviour. All of that is great news for the end line. And if a land-based casino would keep their offline presence AND establish an online client base, they’d be in a great position to reap the benefits of offline marketing for the online customers, and vice versa.

However, it can also go the other way and a land-based casino might choose to go all in. One notable example of this comes to my mind is the Royal Casino in Aarhus, Denmark. It’s a land-based establishment, which recently (May 15, 2016) went the online way and hasn’t looked back – kudos to them for making it work.

Is Fable Media & Affiliates planning to expand to the American continent?

We have no plans to expand into the USA market, as the vast majority of the fifty states make it absolutely clear that online gambling is illegal. The few states where it is legal are simply not worth our time and effort. That is unless a cohesive piece of federal legislation emerges, which would signal that the country is en-route to legalising online gambling. In that case, America would indeed become a very attractive and lucrative market for us to consider.

Until that time, however, we stick to our guns and are focusing on our key markets, such as the UK and Scandinavia. As I already mentioned, we are expanding in Scandinavia itself and venturing into the markets of Germany as well. We are also closely watching South America, as it’s a market that’s showing tremendous growth.

The land-based casinos have much to learn from the thriving affiliate industry, especially if they are to venture into the digital world of gambling. I’d say that the cost per acquisition (CPA) numbers are the most telling of the value of an online customer.

Which are the biggest impacts of white label casinos in the business structure?

Running a white label casino certainly has its ups and downs. You have less control over the games, the payment methods and the design of the back-end of the casino. Yet, at the same time these exact aspects make your work go faster and present a larger variation of games and payment methods due to the scale and the connectivity of the network that you are part of.

At times, working with some partners can become tedious and time consuming, since you have close to no control over the back-end system of the casino and you depend on the technical abilities and the availability of the network’s developers.

Plus, white label networks generally have control over the retention program, which is a handicap in terms of net revenue and the time the acquired players end up spending on the casino. However, working out a way to supplement their retention programmes is an option and it often results in similar player lifetime value as own casinos.

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Fable Affiliates land-based casinos online casinos