SPINNING AROUND


A brief history of roulette


AMONG ONLINE GAMBLING affiliates, those who specifically target roulette players are known for taking marginally more risks than their slots counterparts. Why? Because roulette, as most table games, is found in the operator’s low house-edge cupboard, and, as such, tends to attract the sawiest punters. It’s a game of superlatives: wins can be; large, losses even larger, but its popularity with players and affiliates alike never disappoints.

With no other ambition but to celebrate the launch of Mobile Roulette at Virgin Games’ mobile casino, let's unravel the startling story behind the game’s unique volatility and unwavering prestige.
 
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MEISTER AT ARMS


Casino affiliate market, common industry misconstructions of the player and whether casino is still where the money is.


Do you think that there is still a lot that affiliates and operators can learn about the demographic they are marketing to?
Absolutely. Operators as well as affiliates need to be engaging the players - getting the players involved with their websites. Once this is done, they can determine the needs of their players and serve them in a more efficient manner. This has always been a very dynamic industry, players come and go, and one cannot make smart decisions about the focus of a business based merely on a survey or poll made a year or two ago. Affiliates and operators need to monitor trends and encourage feedback as much as possible.

Most operators are not players, and this is where many lose the game. They don’t understand the basic needs of players; that the gaming is secure, their personal info is kept private, the casino entity is a stable operation, the operator is ethical and fair and, of course, there is a chance to win. Operators fail on so many levels catering to those needs. Casinomeister’s rogue section is full of these misadventures.

In your experience, what are the most common misconceptions that the industry adopts towards casino players?
One general misconception is that all players are out to ‘get’ the casino. Sure, there are many advantage players, but these players should be treated with the same respect as recreational players. When advantage players find a casino that treats them fairly with good offers, they can become quite loyal.

Players are not sheep being led to a ‘fleecing’. There are many players who are quite perceptive and have done their homework; they know what they are doing. Players should not all be painted with the Same brush - they are housewives, retirees, doctors, police officers, journalists. Pardon the cliche, but they come from all walks of life.

There is much discussion about the apparent ‘dislike’ between operators and their players - what is meant by this?
Many operators get into the business with a very narrow point of view. Their mission: to make a lot of money in a short period of time. That is a recipe for disaster. These operators are oblivious to the fact that they exist primarily to provide entertainment for their players, i.e. gambling in a safe environment. Happy players are those who win and want to keep coming back. Happy operators are those who understand that in the end, the house always wins. Misguided operators tend to resent players who win. They fail to see the bigger picture. Players are not that easy to appease, and they are costly. But you’d be shocked at how many operators throw their players out with the bathwater when rewriting bonus terms or conjuring up new promotions.

There are also quite a few operators that are just plain lazy or unimaginative and copy whatever anybody else is doing, e.g. outrageous bonus wagering requirements, and take on an ‘us Vs them’ approach to their work. But this is an ever growing industry, and there is a ‘casino Darwinism’ at work. The operators with bad attitudes are usually deselected by failed casinos.

How would you describe today’s casino affiliate market - is it more competitive than ever and if so, how difficult is it to build liquidity as an affiliate, particularly if you are specific to one product vertical?
Looking back ten years, it’s probably just as competitive as it was back then, but it’s different. Today, there are more serious ‘businesslike’ affiliates who have actual business models as opposed to a decade ago when more affiliates were webmasters learning the ropes.

I don’t think it is difficult at all to build ‘liquidity’ if you know your target audience; what your visitors expect and what they are looking for. If you want to target sports, massive fan bases are out there looking for websites on a daily basis. If you know slots, the web is always in need of an informative guide concerning slot games. The traffic is out there - it’s up to the webmaster to bring it to his or her site.

There was an ‘old’ adage, maybe not so old come to think of it, that “casino is where the money is” for affiliates. Have other product verticals caught up with casino in their ability to generate sustainable business for affiliates, or does that old saying still ring true?
I think that the casino affiliate has the best means to be flexible since many casino websites can cover every aspect of gaming. Many gaming sites overlap sportsbetting, poker, live games, and miscellaneous betting with the standard casino games. This gives the casino affiliate room to send traffic to various betting sites as desired. Sportsbetting and poker may be difficult for the novice affiliate to master.

That said, there are quite a few poker and sports affiliates who do quite well. But since these markets are quite specialised, there may be more room for competition compared to the casino market. It may not be so saturated.

What advice would you have for affiliates starting out in iGaming today?
Do something that others haven’t done yet. There are niches that haven’t been addressed or explored - be inventive. Engage the players in a way that it becomes enjoyable for everyone involved. Go to conferences since this industry is very much network related - it’s a very small industry comparatively speaking. Get to know other webmasters and affiliates. Be open minded since there is a lot to learn. True diligence will pay off in time. And never forget to enjoy yourself. The online casino industry was founded on having a good time.

If you had to start all over again in gaming, where would you start?
I would have bought the domains poker.com, slots.com, and gambling.com in 1998 and auctioned them off in 2006 right before the UIGEA was passed. I’d be chillin’ out on my yacht off of the Southern coast of France, dictating this to my secretary right now if I started like that.

And finally, if you were to attribute one thing alone to the success of your business, what would it be?
My attitude! I never considered Casinomeister as work. I converged my talents and interests (which had nothing to do with online gaming by the way), and focused on Casinomeister. I keep my attitude positive - and mellow.
 
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GENERATING RETURN TRAFFIC


What are the key components in driving the traffic that comes to your live gaming website back for repeat


REGULAR VISITORS TO A live gaming casino often get to know the brand just as well as its webmaster. Once a visitor has fully explored a website, the challenge is to satisfy their inquisitive minds and entice them to revisit If a website fails to remain up-to-date by offering new content that is specialised, focused and relevant to its readership, then it will fail to attract return visitors.

Regular communication and interaction will give readers the perception that it is a dynamic website and a mine of useful and up-to-date information. The secret is to bring a website alive - view your website as a living organism that grows organically.

Here are ten ideas to generate return traffic to your live gaming website.

1. Have a plan for developing content over the coming twelve months

If you have a large amount of content at the creation stage of the website, I would advise as much as possible to schedule to publish the material gradually over time rather than publishing everything all at once. This is coherent with the idea of an organic website that develops and grows. I also recommend planning the creation of a new section every few months to maintain the readers' interest.

2. Publish at least one new page every week (or as often as you can)

If the website is rarely or sporadically updated, readers will have little incentive to return. If, on the other hand, the user remarks that the website offers new relevant content on a regular basis, then they will bookmark the page and return regularly in search of new content. The webmaster must ensure that they indicate new and updated content on the homepage for quick reference.
 
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