For our latest Affiliate Q&A feature, we sat down with Malcolm Darnley, Lead Writer & Editor at BestOdds. With this article, Malcolm gives us his thoughts on the launch of iGaming in Ontario, what goes into their articles and much more!
Income Access (IA): Thanks for speaking with us Malcolm. Can you tell us a bit about your background in the iGaming industry and your role with BestOdds?
Malcolm Darnley (MD): Hi Michael, I appreciate the chance to talk with you today. My background in the iGaming space pre-dates the legalization of sports betting in Canada and the United States. In my early 20s, I became interested in sports betting. To be honest, I was a bit of a sports junkie as a kid growing up, and I assumed that all my knowledge would translate into betting success.
Of course, I was completely wrong about how my early days of sports betting would play out.
Instead of making money by betting on sports, I think of those days as paying my tuition for an education in the sports betting space.Those early days were fun and definitely exciting, but unfortunately for me, they were far from profitable.
Currently, with BestOdds, my role is to create content. Specifically, I am writing for our website, leading our newsletter team, and filling in the gaps wherever a BestOdds story needs to be told.
IA: As an Ontario native, how have you viewed the launch of the iGaming market in your own backyard?
MD: I will always believe that a regulated industry is best for everyone involved. All bettors benefit from a regulated industry. As a consumer, the increased competition since regulation has created more innovation among the operators.
Sportsbooks (and bettors) are held accountable to play by the rules. Knowing there is a path to a fair resolution in case of disagreement with an operator is reassuring.
Looking at the Ontario launch from an affiliate perspective, I was surprised and slightly disappointed at some of our government's restrictions around our ability to market and promote.
In Ontario, an affiliate like BestOdds.com cannot advertise the different promotions our sportsbook partners have made available for bettors. These promotions are the driving force behind end users creating new accounts.
As a consumer, the launch in Ontario, at least for me, has been great. As an employee at an affiliate company, the launch in Ontario has been good, but I am holding out for even better days ahead.
IA: As the Lead Editor as BestOdds, what challenges have you faced when writing for a hotly contested space?
MD: I’m sure every industry role comes with unique challenges, especially with all the competition in the space. As content creators, we will always be challenged to create great content that resonates with our end users.
The legalization across North America has led to more affiliates popping up and increased competition. That means we must work even harder to have our content be seen and heard.
However, as a team, we believe great content will ultimately win.
We are always looking at new ways to get to the top of a google search, but our first priority is and always will be producing content we are proud of.
IA: Is there any sport you most enjoy writing / working on?
MD: I love all sports! It’s my job to find compelling, interesting stories to tell, regardless of the sport. What I am passionate about is using data analytics to try and help tell a story.
I’m very fortunate at BestOdds.com because we have an extremely strong team, and some genuinely gifted individuals surrounding me. Suggesting topics and watching those ideas turn into great content backed by solid data analytics is so much fun for me.
IA: Can you tell us a little about your research process for coming up with insightful content that helps your users bet with confidence?
MD: One of the biggest reasons our end users resonate with and enjoy our content is because the ideas and topics are conceived from the perspective of being a sports bettor trying to learn and improve.
What I mean by that is we always challenge each other internally to write about topics we are passionate about as bettors. Topics we believe can help our end users make better decisions moving forward.
I enjoy betting on sports. Sometimes I am good at it. Sometimes I am not. The drive to improve as a sports bettor often inspires many of our topics.
When I was working outside of the betting space, one of my biggest challenges as a bettor was finding enough time to analyze data, play with the numbers and try to find my edges against the sportsbooks. Now that I am in the space, I can help others by doing that work for them and sharing it back out with our end users.
During that process, if I can educate and create enjoyable content, our end users can learn and hopefully be entertained along the way.
IA: BestOdds is focused on being the destination for bettors. You recently launched a V2 of your site, what improvements can users expect to find?
MD: The biggest reason I was so excited to join the BestOdds.com team is that from the very top of our organization all the way down, we are united in our belief that our business model is to have the best interest of sports bettors at the heart of everything we do.
That said, I am even more excited now than when I joined almost 18 months ago.
If you are a sports bettor and haven’t heard of BetPrep.com, I am confident you will very soon. BetPrep.com was built to become the single greatest resource a sports bettor could have.
Understanding I am a little biased on the topic, I genuinely believe that goal was accomplished and then some. The BetPrep.com technology is soon to become a bettor's best friend. The amount of information, data, and insights BetPrep.com provides bettors of all experience and skill levels will allow all of us all to become better at betting on sports.
It’s a very exciting time to be in the sports betting industry and I am proud to say that it’s also a very exciting time to be a part of the BestOdds.com team!
For more information on BestOdds or to discuss a partnership opportunity, contact Malcolm and the team today.