In the latest edition of our series of Affiliate Q&As, we met with Sebastian Erfurth, COO of Casino.online. We asked Sebastian about the work they’re doing with Casino.online, the German casino market, and much more!
Income Access (IA): Thanks for joining us Sebastian! Can you tell us a bit about your background in the iGaming industry and current role with Casino.online?
Sebastian Erfurth (SE): My first job was as an SEO specialist, back when companies first started to seriously care about ranking high on Google. Thanks to that, I was able to learn a lot about how to make my content visible to as many people as possible, so it wasn’t long before I decided to combine my talents with another passion of mine: gambling.
Online casinos in particular felt like a fantastic niche to explore, given its meteoric rise in popularity year after year, so I quickly created my own site for free slots and did my best to rank highly with it. I was then offered the opportunity to work on Casino.online, which I immediately realized was shaping up to be much bigger than anything I could possibly create by myself, so taking the job was a no-brainer.
IA: As an affiliate who’s focused on the Casino vertical with the German market, can you tell us about some of the exciting opportunities for affiliates there? On the other side, what are some challenges?
SE: There’s never a shortage of challenges to overcome in the German market! What’s been on our minds a lot (and not just on ours, but on the minds of dozens of affiliates around the globe) has been Glücksspielstaatsvertrag, the new regulations that were accepted last year and have been enforced throughout German casinos since then. It’s been difficult for both us and the operators we work with to comply with these requirements and we’ve had to rewrite big portions of the German version of Casino.online in order to do so. In many ways, the direction in which we took the entire site was influenced by GlüStV.
But we wouldn’t be in this business if it was all a challenge with no opportunity, and when it comes to these opportunities, the online casino landscape is a gold mine. Affiliates are uniquely suited for the online landscape due to our intrinsic knowledge of SEO and the overall Internet space. Relying on old-school marketing tactics will only get you so far, as in the 21st century you only have two paths to success. One is providing convenience – showing up at the top of the search results, having an easy to navigate and useful website, that sort of thing. The other is to go “viral”, to create a page that will be highly sought and shared or to reach audiences in a brand new way, not unlike an “influencer”. We’ve hired some of the most talented people in Europe in order to take full advantage of both and so far, it has worked like a charm, which we’re very happy about. And as new online opportunities crop up, you bet we’ll be on top of them.
IA: Tell us more about Casino.Online and how it has become the most trusted online casino guide in the industry?
SE: Our goal with Casino.online is to turn it into a comprehensive, all-encompassing resource regarding all things online casino. On it you can find information on any topic you can imagine, such as reviews for hundreds of casinos and software providers, information about individual casino games and payment methods, guides meant to assist players with claiming bonuses or setting up accounts and so much more. We’re constantly expanding into new and exciting territories, such as adding games playable straight on our site or filling out our Advisor blog with interesting “edutainment” articles.
Right now, Casino.online is already one of the top casino brands in Germany and is quickly gaining traction in the UK and Russia due to being available natively in English and Russian, and focusing its content on operators and topics that are locally relevant. Our user base is growing by the day thanks to the efforts of our writers, developers, marketers and SEO specialists, and we’re hoping to soon penetrate the Asian market – a notoriously tough nut to crack for online casino affiliates.
IA: If there’s one piece of advice you could give to Casino Operators, what would that be?
SE: If someone gave me a magic lamp and told me I get three wishes to make my job easier, I would only need one – for operators to work more closely with affiliates. A lot of time it feels like operators treat affiliates like some kind of afterthought, as if we need them, but they don’t need us. Which, as anyone who understands marketing will tell you, is very far from the truth. Even the best online casino won’t turn a penny in profit if nobody is playing in it and SEO affiliates play an undeniably substantial role in getting new players in the door. So why are we not treated as such?
When there’s a problem that needs to be solved (stemming from a variety of factors, usually new regulations or a change in the operator’s policies), our cooperation begins and ends with an e-mail from the compliance department. Why? Who benefits from this? Would it not be a lot more productive to communicate through the issue and come up with the best possible solution? All we want is for operators to be profitable, because if they are, we are, so why are so many operators actively fighting against us on so many issues? Rev-share models won’t be allowed forever (at least in Germany), and CPA isn’t a long-term solution, so why not communicate directly with affiliates to come up with new ways to attract clients?
Considering just how many changes there have been in the casino industry in the past few years, worldwide, the truth is that going forward the most successful operators will be the ones who work closely with affiliates to address issues quickly and in highly innovative ways.
For more information on Casino.online or to discuss a partnership opportunity, contact Sebastian and the team today.