With our latest Affiliate Q&A, we speak with the Head of Affiliates US for Game Lounge, Tomas Jira. Tomas has extensive iGaming experience, allowing him to offer valuable insights on the casino market, affiliate marketing and much more!
Income Access (IA): Thanks for speaking with us Tomas! Can you tell us a bit about your background in the iGaming industry and current role with Game Lounge?
Tomas Jira (TJ): Thank you for having me. it's a pleasure to speak with you! My first experience with iGaming dates back to 2004, when I landed a job in the public relations department of a Czech lottery and betting company. I have always had a great passion for sports betting and sports in general, and this role provided an ideal opportunity to learn the ropes.
In the subsequent years, I worked as a local poker journalist and made a brief living as a poker player before relocating to Malta in 2017. This proved to be a significant turning point in my career, as I had the privilege of working in the affiliate departments of two major multinational companies. I was involved in numerous projects across different products, which eventually led me to Game Lounge.
I joined Game Lounge's Sales Team about a year ago, in my current position as Head of Affiliates US. My primary responsibility is managing and growing our US sales across all casino sites, with additional responsibilities for Betting.com.
IA: You have vast experience in the iGaming world. How does that experience help you tackle this ever-changing industry?
TJ: In the last decade, as well as in recent years, we've seen significant shifts in the industry. Local regulations, responsible gambling, user experience, and customer behaviour are just a few examples of the changes that require quick adaptation to stay relevant.
Being employed at multi-brand and multi-market companies provides a valuable opportunity to gain exposure to a variety of approaches and strategies aimed at achieving a common objective: providing an exceptional user experience and establishing a competitive brand presence.
Working alongside numerous talented colleagues and experiencing diverse platforms across a broad range of markets provides a unique insight that can be leveraged when working with new products and services. Furthermore, this experience enables you to understand your partners' needs and build strong relationships, which serve as the cornerstone of successful affiliate marketing.
IA: Game Lounge is involved in a variety of verticals within the iGaming world. When it comes to casinos, and your offerings like SlotTracker.com, what makes that vertical so different? What are the main challenges in the Casino vertical at the moment?
TJ: The main challenges in online casino affiliate marketing definitely stem from the need to navigate a complex landscape of regulations, competition, and industry changes. To stay ahead in this extremely competitive sector of the iGaming business, one must remain vigilant and continually improve to keep and expand market share.
Regulations in certain markets frequently change, requiring us to adapt our products overnight to remain compliant and offer relevant content to users. As an organic-driven affiliate marketing company, our content must match what users are seeking, accommodating the ever-growing needs of each visitor. This entails substantial research and investment.
Moreover, one must keep pace with new technologies and trends emerging constantly, while also catering to different audience groups. Some markets have more mature casino players than a decade ago, requiring products that cater to their needs. And then there is Gen Z, who have already come of age in the digital era with distinctly different methods for approaching, processing, and interpreting information compared to what we saw with Millennials.
IA: In 2020, Game Lounge acquired the prestigious Betting.com as you took a step into the sports betting market. What sets Betting.com apart as you prepare to target the US, UK and Sweden over the next year.
TJ: I wish we could skip ahead to when I can unveil the fully revamped Betting.com. Just this week, we held a small in-house preview of the upcoming rebrand, and I can promise you that visitors of the website are in for a real treat.
Betting.com is now transforming into a sports betting guide publisher, offering a truly unique user experience. Our aim is to provide visitors with a gateway to the world of sports betting through exclusive content and innovative functionality. We prioritize building trust between our customers, writers, sports experts, and online operators, all achieved through transparent and innovative approaches.
Our primary focus is on the sports betting markets in the United States, where we will cover all regulated states and all significant sports events and competitions. Although the US market is our top priority, we will also cover additional markets, such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, and eventually others.
IA: At Game Lounge, you’re focused on Creating Best-in-class Brands. With such terrific reach in the industry and over 130 sites in over 30 markets, how do you ensure your content is localized and strong within each market?
TJ: Delivering fully localized content is a key part of our mission. The company started with a vision to transform affiliate marketing for the iGaming sector in the Nordics and beyond. Today over 200 Game Loungers create benefit-driven products and websites that empower and deliver value to visitors and our partners, all over the world. During 2022, Game Lounge underwent a rebrand where we wanted to reflect the strengths that Game Lounge acquired throughout the years, thanks to its people.
When you are growing at this pace, it might be challenging to maintain the original culture established by our founders, Fredrik Langeland and Jonas Cederholm. However, Game Lounge absolutely aced this part despite tremendous growth and that is something everyone is very proud of.
Our teams consist of highly motivated and skilled individuals, who are top professionals in their respective fields. We take pride in having a diverse workforce, with over 40 nationalities represented, allowing us to deliver the appropriate user experience (UX) and content for each market we cater to. This achievement is a direct result of our company culture, which enables us to attract and retain talented individuals from different backgrounds. Ultimately, it is our business partners and product users who benefit from this customized approach.
For more information on Game Lounge or to discuss a partnership opportunity, contact Tomas and the team today.