SiGMA sat down with Steven Hubbard, for a look at how BettingLounge is navigating the affiliate industry
How did you find your way into the affiliate world? What attracted you to this particular industry?
To be perfectly honest, I pretty much stumbled into the affiliate world. Of course I was aware of affiliates through their strong social media presence but never looked too much into it.
I saw a job advert that combined my love of sports and betting, applied and the rest is history.
Which markets are BettingLounge looking to make headway in right now?
We are currently trying to grow our social media, with a focus on our @BetLoungeTips Twitter account. We are also on Facebook, but Twitter is the priority right now.
But, our main focus with BettingLounge is primarily the UK market, with an emphasis on the sportsbooks and not the casino side.
How important is innovation in your sector within the iGaming industry?
Innovation is crucial when attempting to stand out in such a crowded sector within the iGaming industry.
There are a number of massive affiliates dominating the market, so we have to offer something they can’t.
What helps you stand out in such a crowded market?
We feel the personal touch will help us stand out in this market. All of our reviews and tips have my information and a picture of me. We do not want to hide behind a brand name.
We are also completely transparent with our relationship with bookmakers while being honest in our tips and reviews.
Most importantly, I do not want to promote gambling as a good way of making money, because for most people it really isn’t. I constantly reiterate that it should be for fun.
What qualities make for a good betting site?
A good betting site will always be subjective, but to start with I want to see a fast, safe, and user-friendly design . A lot of new bookies are missing this from the start.
This is followed by a wide range of sports, events and betting markets. I then look to see if their odds represent good value or not. Lastly, their customer service should be available 24/7, with a number of different contact methods.
I also like to see live streaming, plenty of promotions, and a good live betting experience on all devices.
Have you any exciting plans in the pipeline you can share with us?
We are in the process of running a weekly twitter promotion for the chance to win two Premier League tickets of their choice - as well as expanding our tips with odds comparisons and key statistics. We are also looking to build on our darts tips/previews.
What are the long-term goals for BettingLounge?
Of course, we have a number of long-term goals for BettingLounge. We want to provide in-depth and valuable betting previews for the most popular football leagues, but also expand out into other sports such as darts, tennis, horse racing and more.
We also want to add more odds comparison to our site all while promoting safe and responsible gambling.
Safe and responsible gambling is important to BettingLounge, can you tell us more about your support for the GambleAware charity?
At BettingLounge we abide by all of the industry standards, such as the 18+ logos, begambleaware logos and more.
But, we also link to begambleaware directly in most of our social media posts and post regular messages about gambling responsibly, again linking to their site.
I also created our “About Us” page with the GambleAware charity in mind. I do not want to sell the illusion that gambling should be for anything else but fun.
What qualities make Malta such an attractive hub for the iGaming industry, especially to companies looking to set up shop here?
Malta is an attractive hub for several reasons. First off we have a clear benefit - the tax climate. It's cheap to pay out salaries in Malta compared to many other countries in Europe, especially Sweden.
The other biggest advantage with Malta is that almost every gaming company is based in Malta or has an office in Malta. That makes it the best place to network and meet old and new partners.
The good weather is also a good reason to be based in Malta!
Are you looking forward to SiGMA, what are your thoughts on events like this – how important are they to the industry?
I think SIGMA is even more important than people think. It's not just an affiliate conference for meeting affiliate managers. It's also a conference for meeting a wide variety of people in different roles.
You meet business-making slots, live casinos, supports, platforms and many more. I would say the industry would not be the same without SiGMA.
Steven Hubbard is the Product Owner of BettingLounge at SweGaming AB.
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