David Pome', CEO at BetAndSkill, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Having been nominated for an award as Best Affiliate Site for Betting, BetAndSkill are no strangers to excellence. David Pome' tells us what it takes for an affiliate business to be successful - follow his story below.
How did you first get into the affiliate space, and were you always focused on the iGaming sector?
I started in 2007. I was still an IT & Computer Science student and very fond of sports and betting, so I decided to take the best of both worlds and I started building BetAndSkill.com. A few years later I realised that my hobby would have been a full-time job. In 2010, I hired a few collaborators and BetAndSkill developed in a small company.
How is your affiliate business structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
Our team is composed of tipsters, gambling experts, social media and SEO gurus. Few but super-productive people (including my sister Eva) - a lovely group with a common objective. True friends more than colleagues. Maybe this is the secret that allowed BetAndSkill to be nominated at the 2020 iGB Awards as best affiliate sites (betting). I am currently focusing on evaluating new business opportunities and develop the website from a technical and SEO perspective.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
The UK has been our main market from the beginning, although it's a highly competitive market. We are now also targeting emergent markets across all the continents. We have secured vendor licenses in some of the US states. Our "new baby" GamblerSaloon.com, born in 2019, was also nominated as best newcomer at the iGB Awards.
What makes your traffic proposition/traffic sites unique? What can you offer that others don’t? Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
BetAndSkill is one of a kind in the affiliate landscape. It's one of the few gambling portals treating sports, casino, poker and other verticals. We try to make our website interesting for real gamblers, helping them to enjoy the experience by providing expert tips and promotions, running competitions and offering the best that the gambling industry can offer every day. Our new project GamblerSaloon is keeping us very busy as we are committed to make it a reference site for the US market.
Is the grass greener on the other side - Have you considered giving white label casino or sports betting a go?
I've been tempted many times to launch a white label gambling portal, it’s an idea for the future. At the moment, achieving the objectives I set for Betandskill.com and GamblerSaloon.com is my priority.
Are you concerned by the impact on the affiliate sector from shifting regulatory environments? (In particular UKGC, Sweden’s Spelinspektionen, and Germany’s 2020 State Treaty on Gaming Regulation)
I am a bit worried but I know it's part of the game. It has always been the same. One of an affiliate's skills is also dealing with the incessant and challenging regulatory changes.
What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your traffic? Are you focusing on SEO? PPC? Any other traffic source?
More than 90% of our traffic comes from search engines. That's why operators love to work with us. Anyway, I always suggest not to put all the eggs in one basket, especially if you don't own that basket. Hence, we are planning to intensify our presence on social media and attract visitors from other sources.
Are you contemplating bringing in investors to scale or grow your business? Or, with such a big M&A market, have you ever contemplated selling the business?
I think BetAndSkill still has good potential to exploit. Time to sell has not arrived, yet.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
Most affiliate sites are very similar, I would say "copy and paste" or "just another affiliate site". We would like to be "out of the box". Hence, I invite my collaborators to be inventors rather than executors. Everyone should feel like part of the project and think how to grow it, how to differentiate it from the rest and how to satisfy people that visit our site.
How is the Asian market shaping-up for affiliates?
The Asian market is a great one, with enormous potential - operators and affiliates should work side by side in order to exploit and develop it.
What are the challenges in managing relationships with multiple operators?
The daily hardest challenge is to give visibility to each of them and refer good traffic. Diplomacy and honesty are always required.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
I attended my first iGaming event back in 2010 and it changed my life. Before then, I had not figured out how big this business was. Nowadays, I always try to attend as many iGaming events I can. It is a good way to understand where the business is going.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
I attended the last 4 SiGMA Malta conferences, the AGS in Bucharest and a Roadshow in New Jersey last year. I believe that SiGMA is at the forefront and attending its events is crucial to understand emerging trends in the industry and individuate new markets and business opportunities. Of course, I would like to attend SiGMA Manila too. That would be a great chance to get an insight into the Asian market.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all, business is done between people, not just companies!
I like sea places, hopefully still uncontaminated and not crowded. I also like exploring these places by myself, eating local food, meeting people, understanding their culture and history.
Favourite book ever read?
I prefer bookmakers rather than books.
Where would you relocate with family if you had to pick one city?
I love the area outside Los Angeles. From Hermosa Beach to Beverly Hills, Malibu and Santa Monica. So, I would relocate in California.
I never lose. Either I win or I learn. (Nelson Mandela)
Favourite sport and childhood idol?
I have been playing basketball for almost 20 years, but I also love playing football, tennis, beach volley and many more sports. Michael Jordan, Vince Carter and Ronaldo were my idols.