SiGMA sat down with Managing Partner at BestBettingCasinos, Dave Bruijn, to discuss the success of their Casino Affiliate review website bestbettingcasino.com.
Tell us about what makes BestBettingCasinos so special, how do you stand out from the crowd?
We stand out because we have a really close relationship with our affiliate managers. We liaise with the affiliate manager whenever we add any kind of content to the website. We optimise this content - which we currently translate into 8 languages: English, German, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Italian, Portuguese and Polish. With all the content in different languages, we are able to give detailed information to our visitors in their preferred language.
What attracted you to the online casino world, how did you get into this industry?
I love to play at both land-based and online casinos. Gambling is fun when you are not prone to addictions. Online gambling is fun because there are so many different games available.
In 2014 I had the chance to launch a new casino for a Dutch Company. I did all the affiliate marketing and retention marketing for this casino (FruityCasa). I loved the industry, the people, and the conferences and decided to start my own affiliate website together with my ex-employee Koen.
We decided to do this website www.bestbettingcasinos.com as a side project, with the idea that we would “see what happens”. Within a few weeks, we saw our first revenue. That was the motivation we needed to spend more and more hours on our website.
There are new casino sites and game suppliers popping up every month, what qualities make for a good casino or betting site?
I think a good casino needs at least 500+ games. We prefer to work with casinos that offer flexible bonuses. We look for custom-made landing pages and bonuses for our visitors. It is easier to write content when you have an exclusive bonus available. A quality casino should have all the popular payment methods, as well as the local ones: Sofort (DE) and iDeal (NL).
For us, it is important that the casino has multiple languages. We want to send our geo-targeted traffic to casinos that are available in the visitor’s language. Casinos with geo-targeted landing pages are perfect for us.
What can the online casino industry do to improve their products and provide a more professional service?
I think it needs to be a bit harder to get certain licenses - every day we get emails from new online casinos. I've no idea where they come from, but it looks like there are new casinos opening every day. For players, it becomes difficult to know which casinos to avoid; knowing where to play becomes less clear. For both players and the industry, it would be better when it is harder to open an online casino.
And, I think some casinos need to understand that it is a headache for us when they change their bonuses. SEO affiliates like us have a lot of content in different languages - it is hard and expensive to change that content every few months. That is why we prefer the custom-made bonuses for selected affiliates.
Do you have any exciting plans in the works that we can announce?
Yes, we are going to launch a few more languages - targeting Latin America and Asia in the next few months. At the end of 2018 we want to cover the majority of languages in the world.
What goes into your review process for online casinos?
The most important things are unacceptable bonus terms and unfair payout limits. Of course, we also look at the available games, the support desk and the reliability of the casino. But for me, it is important that our players get fair treatment when they join a casino.
So the casinos with the best bonus terms and acceptable payout limits, get the best spots on the website and, therefore, a better review.
Are you a player yourself, do you have a favourite game?
Yes I am. I love to play. We play a few games a week because we also write reviews when there is a new game release. When I test a new game, I always spin a few rounds on Glitz (WMS) and Invaders from planet Moolah (WMS). Those two games are in my Top 5 favourite video slot games.
Whenever we go to a land-based casino in the Netherlands, I join a blackjack table. I am not a big player though. I love the game but I don’t want to play high stakes. I want it to be fun - I will earn my money through the business, not through gambling.
What are some of the biggest challenges the casino market will have to contend with in 2018?
I think regulations and dodgy casinos are definite challenges. There are still a lot of dodgy casinos with unreliable and unfair terms and conditions. Those casinos invest a lot in Black Hat and email marketing. This is a danger to players and also to the reliable casinos. I think the market must unite and stand up to get those dodgy casinos out of business.
Regulations are always a big challenge. Initially, it was The Netherlands, followed by Australia, and now there is some stuff going on in Germany as well. Nobody knows what will happen, but Germany is one of the bigger markets for a lot of casinos. They must feel uncertain at the moment.
There has been a market shift towards mobile gaming, what are your thoughts on this?
It makes sense. Look around when you next walk down the street, wait for public transport or go to a bar. Everybody looks at their mobile phone all the time. It is so easy to grab your phone, open a mobile casino website and play some games. I won’t be surprised when the mobile share goes up to 75-80% within the next few years. We see a 65% market share on our website at the moment. That is why we optimised our website fully for AMP (Google pages) and HTML5.
Mobile gaming is great for affiliates and players because it brings a lot of opportunities for retargeting, mobile marketing and SMS marketing. People use their mobile phone for everything at the moment! So we have to give them what they want- a perfect mobile online casino experience.