We met Ron Emmerink, iGaming/Gambling Consultant at Tria Intermedia Ltd for an interview about his business and thoughts about the industry.
Hello Ron, how are you? Are you ready for SiGMA17?
Hi Marius, I am ready and looking forward to visit the venue. I was there when it launched for the first time a couple of years ago and am very curious to see how it has grown. Also I am very keen to make new contacts and meeting interesting people to do business with.
How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?
My first encounter in the online gambling business was back in 2008. I worked for several international affiliate companies who then started to promote online casino’s etc. After that, I joined an online gambling operator where I worked as marketing manager. Currently I work for Tria Intermedia limited who are specialized and experienced affiliates on gambling. We manage about a wide array of gambling affiliate sites, that makes our company one of the biggest networks around.
With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?
No I am not at all, I can imagine that big casino and gambling companies venture out into buying affiliate networks. There lays a great advantage in buying such networks who are quit obvious. Brand recognition and awareness is quickly adapted if you have a wide network yourself as a casino company where the brand can be promoted. Recent merges prove that. However, in practice it also shows that simply buying a network is not sufficient if contact’s and staff are not maintained.
A number of your competitors have gone down the real money operator route, and tried their hand at white labels. Have you also done this?
Not at the moment but one can never know how the market evolves. We are focusing on the affiliate side of things as there lays our expertise in connecting brands with their potential customers.
Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?
We have a team of very professional content writers who are not only skilled in writing exclusive content. But are also specialized in SEO optimization. Just writing content does not mean it will always be found. Our focus on that is a constant one.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
We work both on local and international markets. The emerging markets off course are a big chance for affiliates as or gambling companies alike. Especially those who are also looking into the regulated markets, there is a big potential there as well.
How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO and content at your company?
Keeping up with google is an expertise on it’s own. The constant updates can be a menace but if you recognize what google tries to imply by changing the algorithms, it can help you as well in staying on top of things. It’s a good thing that the so called backchat sites seem to be blocked more often. It’s quite unfair to have to compete with one page websites that often appear on the first page of google search results position one for example.
What is the main thing that you’d like Sigma readers to know about your sites?
We offer honest reviews and have strict regulations on who we do business with, or are placed on our sites. We are not keen in mentioning everyone just for the sake of it. Our visitors must be sure to find honest and trusted companies. Sadly, to say there are some companies who don’t work fairly and so the will not be found in our network.
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
Mobile is the way to go, if you are not prepared to provide visitors to your site or sites in a responsive manor you miss the whole evolution. Flash sites are not sufficient anymore due to the devices used as tablets and smartphones. HTML5 for example makes it possible to reach your public anywhere and at any time.
What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?
That’s a very good question, I think affiliates have to be prepared to abide to the rules that for example gambling commissions present this in order to stay in business. So they heave to keep an eye out not to place companies with dishonest intentions on their sites. At our company we call this affiliate intelligence in other words keep up with the legislation and abide to that.
What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
To new affiliates I would say don’t think its all fun and play. Stay serious in what you are doing and keep away from trouble, meaning know who you do business with. And certainly do not expect it to be a free ride, remember that you are competing with the best.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
I play slots a lot as I am writing reviews myself for our sites as well. It’s fun to do and this way you get to know the slots and its possibilities and limitations as well. As for the 1 million, in case I would win it, I would put it on my savings account and have a good think what to do with it.
Ron Emmerink, iGaming/Gambling Consultant at Tria Intermedia limited, has more than ten years of iGaming/Gambling experience building up brands from ground level up to successful running businesses.
Have you attended SiGMA last year? Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.