Casino Guru – iGaming Voice by Yeva
AffPapa recently had an interview with Šimon Vincze from Casino Guru, where he talked about the Casino Guru Academy, responsible gambling and how their players’ feedback assists in the casino review process.
Yeva: Casino Guru is a leading source of information about online casinos. Tell us how you managed to get to where you are today. What is the secret ingredient? 🙂
Compared with our primary competitors, we are a relatively young website. I believe the success of Casino Guru lies in the consistency and the relentless chasing of the goal we’ve set at the very beginning: to be the biggest and most reliable source of information about online casinos. We have always placed a strong focus on the design of our website, as well as a frictionless user experience. Besides that, I think we are doing an outstanding job in the area of SEO, and we have managed to keep a strong company culture accompanied by our no-bullshit policy. We have always strived to be here for the long run, and our strategy has been paying off time and time again.
Yeva: Talk us through the review process a little. How do you choose which casinos make it to your review list? Who is it reviewed by?
All casinos make it on the list, but not all of them have some business relationship with us. Casino Guru is a database in the first place, and my colleagues from the data team scan the internet daily to add new online casinos to our database. The team follows strict methodologies when evaluating the collected information and calculating the rating of each and every casino. Individual Terms & Conditions, which we always thoroughly read in order to uncover any unfair or predatory rules, are the most influential when determining the final rating of a casino. We then look into the casino’s ability to pay out winnings, player complaints, and accessibility of customer support. Our data team is separate from our affiliate team, which oversees business relations, and the only way to improve our rating is by making changes in the casino’s operations.
Yeva: You also have a community forum, where players can chat with one another and share their experiences. Does their personal feedback help your process of reviewing casinos?
Community is one of Casino Guru’s main pillars. We gain a lot of insight from the feedback provided by users, and we are doing our best to create a safe community that fosters honesty and engagement. One unique feature we are proud of is that the entire scope of the forum is automatically translated into 17 languages our website is currently available in. This allows us to remove the potential language barrier some of our users face, and these can read the threads and contribute to the discussion in their mother tongue. Users are also able to leave ratings for all casinos in our database, which supplements our reputation rating.
Yeva: What steps does Casino Guru take to set better standards for the gambling industry?
We have created a fair gambling codex, which reflects our code of conduct. We use it as a source of information when evaluating casinos and resolving player complaints. Our position on the market creates a leverage that makes convincing casinos to change their T&Cs or codes of conduct much easier. Over the years, we have managed to nudge more than 200 online casinos into changing their T&Cs in order to increase their rating on our website, which we consider to be a huge accomplishment. Besides that, two years ago, we have decided to create another channel that will reflect our experience from the complaints sector and that will allow us to share our best practices with all operators. This is when the Casino Guru Academy, a platform with free professional courses from the industry, was created.
Yeva: As part of a leading affiliate company in the iGaming industry, what would you say most failing start-up affiliates lack?
First and foremost, I believe they lack the mindset and vision for long-term sustainable operations. Online gambling is becoming more mature, and so are the players. If you promote unreliable and fraudulent operators for revenue generation, unsatisfied players will bury you with their complaints and bad reviews soon enough. The same applies to the black hat SEO practices. Google is getting smarter every day (maybe not as smart as it states :D), and the backlash from heedless link building will eventually come. I also believe that in this highly competitive market, just another “best operators” website is not enough. I would personally pick a niche that is close to me and focus on the player’s culture around it.
Yeva: When browsing your website, it’s clear that it’s very user-friendly. How essential do you believe the appearance and accessibility of the affiliate’s website are?
I consider it to be one of the main aspects of an affiliate website. In my opinion, affiliate websites should spark an immediate interest in the eyes of visitors. And although catching attention is essential, visitors must also immediately deliver the desired action. That is the tricky part, of course, but if you have a solid UX leadership and you take advantage of the data, you are on the right path. At the end of the day, we must satisfy the needs of our visitors. We cannot just show them what they should see, such as a responsible gambling warning, and not give them what they came for, as they would probably go search for information elsewhere.
Yeva: Let us now discuss the Casino Guru Academy initiative. What does it offer, and who is it intended for?
The Academy is mainly intended for online casino operators’ employees and leaders, but it can provide value for a much broader audience. Our plan was to create a platform with free courses, which would reflect our experience and insights gained from players’ complaints and general operations, to show how things can run smoother and fairer. We have recently shifted our focus to a more open approach and started seeking collaboration with organizations from the industry for every course we produce. We want to keep the scale and format of our courses within a 60- minute timeframe, and we place a big focus on the interactivity of the course. Our ultimate aim is to provide the maximum possible value during this very limited time window, so that we can share as much best practice as possible.
Yeva: Simon, your primary responsibility is to push toward a safer and more sustainable online gambling environment. Do you see any positive shifts in terms of players’ awareness of the gambling risks?
Most of my work targets professionals in the iGaming industry, to whom I’m trying to show the value and positive impact of projects aimed at safer and sustainable gambling. And although we directly work with many players through their complaints or communication within the forum, it is difficult for us to reach first-timers who don’t feel like there might be any risk associated with their gambling habits. The problem with most of them is that they do not want to pay much attention to this subject. It’s boring, and they just want to have fun. On the other hand, operators have a much better access to and connection with players. They can shape their communication and advertising to create a safer gambling environment, or simply step up and intervene when data shows high markers of possible harm. However, to answer your question, yes, I do see a positive shift among the ranks of operators and iGaming stakeholders in this matter.
Yeva: Casino Guru was just named “Best Branding of the Year” at the AffPapa iGaming Awards. How important do you believe such events are for the industry?
Awards are the cherries on top of events that motivate companies to do their best and compete for a chance of being rewarded and recognized for their hard work. The engaging networking gatherings taking place during the awards are also an excellent opportunity to meet new people and explore the possibilities of extending your work. Plus, I must say that our design team and everyone who takes part in building our brand was very excited about winning this award.
Yeva: Now that we’re almost done with the interview, I am sure our readers are curious to learn more about you. What do you do in your spare time? What motivates you?
I like to fit some sports activities into my daily routines. I cycle and swim quite a lot, and besides work, I am trying to spend as much time with my family and two kids as I can. I like games, fantasy, and sci-fi, and I manage to digest a couple of factual books throughout the year. I am mainly motivated by work that has visible outcomes. At Casino Guru, I can see that what we do has a positive impact on the industry, and even though my projects enter a dead-end phase from time to time, we can always find a new exciting path to reach our goals.
Company: Casino Guru
Interviewee: Šimon Vincze