Interview with Gamblers Connect’s Dimitri Dimitrov – iGaming Voice by Yeva
In the latest installment of iGaming Voice, AffPapa talked to Dimitri Dimitrov, the SEO Executive of GamblersConnect, who talked about what affiliates can do to stand out from the competition in the crowded gambling market and shared his insights on how the firm uses SEO techniques to grow while maintaining regulatory compliance.
Yeva: As the iGaming industry is expanding at pace, competing in it is getting more and more challenging every day. What do you think makes Gamblers Connect stand out from other affiliates?
Gamblers Connect stands out from the competition due to two main factors: authenticity and trustworthiness. To be more specific, we are constantly finding new ways to impact the industry in a positive manner and nurture a website that will immediately strike you visually, yet more importantly, with its high-quality content. At the same time, Gamblers Connect is known for fostering exceptional communication with our partners and collaborators, and this also translates to the relationship with our players, where we put special emphasis on providing them with the best service and the most diverse and transparent iGaming content on the internet.
Yeva: GamblersConnect recently won the News Affiliate of the Year award at AffPapa iGaming Awards 2023, and was shortlisted at the SBC Barcelona Awards 2023 as a Casino Affiliate of The Year, for which I would like to congratulate you and the company, Dimitri! In your view, how important are various awards in achieving success in the gambling sector?
First of all, thank you very much, it truly means a lot. Well, I’m not gonna lie, winning an award does feel good and definitely adds fuel to the motivation fire, considering that it is one of the ultimate recognitions that you are actually doing something good. I believe that each and every accolade that we or any other member of the iGaming industry gets, whether it is just a nomination or winning an award, is very important and highly beneficial because it increases the value of your brand and puts you on the map. And considering the fierce competition in every vertical of the industry, awards and nominations are definitely one of the easiest ways to break out on the scene.
Yeva: GamblersConnect offers its readers a wide variety of content, such as news articles, casino and slot reviews, and others. Which one of these is the most popular with the website’s audience?
Believe it or not, it is our somewhat newly integrated demo slots section, where you can play up to 10,000 online slots for free. Similar to the free play slots, the majority of our audience visits the casino reviews and the casino guides, being that those are the two sections that offer the best insight and knowledge into online casino gambling, which is the essence of our website. Also, I have to say that our responsible gambling section is also up there along with the most visited pages, considering that we put special emphasis on this particular department.
Yeva: As the importance of responsible gambling gets more emphasis in the iGaming industry every day, what steps does GamblersConnect take to make sure its readers can enjoy the pastime in a safe and responsible setting?
Simply put, the responsible aspect of gambling is our top priority here at Gamblers Connect. Not only do we cultivate a dedicated responsible gambling section where our audience can obtain life-saving knowledge on how to gamble responsibly, but we also recently introduced a groundbreaking innovation that can truly reshape the industry for the better and motivate casinos to improve their policy on responsible gambling. We are talking about our Responsible Gambling Index, a scoring system that consists of 12 safer play tools and features that all of the online casinos we promote must possess. Depending on how many of these responsible gambling tools they offer, they then get a grade from 1-5, with 1 being Poor and 5 being Exceptional. Those casinos that manage to get an Exceptional score will also receive the GamblersConnect Exceptional Badge, which will stand as a testament to their dedication to nurturing a safe and conscious gambling environment.
Yeva: Which jurisdictions does GamblersConnect focus on the most? As the industry is rapidly expanding all across the globe, which markets do you think hold the most potential for gambling companies, Dimitri?
Considering that we have partners from all corners of the globe, we are truly an international affiliate. However, our main targets are the UK, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Germany, and India.
And to answer the second question, any market that is properly regulated and has the manpower to sustain itself. I believe that in the future iGaming will become a tightly regulated environment, especially in jurisdictions such as Europe and North America. It is just too big of a market with too much potential for governments to leave it unregulated for too long. Even Asian countries are starting to rewrite their outdated gambling laws in order to get on the iGaming bandwagon, with the Philippines being one of the best examples of this trend.
Yeva: Many iGaming affiliates heavily rely on SEO to drive traffic to their websites. How do you approach optimizing your content to ensure high visibility in search engine rankings, while also complying with the strict regulations and guidelines surrounding iGaming promotions?
Gamblers Connect is proud to say that we run our website on pure SEO to drive traffic. True, it does take a bit longer compared to some other more unconventional methods, but in the long run is far more effective than paying for campaigns that will only bring a momentary influx of traffic. As for the strict regulations, I’ll be honest, it does impose a certain challenge. However, once you get a grip on how each jurisdiction operates and what is the particular SEO for each of the countries we cover, it becomes much easier to master the craft and battle for the top rankings on Google.
Yeva: As the SEO Executive of GamblersConnect, what do you like the most about your position? What do you think is the most challenging part of leading an iGaming affiliate’s SEO team?
The thrill of competing, no doubt. We all know that Google constantly shuffles the rankings, especially after an update, and for me, this is both highly challenging and insanely motivating. It is difficult to fight with the top dogs, sure. But the bigger the challenge, the more you are willing to sacrifice, the more knowledge you obtain, and consequently, the bigger the reward at the end. Additionally, I like being part of a tight-knit team of like-minded individuals who made it our sole mission since day one to make it from scratch.
Now, the most challenging part of my position is teaching inexperienced, i.e. new members of the team about the company’s rule of thumb and getting them to learn that staying up-to-date with everything that Google changes on a daily basis is quintessential for our pure SEO way of work. It is important to convey that knowledge in a friendly yet professional manner, which I have found is a formula that works perfectly. Even I learn something new from the team on almost a daily basis, because everyone contributes equally and brings something valuable to the table, which is what teamwork is all about.
Yeva: What expansion plans does GamblersConnect have for the long-term future? Where would you like to see the company in about a decade?
As long as we are all healthy and well, Gamblers Connect will continue growing at the same fast pace as it did until now. We definitely have huge plans for the future, some of which I can’t disclose at the moment due to their sensitive nature. However, I will say this: keep your eyes glued to Gamblers Connect in the upcoming months, because we are planning something new and exciting.
In 10 years I see Gamblers Connect as an iGaming behemoth ranking among the top 3 casino affiliates in the industry, for sure. And I’m not even being cocky or overconfident, It’s just that when you see how we started and where we come from, and compare that to where we are now and what we achieved in just 2,5 years, our success is nothing short of impressive and inspiring. It only tells me that as long as we keep working with the same undying dedication and we proceed with this winning mentality and core team, then we can definitely conquer the iGaming affiliate realm.
Yeva: If you weren’t in the gambling industry, what do you think you would be doing for work, Dimitri? Additionally, what do you like doing in your spare time outside of work?
That’s a good one. To be honest, I have a knack for languages and I am passionate about philanthropy. If I didn’t do what I’m currently doing I would probably be somewhere on a sailboat helping marine animals, or in some remote country teaching the locals English and generally helping with day-to-day chores.
And as to what I do in my spare time, it really depends on my mood. With that being said, the thing I do most frequently, on a daily basis, is exercise and spend time in the forest that is just about 5 minutes walking distance from where I live. I call it my second home haha I also enjoy watching classic movies, eating good food with my favourite people, occasionally reading a Tom Clancy/Robert Ludlum novel, travelling, and walking my dog Ripley.
Interviewee: Dimitri Dimitrov