iGaming Voice by Yeva – Mr. Gamble
In a recent extensive interview with AffPapa, Silver Portugov from Mr.Gamble explained the success behind the Twitch platform and how it feeds into the customers’ satisfaction, and sheds light on the importance of having a good reputation in the industry.
Yeva: How did you first start in the affiliate industry? What were the initial challenges?
My career in the gambling industry actually started in 2014, working for Aspire Global in the customer support team. After 6 months of intense learning, I got promoted to the VIP department. I’ve continued working for other large operators after that, such as Hero Gaming and Casumo, where I managed VIP customers from Finland and Canada mainly.
Earlier in 2020, I was contacted by a friend of mine who personally knows the founders of Mr.Gamble. Shortly after, I was interviewed by Jonas Kyllönen who is the Co-Founder and CMO of Mr.Gamble. I really liked their approach to the industry and the vision for the future of Mr.Gamble, so I made up my mind right away.
I´ve been working with Mr.Gamble since the beginning of April 2020, and I think the biggest challenge for me was just trying to shift my mindset from VIP to NDC.
Yeva: Do you think that affiliates are superior to operators? If yes, what makes affiliates superior to operators, and why?
Definitely not! I think both affiliates and operators are at an equal level in a business partnership.
Yeva: What is the key to a successful affiliate business?
I think this stays the same as in pretty much any other sales orientated business – putting the client first. That’s what I learned well from the casino operator side as well. No matter our personal opinions, businesses thrive when customers are satisfied. Mr.Gamble has done a great job by also highlighting the cons of casinos, so customers can get the best view before joining the new brand.
Yeva: What approach would you suggest to operators in the beginning stages of a partnership?
Think long-term! Think of something attractive for the customers, something that’s also sustainable for both parties in the long-term. Once we have managed together to pull in the first deposits, it’s easier for a casino operator to continue the customer journey on their brand. Depending on the different markets there should also be different offers. For example a no deposit bonus for the Canadians and UK players.
Yeva: Has Covid19 had any impact/effect on your business?
We’ve seen no major impact on the revenue side. We just had to take care of our staff, and for everyone’s safety, we worked from home for a couple of weeks. Luckily the whole system is built in a way that everyone can work remotely if needed.
Yeva: What are the main differentiating aspects of your affiliate business?
We strongly emphasize responsible gaming. It’s very convenient to inform our customers about the importance of Responsible Gambling, especially through a platform such as our famous Finnish Twitch channel. We also offer greater visibility for the brands that tick all the boxes when it comes to RG features. I think it’s very important nowadays in the gambling industry to keep your customers safe. We also help out when there are issues with delayed payments – always there for the customers.
Yeva: Which are your strongest markets? Are you planning on expanding your scope?
Mr.Gamble started the journey in Finland and it’s still our main market at the moment. Earlier this year we started to pay more focus to Canada and the UK, and we’re already gaining ground there. We also have big plans for Q1 2021 – we are entering the US and also India. Keep an eye on us as interesting things are coming up very soon!
Yeva: How important is it to build a community within the business? Are you trying to be friends with your customers?
Our reputation in the industry is what made us so successful. We are in good contact with our customers and especially throughout our Twitch channel where we can talk to them in real-time. Customer satisfaction is something we take very seriously.
Yeva: Are you planning to become an operator at some point in the future? Please explain why in the case of both negative and positive answers.
Definitely not, that‘s not something we have in mind for the future. Seeing all the work with AML and Responsible Gaming issues together with licenses and compliance teams… it’s not something we are keen to take on our shoulders. I feel we have much greater success being out there as an affiliate.
Yeva: Are you planning on integrating more technological solutions in the future?
Definitely, we are all into technology and think that that’s the future in the gaming business overall. We have interesting features coming up in early 2021, so technology is definitely something that makes you stand out from the rest.
Yeva: Do you have any advice for people who are just starting in the iGaming industry?
I would personally recommend a similar journey to what I’ve had in the iGaming business. I think starting from the lower positions gives you a better understanding of the customer needs, therefore you can build your base around it. Doesn’t matter if you work for an affiliate or casino operator or maybe even the game provider. In 2021 there is a high growth in game providers which is the “new trend” I would say.
Yeva: Tell us about your biggest lesson learned throughout your journey.
Coming back to the customer’s satisfaction again, and my VIP experience: I think it’s more like a general lesson to just pay extra care to your client. Where it’s then an operator or the customer itself, just get to know them more than usual. For the long-term partnership, this always pays off. You can also use the same skills with your teammates for better collaboration.
Yeva: What are your main
priorities regarding business in the upcoming year?
Opening up also outside of the European markets. We already started the business with the Canadian market but there is also the U.S.A on our radar!
Yeva: You are running a Twitch stream on a daily basis, how big of an impact does it have on the business?
Twitch is a very reliable market source to us since we use it daily. We are the most viewed slot Twitch channel in Finland, and it’s a great tool to use to send out all sorts of promotional material for thousands of viewers every day.
Yeva: Tell us a bit about yourself as a person. What are your hobbies? How much time do you spend on your project on average?
I’m actually a freelance photographer, interested in beauty and fashion especially.
I also like to work out at the gym and whenever it’s possible I go cycling in the forest. All the other time is spent on building Mr.Gamble.
Company: Mr. Gamble
Interviewee: Silver Portugov