Interview with Heleen Lambrecht – Head of Partnerships at clovio

Interview with Heleen Lambrecht – Head of Partnerships at clovio

Interview with Heleen Lambrecht – Head of Partnerships at clovio

AffPapa recently spoke with the Head of Partnerships at clovio, Heleen Lambrecht, who talked about the effects of a royal decree passed in Belgium that restricted gambling ads in the summer of last year and shared her insights on how regulators can ensure the safety of the sector without negatively affecting its growth.

Yeva: To begin our interview, let’s briefly introduce clovio to our readers. What does the company offer and how does it aim to stand out from the competition in the crowded iGaming space?

clovio is an affiliate publisher with various media outlets, sharing the goal of guiding our users toward the best products and services through our expert and user reviews. In the gambling space, our brand Feeling Lucky features online casinos, bookmakers, and poker sites.

What sets us apart from other affiliates is our focus on content. Our team of experts creates extensive reviews detailing the operators’ key aspects. With a standardized format, our readers can easily compare between operators and with the industry standard. We cover the latest casino games, major sports leagues, and soccer matches – and we also clarify the (sometimes overly complicated) bonuses.

Furthermore, we create video content, including 6-minute video reviews going over the operator’s USPs. These videos contribute to the brand’s video SEO results, but more importantly, they increase the time-on-page and conversion rate when embedded on the written review page.

Yeva: The online gambling sector is rapidly expanding all across the globe. Which jurisdictions does clovio target, and which markets does the firm plan to expand to in the near future?

Online gambling is expanding rapidly, with more and more countries regulating the industry. Therefore, we launched Feeling Lucky in the Netherlands at the end of 2023 and are looking towards Brazil for 2024. Currently, Feeling Lucky works in regulated European (Feeling Lucky Belgium, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania, and Hungary) and Latin American (Colombia and Peru) markets.

Yeva: Let’s now focus on one of clovio’s target markets, Belgium. Recently, the country passed a royal decree that banned gambling ads in most places. How do you think this will affect the country’s gambling sector, along with those in the affiliate marketing side of it, in the long term?

In Belgium, a royal decree passed on July 1, 2023, severely restricting gambling advertising. This law bans commercials on TV and posters on the street and restricts sports sponsorships. The key idea behind the decree is that only people specifically looking for gambling information should be able to find it. As an objective and informational third party, the role of affiliates in securing responsible gambling can’t be neglected.

A study from the Gaming Commission (June 2023) shows that only one-third of Belgian young adults can distinguish licensed from unlicensed operators. With less information being available due to this royal decree, we’re concerned that even more gamblers will turn to unlicensed operators. Additionally, among licensed operators, there are important differences regarding customer service, game offers, odds, and more. While the Gaming Commission informs which casinos are licensed, it’s not their role to make a comparison.

Yeva: Closely tying into our last question, how do you think the Belgian authorities can achieve their targets for the safety of the country’s gambling market without significantly affecting the growth of gambling firms in the market?

To safeguard responsible gambling, it’s important to take suitable measures. We’re concerned that simply banning all gambling advertisements can be detrimental to both the safety of the gambling market and the growth of legal gambling firms. Many other countries take measures like limiting the number of risk users (e.g., young adults) and installing a deposit limit. Moreover, to implement a deposit limit correctly, communication is needed between the different online casinos and the gaming commission. In other countries, third-party entities also check on operators and affiliates, or affiliates must also have a license, in addition to the operator’s license.

Yeva: As clovio’s main brand, Feeling Lucky, prides itself on focusing only on regulated gambling markets, how important do you think regulation is for the sector’s continued growth around the world?

Looking at the current trends, we believe that more and more countries will regulate the online gambling market in the future. This regulation presents an opportunity for both affiliates and operators to be active in more markets. Furthermore, authorities allow more marketing methods for brand awareness to legal operators in regulated markets. The regulation also has an impact on gamblers. This legal framework will enable more people to place bets safely and legally, therefore increasing the number of gamblers who can find their way to safe entertainment.

Yeva: One of the side effects of the industry’s rapid international growth is that it is constantly evolving and changing. How does clovio ensure it can continue to maintain its industry position over the long term?

Due to the constant changes, both affiliates and operators need to continuously innovate. While new regulated markets present opportunities, laws restricting advertising pose challenges. To keep up with these changes, it’s important to be diversified in different sectors and markets.

Affiliates also need to develop new, innovative ways to bring content and value to the users of their media brands. For example, we’re active on different social channels and have various video concepts, the latest being TikToks.

Yeva: Let’s bring our interview to a close by changing our focus a bit, as I’m certain our audience would like to learn a bit more about you. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I travel to many parts of the world, representing clovio at affiliate conferences. When I have some extra time there, I enjoy walking around the city and exploring the must-sees. I’m also a travel enthusiast in my time off. When I’m not on the move, you can find me at the cinema, gym, or in Portuguese classes trying to improve my language skills.

Company: clovio
Interviewee: Heleen Lambrecht
Date: 20.02.2024

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