Oren Arizoni, Founder and Director of House Tech Ads Ltd, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam.
Oren Arizoni and the rest of the team of House Tech Ads Ltd focus mainly on SEO traffic. They give importance to responsible gambling and they focus on the user’s experience. Localisation is their forte – follow his story below.
How did House Tech Ads Ltd take off? Is iGaming your only vertical?
House Tech Ads was built on many years of experience in the iGaming sector as affiliate/marketing agency, so when the company was founded it was a bit of a re-branding of our operations which started already around the year 2000, we were among the very first affiliates in the forming industry. As for iGaming, yes, it is indeed our main focused vertical.
Tell us a bit more about your business model, concept, and culture.
Our business model is mainly focused on SEO; however, we are also active in media, PPC, and Apps fields. Within the years, we’ve developed the skills and abilities required to generate traffic from as many sources as possible and one of the most important factors for us is the spread of sources, risk management-wise, which guarantees a stable business for the long term.
Tell us a bit more about your different products and sites.
We have many assets, but our three main assets are: GamblersPick, which is a community driven gaming portal; JackpotsFinder which is a real time jackpot tracker app and website, and OnlineCasinoReports which is a multi-lingual online gambling network.
What sets you apart from other affiliates? What helps make your performance successful? What makes your traffic unique?
In terms of uniqueness, with OnlineCasinoReports we have a presence in over 77 markets worldwide – some of which where we have been active for years. So, we have the know and the tools to successfully operate in these markets, as well as in newer markets – localisation is our forte.
On GamblersPick we are focused mainly on the user’s experience and the entire site is community based and our goal is to cover and include every online casino available to enable users to share their experiences wherever they play and from wherever they play.
What makes your traffic unique?
As already mentioned, we’re focusing mainly on SEO traffic and this means a lot of research and quality content that we tailor for players by their country, preferences, needs, and other aspects.
What importance do you give to responsible gaming?
Responsible gaming is of utmost importance to us, always has been, always will be. We are always looking at ways of bettering the channels in which we can make sure that players game responsibly.
We follow regulations per GEO on a regular basis and make sure we’re compliant with the latest guidelines.
How do you choose your operators? What, in your opinion, is a good business partnership?
I always say that “a long-term partnership always begins by building trust”. When we start working with an operator we make sure we know its people and policies, it’s always important to explain your needs as detailed as possible because not all affiliates have the same needs in terms of deals (one-time like CPA or long term % based commission). After a period of time in which we’ve worked with an operator, we evaluate the partnership by several factors such as traffic value, payments, retention, communication, etc.,’ and if we find a good valued partner we make sure to strengthen and expand our partnership.
Which emerging technologies like AI and big data will impact the affiliate industry in 2021 and beyond?
Virtual reality, augmented reality, newer and better mobile devices, security solutions. It’s hard to predict which one will impact the industry most this year, in my opinion it’ll take beyond 2021 until we’ll see significant changes in the way people play. For example, we’ve seen the first virtual reality casino launched years ago but still today we haven’t seen many operators adopting this technology and making it mainstream. It will take at least 2-3 years until it’ll be a trend.
Can you share the challenges associated with opening a new affiliate business, what were yours when you were just beginning?
Nowadays, in our industry the competition is very tough. I think the biggest challenge to open a steady business is reaching and driving traffic and make your business balanced financially. All the major sources are already crowded with operators and affiliates. The best advice I can give to whoever is thinking of starting an affiliate business is to do research, to start by focusing on a specific source (SEO, Media, PPC, etc.), and to choose specific GEOs to begin with and after seeing some success, duplicate these GEOs to other GEOs or even expand to new sources on the same GEOs.
How can a new affiliate in the market compete with the already established ones?
There is no replacement for hard work and constancy, this is the gambling industry, and an affiliate can find himself from time to time without monthly income which can be due to negative balances, a closure of an operator that generated revenue, etc., so new affiliates should take this into consideration when starting their affiliate business.
In 2021 many markets are properly regulated and the effect of COVID-19 is substantial – what would you suggest to someone starting as an affiliate nowadays?
The trend of regulation and standardization is growing by the day. You must be very well researched and prepared when entering the industry today. You must have a very good understanding of the specific markets which you will target. Regarding COVID-19 – this hasn’t been disrupting the industry too much, on a global scale it’s quite the opposite – industries that rely on “at home” activities have seen growth, with people being home-bound due to the restrictions, so more demand for shopping and entertainment. On the negative side, COVID-19 has brought more regulations and restrictions, thus boosting competition and the very challenge of founding an affiliate business – it demands more time and bigger budgets.
On the regulation side, it is highly advised that you’ll have the ability and flexibility to adapt to the changes and implement them on your assets quickly. For example, the German market will be going through some big changes this summer: Some gambling activities such as Table Games, Live dealers are going to be banned from online casinos which means affiliates whose traffic sources rely on these gambling activities should reorganise their assets/traffic sources to be more Slots oriented, for example.
How should smaller affiliates tackle the subject of regulation differences in the markets they’re aiming for on their own?
The best and prompted advice is to take a local law firm that are experts in the gambling industry, the cost is not high but the effect is crucial since even if you do a good research you may miss some of the details and find yourself none compliant and require to make changes after an investment has been done. And on a regular basis always stay updated and connected to the community, for example, like the GPWA forum and similar.
Can you foresee any growth for the affiliate business industry? Why and by how much?
I believe in the growth of the affiliate business industry; we can see it in our business. In the last 18 months we have seen a steady growth. We have also heard this from many operators and from our partners. Online we see many new affiliates emerging rapidly.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
Like in any other business, it is important for the people who work together to have good chemistry and to be real team workers. Knowledge and expertise are key of course, alongside the ability and will to learn and adapt to new situations, which is something that is always happening the dynamic affiliate world. Also, passion for the trade has never harmed anyone – so it can help.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? SiGMA Europe, Africa, Asia, or Americas — which of these four expo shows would you likely book on your diary for 2021, COVID-19 permitting?
Unfortunately, I have not yet been to any SiGMA event. However, I plan to attend the event in the near future as soon as world-wide pandemic will allow it.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all, business is done with people, not just companies! Your hobbies, favorite book, favorite quote, etc.
You can say that I’m a home-loving person, a full-time dad. I have 3 kids which take most of my free time. My main hobby is playing the guitar (after the kids go to sleep of course). Besides that I love working with wood, I’ve been crafting lots furniture for my kids and my wife by demand.
Favorite quote by King Solomon: “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding./ For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. /She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her./ Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour./ Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”
Favorite book: The trilogy of the Lord of the Rings by . R. R. Tolkien
Favorite movie: The Matrix (trilogy)