This November, SiGMA will have the pleasure of hosting Malta’s largest gaming exhibition and 2017 takes the cake as the biggest one yet. Eleven conferences and a large sold out floor plan are bringing a multitude of people this year so expect a crowd at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre from the 22nd-25th of November. Main executives and exhibitors showcasing here will include of Mr. Green, Blexr, Bet365, William Hill, Better Collective, Poker Stars, Catena Media, Malta Gaming Authority, Cherry, Microgaming, XLMedia, Ladbrokes, and many, many more.
Amongst the lavish networking dinners and appealing conferences that will be taking place throughout the week, an exciting startup pitch will be drawing eyes and attention for the second year in a row. After a successful first run in 2016, SiGMA’17 is coming back with sixty startups and several investors all under one roof. All sixty startups will be awarded with a booth at SiGMA, invitations to networking events, SiGMA PR, free office space to use at SiGMA’s Gaming Hub, as well as free consultancy and potential leads from leading industry veterans. However, only ten of these innovative startups will have the chance to present their pitch to a panel of investors. In a Dragon’s Den-like environment, each startup will have three minutes to present their project. Following the pitch, a Q&A session will allow the investors and the audience to get involved.
Of the investors, Morten Klein Founder and Chairman of Klein Group will be sharing his intelligence as “one of the 50 most significant people in the world within the gambling industry.” Klein Group consists of a group of companies with different investments within the iGaming industry, e-commerce, real estate and venture companies.
Another significant mind, present at the Startup Pitch will be Carla Maree Vella, CEO/COO of Optimizer Invest. With ten years of experience in online marketing and five years in iGaming, Vella’s entrepreneurial drive serves her well and her opinion will be strongly valued on the investor panel.
Another businesswoman on the panel of investors will be American entrepreneur, Julie Meyer. Meyer is the Founder and CEO of Ariadne Capital as well as Managing Partner at the Ariadne Capital Entrepreneurs (ACE) Fund, Ariadne Ecosystem Economics™ Fund and the Founder of EntrepreneurCountry.
In addition, we will have the pleasure of seeing innovator, Mark Blandford, considered by many to be one of the founders of the developed online gaming industry. Blandford was the owner of a betting shop chain when the Internet began proving its potential. In 1998, he launched his first interactive betting service from Alderney and was one of the first to see the significance and growth potential in online gaming.
Entrepreneur, Robin Reed, has a real heart for startups and will take a place on the investor panel at SiGMA this year. Together with Frode Fagerli, Reed founded Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) in 2008. As a rapidly growing technology business, the Group offers cutting-edge Cloud based services and Performance Marketing through its three B2B products.
Another investor, Simon Collins, is Founder of both Gaming Realms and Cashcade Ltd. and will be scrutinizing the startups at this year’s lineup. Gaming Realms is a bingo based consumer preposition, which publishes and licenses next-generation mobile gaming content. Similarly, Cashcade Ltd is an online bingo focused gaming business.
Roger Walker, a Partner with Partis Solutions, provides direct support to board execs and corporate development teams from some of the largest gaming industry operators and investors and will be offering his support to the lucky ten startups this year. Walker’s clients range from publically listed £multi-billion operators and B2B suppliers, investment banks, private equity/venture capital houses to smaller private firms and early stage entrepreneurial start-ups.
Industry expert, Ory Weihs will have a seat on the panel as one of the investors analyzing the startups at SiGMA. As one of the Founders and the CEO of XLMedia Group, he is responsible for business development and strategy, focusing on technical abilities and expanding the Group’s reach.
Rickard Vikström, Founder and Chairman of Polarbear Group, works with sales and product development and will also be critiquing in this year’s Startup Pitch. Vikström is no stranger to starting a company as he has founded and sold several in the last decade. He will be a strong force in the panel of investors this year.
There is still time to get your foot in the door if you wish to attend. For more information on the show or to book your tickets, please log in to www.maltaigamingsummit.com or send an email to [email protected].
Affiliate Grand Slam 3.0 Lands in Hong Kong
Find your ideal Asian partners
The Affiliate Grand Slam has established itself as a key networking event on the iGaming calendar – and the event is now heading East. Brought to you by the same team behind SiGMA, Affiliate Grand Slam 3.0 is going to Hong Kong for its first foray into the Asian market.
After the breakout success of AGS events in Tallinn and Bucharest, operators looking for Asian traffic will have the opportunity to interact with affiliates who are prolific in that market, in an event tailored to making connections happen.
Affiliate Grand Slam 3.0 will feature a carefully selected, elite group of operators and up to 200 of the best affiliates Asia has to offer. Location and timing are also ideal – AGS 3.0 will take place in Hong Kong from May 17th to 19th. That’s hot on the heels of the G2E in Macau, only a short ferry ride away.
No other event offers a more streamlined experience – we match quality presentation with a fun, relaxed environment that makes for ideal networking. Operators with an innovative streak and products ready for Asia are welcome to apply. Engage with Asia’s key actors in the most relevant networking event in the business by contacting [email protected]
For more information visit http://affiliategrandslam.com/
Affiliate Managers under interrogation by GAV: Anna-Maria Arakelian, Affiliate Manager at Portomasolive.com
In our newest Affiliate Managers under interrogation you can get to know Anna-Maria, Affiliate Manager at Portomasolive.com
Name: Anna-Maria Arakelian
Hometown: Varna, Bulgaria
Living in: Sliema, Malta
Favorite Food: Raspberries
Must Read Book: Agatha Christie – Poirot (all of them)
Affiliate Manager at: Portomasolive.com
GAV: Hello Anna, first of all, tell us and our readers a bit about yourself. How did your career start in the industry? What determined you to engage in this activity and start working at Portomaso Affiliates?
Annie: Hello, I am Annie I am 27 years old and I come from the sea capital of Bulgaria – Varna. About me I can say that I am positive, ambitious and communicative. A little bit more than a year ago I didn’t know that iGaming exist, but I was in love with marketing and I knew, that this is what I want to do. Then I found a job in an affiliate company and on day one I felt that iGaming is what I want. I had a team leader who was very experienced and smart, he thought me everything about the iGaming business and helped me with understanding how the business works from the core, and I am very grateful about that. I was dreaming to become an Affiliate manager, so I started applying, for me it was really big challenge, because I’ve never thought that I will have to move from Bulgaria, I’ve been on an internship in Belgium, but it was only for three months. Portomaso Gaming came in my life, by offering me the dream job, I accepted immediately, I moved to Malta ten days after I got my acceptance letter and now here I am – in Portomaso Tower in St.Julians’s in Malta building the future of PortomasoLive.com with the incredible team, that I am part of.
GAV: Portomaso Affiliates is the affiliate program for PortomasoLive.com online casino. What do you think is the key aspect that affiliates appreciate regarding your affiliate program?
Annie: Portomasolive.com is unique, because it is owned by Portomaso Gaming which owns a product live casino, we stream directly from the two land based casinos owned by the company. Regarding affiliates, the key aspect is that we are open to offer them different promotions, marketing materials, demos, etc. We aim high, and we want to have trustworthy partners to help us walking the path from a new casino to a successful and winning brand.
GAV: Could you fill us in on your current offer for affiliates and maybe a brief description of your program?
Annie: We just launched our affiliate programme along with the online casino, and I would be happy to tell you more. Portomasolive.com is the diamond in the crown on Portomaso Gaming. The company that owns Portomasolive.com is very big, as I mentioned earlier, two land-based casinos, product Live Casino (streamed directly from the two casinos). The company was 100% focused on B2B, but now with the online casino we aim to build brighter future for Portomaso Gaming. We would like to thank to our partners from NetRefer who provided us with a great affiliate platform. We want to make the work with affiliates clear, simple and fun of course. We can offer many and different promotions to our affiliates including ones involving live casino games. Also, I am happy to announce that we can offer to our affiliates up to 45% Revenue share!
GAV: What markets does Portomaso Affiliates target, and what makes it stand out in the ever growing crowd of casino affiliate programs?
Annie: We decided to start with DACH and Swedish markets, this is because we believe, that they are successful and wining markets. As I said this is just for beginning, in future we plan to step into UK and the rest of the Nordic countries. As I mentioned before, Portomasolive.com has its own live casino product and as the interest to live casino is growing, we have the advantage to explore and expand more with promotional campaigns for the casino in general and exclusively for affiliates.
GAV: Since the London Affiliate Conference is almost here, we would like to ask your opinion on this event, are you guys attending these conferences or are you going to be in London? How about the other affiliate conferences and the Nordic Affiliate Conference?
Annie: iGB – the company that organizes those events is very professional in my opinion, I already have been in Berlin for BAC in 2017 and I was impressed with the way that event was organized. I will attend London Affiliate Conference, but from the team of Portomasolive.com it will be only me, because big part of the team is going to attend ICE- Totally Gaming. I look forward to meeting the future partners of Portomasolive.com. Our focus now is LAC, because we need to start building our relationships with Affiliates.
GAV: Where do you think the online casino industry will be in 3 years, and of course, on which scale do you see Portomaso Affiliates?
Annie: Three years is a very long time, and the iGaming industry is dynamic and changing every day, but in a good way. I believe more markets will move towards re-regulation and it is natural for a company like ours to pursue those opportunities. Even if it means that the tax costs are going to be higher for us, it also enables us to reach out to larger audience. About Portomasolive.com I see it as a popular brand, that players know and trust, expanded and respected online casino with high acquisition and great conversion.
GAV: Tell us a bit about your team?
Annie: Of course! My team is incredible it is made of people who are positive and ambitious. We are currently about 40 people working for the online casino and each of us is aiming high. I am quite new, I started working here four months ago, but I was accepted very well, I easily became part of the team, because the people working here made me feel comfortable. Also, I find something really important here – the support that we give to each other as a team, because no matter how many ideas you have or how strong and ambitious you are, if your team doesn’t support you, it will be hard to achieve your goals, I am lucky to be part of team who supports me. I was very nicely surprised when I saw the synergy in the team, everything is so well organized, and everyone is professional, so I really enjoy how the work goes smoothly, dynamic and fast.
GAV: Since Central and Eastern Europe offers a large pool of successful affiliates in the industry, do you think that this region is somehow overlooked by brands that are not applying for licenses in the demographic and are there many super-affiliates that you manage coming from this region?
Annie: I am happy to see that Central and Eastern Europe are developing business in the field of iGaming. Right now, we are focused to build strong relationships with affiliates, it doesn’t matter if they are super-affiliates or small ones. For us, every serious business partner is valuable.
GAV: Do you have any advise you would like to offer to newbies who are looking to venture into this great industry!?
Annie: Never ever give up! If you have a dream follow it, be ambitious and always keep in mind that iGaming makes the dreams about career come true!
GAV: Who is your favorite celebrity and if you’d have to a pick a destination in Eastern Europe, where would you travel?
Annie: That’s easy – Alex Turner of course! He is part of the UK band “Arctic Monkeys”, he has amazing voice and the songs of the band are awesome. Eastern Europe, this is tricky one, because the first thing coming to my mind is to say Varna, Bulgaria as it is my home, but if I have to pick different destination in Eastern Europe I would say the Dracula’s castle in Romania, I think it would be awesome experience!
GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel?
Annie: One thing that I love to do is to travel, there is no place in the world that I wouldn’t like to visit. Every place has its own history, beauty and culture that I would love to explore.
GAV: Tell us your opinion about GAV(GamblingAffiliateVoice.com)?
Annie: I follow and read the articles posted in GAV, because I really like to be informed about the things that are happening in iGaming and what people in the industry think about that and GAV provides us with that kind of information, for which I can say a big thank you, keep up doing what you are doing, you guys are great
XLMedia purchases websites from Good Game
XLMedia has brokered a deal to acquire a number of Finnish gambling related informational websites from Good Game.
The agreement is worth up to €15m ($18.4m) and is set to go through before the end of the first quarter.
The acquisition comprises a network of gambling-related websites, focused on web and mobile traffic, specialising in casino games and providing information such as reviews of online casinos, promotions and payment solutions.
XLMedia said the purchase represents a “further revenue enhancing addition to the group’s website portfolio”, adding that it expects to complete full integration within the first six months of the current year.
Ory Weihs, chief executibe of XLMedia, added: “As we develop our business, we continue to capitalise on the infrastructure we have built, and take opportunities to expand further through acquisitions.
“With our current network, technology and sector expertise, the additional assets will be integrated easily into our operation, adding to our strong base of assets and recurring revenues.
“We are seeing good opportunities to buy additional assets in our key verticals, and we plan to continue acquiring domains and websites as part of our ongoing growth strategy.”
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