Founder of Quints Roman Bout, “When I Started, no Specialized Information about the Gambling Field was Available and I Had to Extemporize Constantly”

Founder of Quints Roman Bout, “When I Started, no Specialized Information about the Gambling Field was Available and I Had to Extemporize Constantly”

Founder of Quints and co-founder of SupportLAB Roman Bout started his career in gambling from esports and online poker. Having started to make several thousand dollars per month as a player and tried himself in affiliate projects, Roman got interested in the process from the side of operators. By studying on his own, he achieved great success in gambling marketing, working at such companies as Parimatch, UB Gaming, and MSL. Currently, the expert is developing his own business.

Roman told us about his professional path, starting from the very start of the career and to the last successful techniques that Quints implements in products.

“I moved from esports to online poker and later to the online gambling industry”

It was quite a long time ago, approximately in 2006. Online poker was gaining popularity in Russia at that time. I was deeply engrossed in esports. Unbelievable, but esports existed in Russia in 2006. It was very different from the esports we are used to now, though. Just for you to understand, I was a captain of Russian national team in Warcraft 3 and es4x team, the strongest group in the CIS in those years and one of the top 20 teams in Europe. At that time, we thought it to be great luck to sign a sponsorship agreement worth of $100 per month. $100 for the whole team!

Esports had almost no money, so many professional players started to try themselves out in online poker. At that moment, Americans could also be playing poker and for this reason, the play was very pleasant. It was enough to learn tight starting hand charts and place continuation bets rightly in order to play successfully NL100-200 and easily make several thousand dollars by playing.

That is how I moved from esports to online poker and later to the online gambling industry. I got interested in how everything was arranged and worked. At first, I was doing affiliate projects with partners, later I wanted to find out how it all worked on the side of operators and that is how it all started.

As the industry was relatively young, no people in the CIS knew how to do things. Therefore, every day I had to solve some new tasks – a routine of endless exciting challenges. And this atmosphere seized my mind, as it is cool when you can deal with something interesting, constantly work with new information, and earn a living from this thing.

“When I started, no specialized information about the gambling field was available and I had to extemporize constantly”

In fact, everything was rather complicated with information. When I started, no specialized information about the gambling field was available and I had to extemporize constantly. We talked to colleagues, looked for like-minded people that were ready to discuss some professional issues and share their expertise.

You could find some materials on the Internet in English, but they were scarce. There were almost no materials in Russian 10 years ago. In such conditions, the only option was to learn traditional, fundamental approaches in marketing, operation analysis, watch who and how was solving different tasks in the traditional e-commerce, and try to use the obtained information in online gambling. Overall, it was fun.

The most valuable experience is perhaps to learn to think logically and critically in order to be able to make hypotheses regularly, find ways to check them quickly and inexpensively, and then assess obtained results objectively.

In fact, it is a universal recipe for any field not only online gambling. Therefore, when I hire people, I am primarily interested not in their rich life experience but in the ability to quickly orientate themselves in unknown locations and adequately analyze what is going on around them. Today technologies are developing at such a rapid pace that life experience may often turn out to be even destructive rather than simply useless.

“I was practicing acquisition and retention marketing in all forms”

Earlier, when I worked at such companies as Parimatch, UB Gaming, and MSL, I dealt with online projects from the standpoint of marketing and operational activities. My goal was to increase company revenue through the reduction of the customer acquisition cost, increase in the number of new players brought monthly and average bill value of every customer. In general, I was practicing acquisition and retention marketing in all forms.

I can mention one of the latest bright case studies – the story of the impressive ascent of one project. Unfortunately, with a rather sad end. I was added to the project that was on the verge of a shutdown due to poor financial indicators. The task was to revive it. It was a white label brand of an international company, let it be X.

It happened that in around two years, we not simply revived the project but made it develop dynamically, constantly squeezing out a market share from other brands that belonged to the company Х that provided us with software through the white label model. In the end, they initiated the termination of the contract about software supply with us for the reason that their players moved to our white label brand. They dug a hole for themselves, as the saying goes.

“For a long time, I did not dare to quit a well-paid job and plunge into uncertainty”

After 5 or 6 years of work on the side of operators, I wanted to make something on my own. Work for hire allowed me to experience personally what pains companies may have and I got an understanding of how to solve these difficulties with time.

To be frank, for a long time, I did not dare to quit a well-paid job and plunge into uncertainty, where instead of stable incomes, you watch as your savings fade away month by month.

Eventually, we could not arrive at a consensus with my employer in some issues at the end of the year and I decided that it was time to start my own free journey.

“Flexible approach to product customization allowed us to start work with such industry giants as Favorit and Parimatch”

Quints produces software for affiliate marketing and analysis of efficiency of advertising campaigns for major operators. We help them not to go grey when they hear words “API integration with affiliate network” or “postbacks every hour”. For a rather long time, we have been searching and trying to understand why we are unique, how we differ from other solutions and have found ourselves recently.

Now we cater to big companies that want not simply get certain software but to have a possibility to adapt it for their needs continuously. They can talk with software providers for hours concerning how they can adjust some parameters and at the same time, they have total control of their internal security service, what happens to data, who has access to it, etc.

You can come to the store and buy a good suit there. Or you can come to an experienced tailor and get a suit sewed to fit you perfectly. Quints is about the second option. Flexible approach to product customization allowed us to start work with such industry giants as Favorit and Parimatch.

“We have offered the market high quality turnkey customer service outsourcing/outstaffing and it worked”

Things developed quite differently for SupportLAB. My partner Olexander has huge experience in the organization of customer service from A to Z in all popular markets such as customer support and VIP management, telemarketing, organization and automation of advertising campaigns aimed at customer retention. Apart from personal experience, we have a team of professionals. We have offered the market high quality turnkey customer service outsourcing/outstaffing and it worked.

Today a few companies in the market provide such services and specialize in online gambling. And we can do it with high quality and in a consistent manner. We employ around 60 people that provide services in different languages – we mainly cater to European markets. We service nine online casino brands, and six of them use the whole range of our services: customer support, VIP management, development of the marketing strategy aimed at retention, its automation, and realization. Feedbacks are very positive and the average grade of customer service of brands we service on AskGamblers is higher than 9 points.

We arranged a whole structure that can service large holding companies with thousands of active players. We built our own internal training center that allows us to teach people all subtleties of online casino operation in a very short time and to improve the qualification of the personnel constantly. We launched a quality assurance department that regularly monitors communication quality not to catch someone red-handed when he or she makes a mistake but to find out why an error occurred and either change the structure of the training program later or work with the manager individually on his or her blind sides. Overall, we built the infrastructure that allows us to connect even big customers quickly and provide the first-class service.

Unfortunately, now the development does not go as fast as we would like it to, because customer service is the work with the partner’s customer base and most of the partners are very careful and worry that a third-party company may appear to be dishonest, so they are afraid to delegate the customer service. However, time will show – we have an excellent reputation, good feedback from customers, so we are sure that companies will have more trust in SupportLAB with time.

“It happens a person is going deeply into work for a long time, starts doing well, and then he realizes that gambling is not his cup of tea and that he would like to work for Yandex and take out a mortgage”

In my opinion, the biggest difficulty is a very small market of people that are well versed in the theme. I can even say that there is almost no market. It greatly slows down the work in the conditions of active growth when you need to delegate processes to smart people not to bury yourself under routine.

At this moment, it turns out that you can either try recruiting a person from the competing company, which is always not cheap when it comes to first-rate specialists, or take a promising person and immerse him or her into the ongoing things gradually.

However, these difficulties are of the first order, and the farther into the forest, the thicker the trees, as the saying goes. Due to the small market, you will not recruit the desired person in 100% of cases even if your budget is sufficient, because there can be only a few of such specialists.

If we take a promising person, there are risks as well. First, he or she may not cope with tasks. Second, there are cases that are even more unpleasant, when a person is going deeply into work for a long time, starts doing well, and then he unexpectedly understands that gambling is not his cup of tea and that he would like to work for Yandex and take out a mortgage.

Thus, it turns out that one of the most difficult tasks today is to gather a strong team that will not just do their job but also regularly bring successful results.

I would like to believe that soon gambling industry will have a less negative image in the eyes of ordinary people and it will open access to a wider market of first-rate specialists with fundamental knowledge, ability to generate results, who do not want to work in the industry now.

“Our project was understandable for the audience, as we had a transparent traditional business model, product, and results of pilot launches, which allowed us to win”

When Quints won the Gaming Innovation Start-up contest in Macao in 2018, it was an unbelievable experience. In fact, what happened was a series of amazing coincidences. We applied to participate in the contest on the last day when applications were still accepted. Several days before, I had been at the conference in London, where my good friend and I decided to have a drink in the evening. I told him about the contest that required speaking in English and shared my hesitation – I could not decide whether I needed to take the trouble to participate. At that moment, I felt insecure, as I had no experience of public speaking in English.

My friend started teasing me, especially my at times clumsy accent. By doing so, he hurt my pride. I decided that I would not have lost anything if I had just tried. I filled in the application form and sent it.

In a month or so, I received a letter saying, “Congratulations, your project is in the top three and we are inviting you to Macao where you will have to present your project in front of a big audience.” I had a week to prepare. The format of the presentation was non-standard as for such contests – every project had 8 minutes to speak.

I promptly started preparing the presentation, making some plan of what information to give in order to show the main idea of the project and to present it in the best possible way.

I coped quite quickly and there were three days left until the flight. I decided that as I was going to a far-away country, I had to go for a victory and to make myself ready as well as I could. I began to search for specialists that help people prepare for public speaking and found Darya Voronova, a first-class expert that works with the top management of the largest Russian corporations.

And here is where the fun started. Darya thoroughly explained to me that my presentation and speech were dull. I had spoken at conferences many times before that and once again made a presentation of informational nature, which was irrelevant for contests. Overall, we totally remade everything three days before the flight.

On the day of departure, Darya and I met in a café in the center of Moscow and she helped me to highlight key points of my speech, we worked on my intonations, calls to action, etc. It looked very comically – many people came to have lunch and saw a freak going back and forth and talking about gambling in English.

Further, there was a long sleepless flight, final rehearsals, some crazy anxiety before the speech, and announcement of results. Finalists were the following three projects: a marketing service without distinct specialization and a blockchain-based social network for bettors. It seems to me that our project was understandable for the audience, as we had a transparent traditional business model, product, and results of pilot launches, which allowed us to win.

“To develop and improve our product, we use the Customer Development technique based on getting constant feedbacks from customers”

We will keep growing and developing, improving our product from the standpoint of functionality so that it could bring even more benefits to end customers.

Today the market of affiliate marketing is refusing to use the RevenueShare model in favor of CPA. It leads to stricter requirements for the automation of traffic quality assurance, as when you use the CPA model, you can lose bigger sums if you incorrectly assess the incoming traffic: incent traffic, incorrect assessment of LTV in different channels, and many other things that significantly complicate life for marketing specialists.

To develop and improve our product, we use the Customer Development technique based on getting constant feedbacks from customers – both current and potential. It is very cool, as we have no time to think – “what shall we do next?” Customers provide us with plenty of inquiries that require upgrades. Here another question is more likely to arise – “how to manage to do all of it?”

“Gambling will be gradually gaining a better reputation, state regulation will improve, the competition will grow, and the quality of offered products and services will be improving”

It seems to me that gambling will be gradually gaining a better reputation in the CIS. With time, state regulation will improve, the competition will grow, and the quality of offered products and services will be improving. Due to the not quite good economic situation, we do not expect a surge in incomes, but as the audience is steadily growing, I optimistically look to the future. Time will tell.

On September 26, Roman will speak at Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference 2019, where he will share what measures companies should take to remain profitable when they move to the CPA model.


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