Post release 2018

Brand is more important than software for online casinos: results of Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference

Ukraine’s first event dedicated to affiliate marketing and iGaming, Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference, took place on November 15. The organizer is Smile-Expo, an international company that has already held events in 24 countries.

The conference brought together 350 affiliate managers, webmasters, SEO specialists, arbitrage managers, gaming operators, and many other industry representatives. Speakers included 16 experts in social media promotion, SEO, affiliate programs, and legal issues. There were guests from both Ukraine and other countries such as Germany, Israel, and Russia.

What did participants discover, and how did the event turn out?

Legal advice: what is the point of a company abroad?

The conference was opened by Viacheslav Ustimenko, an expert in legal consulting at global IT, fintech, and gambling companies and CEO at LAWBOOT. He told attendees where to register a company for the affiliate program and why GDPR was a significant aspect for iGaming company operations.

“Many of us are registered as Scottish and British partnerships. It’s time to stop this trend. As far as I know, only Latvian banks keep working with them. You can continue to follow this method if you want your account be blocked some day. If you don’t, LP and LLP partnerships are no longer legal solutions. If you need a reliable banking account, change LP for Hong Kong,” Viacheslav Ustimenko mentioned.

How to become top 1 in iGaming requests: presentations by SEO experts

SEO specialists introduced a lot of case studies. The audience livened up when the stage was taken by Victor Karpenko, an expert in promotion within the most highly competitive niches in the USA and CEO at SeoProfy. He talked about his experience in website promotion. The speaker has explained why it is important to critically evaluate the selection of request you are going to apply in order to reach the top 1 position and has shown by a funny example why iGaming is a quite promising niche in the CIS countries.

“The coolest situation was the following: last year, a link building seminar in Vienna, 10 a.m. We were in the kitchen, talking in English: “Hey man, where are you from?” and so on. Suddenly, I heard “I’m from Nikolayev”.

As it turned out later, five of ten people attending the seminar were either from Ukraine or from Russia. In fact, the majority of affiliates and those promoting the niche are in the CIS countries and pretend to not know each other,” Victor Karpenko said.

How to choose an affiliate program: webmasters’ secrets

Webmasters also shared their secrets. Vladimir Luchaninov, the Head of Acquisitions at Firelink Media, told the audience what to take into account while choosing an affiliate program, what risks could be faced, and how to avoid them.

“Shaving is worse than closing of affiliate program. For instance, when you earn $1000 but the statistics shows only $500. In this case, not only do affiliate programs charge 50% of each deposit, but they also find high rollers (their number is not quite huge, but they can bring up to half of earnings). Affiliate programs exclude them from the account. As the result, you examine the funnel up to the amount of players: you are okay, everything coincides, but money is absent for some reason.

It’s bloody difficult to combat this. One of the ways out is to become a high roller occasionally and check what is happening with these players,” Vladimir Luchaninov recommends.

Conclusions made by panel discussion participants

The issue of affiliate program operations was continued at the panel discussion. It involved:

  • Levon Nikoghosyan (discussion moderator): CEO at the EveryMatrix branch and in its subsidiary – PartnerMatrix, a specialist in affiliate and agency programs;
  • Mikhail B.: Head of Affiliates at Zodiacu online casino;
  • Nik Rudenko: Chief Marketing Officer at FavBet, an expert in efficient brand and budget management;
  • Danil Kuprin: Co-Founder of Cash-Mates marketing agency, an affiliate marketing expert;
  • Johannes Nordholm: Head of Business Development at, a platform for affiliate program management; one of the pioneers in Scandinavian affiliate marketing.

Experts discussed the ways of attracting affiliates to your own affiliate program, the importance of affiliate reputation, and the role of player’s emotional state in this cooperation.

“I had traffic from Sweden at one time. I asked guys about their CPA and they answered “400 EUR”. At the same time, I cooperated with the company operating on the market for a long time with a pretty high brand awareness. Its CPA cost 175 EUR. So, I obtained much better results due to the brand awareness: I earned more using smaller СРА. Do not chase after tools; it is not the most crucial aspect. Brand is more important than software for online casinos,” Nik Rudenko summed up.

Meanwhile, guests were impressed by the venue – TAO Event Hall. A lot of them stressed a cozy and pleasant atmosphere of the platform, which created favorable conditions for networking.

Participants discussed hot issues and established a lot of new contacts in between speakers’ presentations, during coffee breaks, and during lunch. Moreover, very few people left even at the end of the event: some of them kept talking to speakers, while others went to the private party.

Private party

To end the fruitful day on a positive note, Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference invited guests to the afterparty allowing participants to communicate with their colleagues in informal surroundings. The private party of Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference engaged representatives of such companies as:

  • ROX Partners: Rox Casino’s affiliate program;
  • FAVBET: a betting company with 19 years of experience in the betting industry;
  • PENTASIA: a company specializing in staff assistance and recruitment;
  • PARIMATCH: a betting shop;
  • Admitad: Ukraine’s largest CPA network for traffic monetization;
  • MGID: a pioneer in the affiliate program sector, providing individual solutions to advertisers, webmasters, and online shops.

Smile-Expo expresses its gratitude to sponsors and media partners for assisting in the organization of Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference and looks forward to seeing participants in 2019!