Q&A: Chris Evans, Bitcoin gambling guide
Published 2nd August 2014
What was your background prior to becoming a bitcoin gambling affiliate, and how did you get started?
I’ve been involved in the online marketing business for more than 11 years now. I used to consult to several startups and media buying agencies and worked with online casino operators, as well as building and selling traffic websites to mainstream and gambling clients on a part-time basis. Ever since the first bitcoin arrived on my desk in early 2012, I decided to invest in it, learn about it and try to monetise it via my businesses.
During this time, I combined this with a full-time job for DHL Australia. At the moment, I’m working with some other affiliates on building a new platform source with one of the biggest software providers in the bitcoin casino space. In addition, I have my own project called the Bitcoin Gambling Guide, bitcoingg.com, the largest bitcoin casino review site.
How does the revenue model work compared to traditional online gambling affiliation?
Bitcoin affiliates are not gambling affiliates, so they don’t know much about the potential in this area. It’s only recently that long-term casino affiliates started to market bitcoin casinos, and discovered that the numbers are completely different. The basic model is actually the same, with most operators offering rev share. However, the problem is that they generally offer only 5-10%, maximum 15% rev share, compared with to 40-45% in the online casino space. Only a few operators offer CPA.
Do you have to get paid in bitcoins?
Since it’s the bitcoin market, operators and affiliates prefer and have no problem with paying and getting paid in bitcoins. Some can still offer USD and EUR payments. At the end of the day, no-one will say “no” to old-fashioned currencies
What are your main strategies for getting players, and in which ways do these differ from the traditional space?
Strategies are similar to the online casino space - we all work on SEO, PPC, media buy, forums marketing, etc - but you need to remember that bitcoin is more than just a payment method: it’s an ecosystem. Within this, you can find startups, technologies, experts, mega wallets and exchanges and much more. Each of the non-gambling niches inside of bitcoin have something important in common, which is that all of their fans have bitcoin accounts.
Bitcoin casinos are not yet regulated in the same way as traditional casinos. How do you work with this environment and decide which sites to drive traffic to?
That’s not entirely true, since several operators hold Curacao licences, just like online casinos. Similarly, players usually look for reviews and comments regarding each brand and will always seek the best bonus to play with. It’s more common for players to make small deposits 0.02 BTC in a brand and immediately try to withdraw. This way, both affiliates and players can build trust in the brand, since the BTC is an immediate transaction. Scammers and bad brands who do not pay out are getting closed on a daily basis due to the market movement.
Similarly, the prevailing view is that the lack of conventional regulation means bitcoin casinos and their owners can be less reliable and less accountable than in the online casino space. What’s your experience here?
This is also not true. In order to succeed in the space you need to build a brand by establishing high levels of trust and reliability among players, affiliates, media sources and the bitcoin community. We are now seeing some main brands in the industry which have spent enough time in the market to achieve this, such as Playcoincasino, Anonibet, Betchain and others.
How competitive is the space compared to traditional online casino affiliation? Do opportunities still exist for new entrants with the right skill sets?
The market is young and the potential is still there. There are lots of small niches to go into like poker, dice, lottery, etc. There are also lots of other markets to work on, many brands to work with and many other crypto currencies to use.
What advice would you give to affiliates looking at diversifying into this space?
Be unique. Each new affiliate can bring something new to the market, whether via a different approach or website design, or innovative way of presenting information. We are focused on differentiating bitcoingg. com by presenting info about bitcoin gambling brands in as transparent, clear and easy-to-access manner as possible. The comments we get from our players are very positive, and show we are on the right path with this project.