Don’t mind the gap: QiH’s Jamie Walters on unlocking the affiliate-B2C combination

Picking the right road to travel down is not always easy for an affiliate but QiH knows exactly what it stands for. Dan Kleiner talks with Jamie Walters, QiH CEO, about entering new markets, the company’s big push on technology and how its white-label arm is helping raise the bar for compliance across the business.

If there is one word to sum up what it means to work at QiH, it’s values. QiH classifies itself as a data marketing company and quite literally lives and breathes through its principles. Embracing both chosen values and regulations from gambling regulators in each market, the company not only remains firmly above board but also tries to set the pace for other igaming companies where possible too.

Jamie Walters, CEO of QiH Group, did not start out his professional career in gaming, instead, he trained as a journalist. He joined DMG Media at Metro, working his way up to digital editor before moving to the commercial side. Here, Walters found himself working on a white-label partnership between DMG Media and St Minver in the early 2000s.

“That was my route into gaming and I liked the mathematics of it,” admits Walters. “I got quite into the metrics of the business and started to learn how to do it properly which helped when we launched our own licensed entity within DMG Media called Metro Play”.

Yet, in 2012 DMG Media decided not to carry on with the business, selling it instead to 666Bet in 2014. A year later though, the 666Bet owner was forced into liquidation while Walters decided to start QiH.

It’s been a busy eight and a half years for the CEO, growing the company to a team of 50 with eight affiliate comparison and review sites along with its own in-house white label business. QiH’s affiliate brands currently deliver traffic to 56 UK operators, 12 in the US and 25 B2C brands.


“Our main brands are StrikeWild and PodiumBets in the UK, and in the US it's Bonuses USA and PodiumBets again, which we’re using as a more global brand.”

Walters confirms that there are plans for even more growth in his team, which is currently split between 15 people in London and 35 in Skopje, North Macedonia.

“We were a team of 40 people last year and I expect the number to rise to 60 by the end of 2024,” said Walters. “I’m putting together the budget for next year and that looks like a sensible number we can go for.”

Bilateral benefits

To some, having a white-label operation as well as affiliate brands sounds like a dilemma, presenting internal conflicts to resolve and hard decisions to make, but in reality, the combination brings QiH’s partners “synergies rather than conflict”, says Walters.

“We can adjust our affiliate pricing based on actual data from our white-label operation, so we’re in a stronger position to help operators"

“Operationally, we act as a single business wherever possible because the skillsets are the same in data, marketing and CRM teams,” explains the QiH CEO.

“Our understanding in lifetime value curves comes from our data, so we’re able to build out waterfall models of value delivered over time and then understand what time frame our partners are looking to get paid over,” he adds. “This means we can adjust our pricing accordingly based on actual data we’re getting from our white-label operation, so we’re in a stronger position to help them as we understand the market better.”

The synergy also comes as the company is dedicated to following compliance rules as closely as its operator partners. “We take compliance really seriously because we have to,” the QiH CEO explains. “I think a lot of affiliates don’t have direct exposure to compliance requirements, whereas we back up all of the responsibilities that our white-label partners have as part of our contract otherwise we would be liable for any breaches.”

Another benefit of following compliance rules to the letter is that it enables QiH to get licensed and operate in the US, keeping in line with the company’s focus on regulated markets and presenting growth opportunities.

“It’s where our strength is as a company and the challenge we face with grey markets compared to the US or UK is we’re very strong on paid media activity.”

“A lot of affiliates don’t have direct exposure to compliance requirements, whereas we back up all of the responsibilities that our white-label partners have as part of our contract"

This ultimately means that the likes of Google, Facebook and other big media owners are often impossible to use in grey markets for affiliates choosing to have brands there.

“There appears to be a lot of room for us to grow both in the UK market and in the US states, where we can really use our core capability and stick to our core disciplines,” added Walters.

“We could enter various markets in Europe in the future,” the QiH CEO admitted. “Canada is quite interesting now more states are starting to regulate and the English language makes it easier for us to just move or apply what we’re doing now straight into that territory compared to some other markets.”

People-first culture

On what pushes QiH forwards, the CEO names two key internal drivers that are at the heart of the company’s DNA and its future growth.

“We recruited a new head of HR about 18 months ago from Yum! Brands, one of the biggest global food companies,” Walters said. “That was a big hire for us in terms of getting someone from outside the industry who’s faced similar challenges to what we’re dealing with in terms of having dual centres of operation.”

QiH also found itself up for an unlikely award when looking to improve conditions for its team. The company’s new office in Skopje was nominated for an interior design award and it’s fair to say it caught the CEO off-guard.


“We wanted to invest in the culture and physical space and the new office there looks amazing, everyone kind of just gasped when they first walked in,” Walters admits. “We’ve also just expanded our UK office and redesigned that so we now have this consistent look and feel across both sites.”

“We have a 50% gender split across the business and that’s unusual for this industry”

QiH is also big on rewarding its staff with points to voucher initiatives and strategy sessions abroad, yet also wants to maintain its hard work on diversity which Walters says is crucial to the culture at the company.

“We currently have a 50% gender split across the entire business and that’s quite unusual for this industry,” he explains. “We also have 40% of our leadership team who are female, which we’ve done without positive discrimination or unconscious bias. We just want to recruit the best people for the role.”

Tech push

For the other driver, technology, QiH has invested heavily in the last 18 months, rebuilding its data warehouse for “more accurate and efficient queries, better automated data processing systems and improved data visualisation”.

Not content with that, Walters says that the company has also moved all its web application infrastructure to a new cloud platform, with a bunch of new versions of its sites already live. “The new infrastructure and CRM have really turbocharged our performance across all our marketing channels.”

New products in the pipeline for QiH will likely be further upgrades from its new web platform for existing brands. A mix of new mobile apps is on the way, helping the company expand its content scope even further during the remainder of the year.

Back to The Top