Livecasinokings.com is an informational hub for live casino enthusiasts in and outside of India. The website provides consumers with information about the do’s and don’ts when gambling online, where to find the safest and best casinos and how to play all the different games you find in a casino. This lucrative industry is making waves in India and we decided to have a talk with an affiliate marketing agency about their background, success in India and the current and future state of online gambling industry in the country.
In this article, we are interviewing Arvid, the PR (Public Relationships) manager of LiveCasinoKings. Arvid is from Sweden and has a Bachelor of Communications from Stockholm University. After he graduated in 2009 he moved to the iGaming mecca, Malta, a small island in the Mediterranean where he has worked in various positions in iGaming companies. He finally managed to settle in a position with LiveCasinoKings matching his university degree. At LCK, he coordinates all public relations activities, creating and maintaining favorable partnerships with key marketing channels and helping out with various operational tasks in true start-up fashion.
For those who don’t know, how does casino affiliation work?
A good way to describe casino affiliation or affiliate marketing in general for that matter is to compare it to Tripadvisor.com. Tripadvisor doesn’t operate any hotels, or airlines and they don’t conduct any sightseeing tours – they only advertise hotels and attractions. They present their users and visitors with the best hotels and attractions and allow people to find and subsequently book a room or purchase tickets for what they are looking for. Tripadvisor makes money from this by advertising and collecting booking fees from tours and hotels. Casino affiliates work very much in the same way. We present our visitors with different online casinos and guide them in finding the one that suits their needs the best. When a visitor signs up to a casino, deposits money and starts playing we take a percentage of what the customers spend in that casino.
How did you get started with affiliate marketing?
Before I joined LCK I didn’t have any specific experience working for an affiliate marketing company, what I had was the experience working with the products and services that were being marketed, I knew the end-customers very well and I had a Public Relations degree. They (the founders of LCK) were looking for someone to focus on communication and relationships with partners and media relations.
What is the story of LiveCasinoKings?
I joined the company a couple of months after it was first started. The founders of LCK both worked with affiliate marketing, development and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in iGaming companies for many years. Sometime during their working journey, they decided to start working with casino affiliation outside of work, as a side-project. Since they both had a lot of experience they were off to a good start and achieved success by marketing online casinos in Sweden, their home-turf. Since the founders were from Sweden, they knew the culture very well and thanks to their working experience and SEO expertise they managed so well that they eventually quit their jobs and made their side-project a full-time effort. However, as the Swedish market became saturated with both online casinos and casino affiliates, the returns were lower than usual so it was time to venture into new territories including India where online gambling is still in its infancy and growing quickly.
When entering a new market, what changes did you have to make?
Initially, we hired a marketing consultant who knows the Indian market and the consumers very well. Transitioning to new markets means dealing with new cultures and values, in the case of India, the contrast between Swedish culture and Indian culture is stark. We didn’t want to step on any landmines and went ahead and added a consultant to our payroll so we had someone to consult with who knew what we wanted to know. Besides that we followed the same strategy as we had done in other markets, just formulating and packaging it differently.
What’s that strategy?
On a high-level, it’s about finding the best converting online casinos and only focus on advertising these. Along with promoting the best operators you want to provide quality content that visitors of your website want to read, content that addresses the questions they are asking and give them the answers they are looking for. For casino affiliation, the best marketing channel to focus on is acquiring traffic through SEO. This is mainly due to the fact that other marketing channels, such as social media and paid advertising, have restrictions on content related to gambling, making it very difficult to effectively market in such traditional marketing channels. In the gambling industry, paid Google advertising is only available in few markets, but even where possible it is usually used as a complimentary channel to gain traffic alongside SEO.
What is the future of online gambling in India?
In one word, bright. Compared to Sweden and other western countries, online casinos are a fairly new addition to the everyday life of Indian consumers. The government has not regulated the market and has no action plan as of now on how they should regulate it. What the law stipulates is that no local operators are allowed to offer their services online, while it’s perfectly legal for off-shore operators to offer their services to Indian players. And there’s nothing stopping Indian consumers from playing in these online casinos. We recently conducted some market research where we compared the Indian market to the growth of online gambling in China, due to similarities in size, population and the state of regulations from the governments. India and China are quite similar when it comes to online gambling. The market in China is thriving and has been growing rapidly for many years and we expect to see similar or even better growth in India. In fact, our team compiled data on both markets and published the findings in an in-depth comparison report.
Do you have any advice to entrepreneurs who want to take a shot at casino affiliation?
Affiliate marketing is diverse, to reach long term success I would suggest that you lean into your passion or interest. Maybe you should identify some products or services that are more aligned to what you are interested in, this way it will be easier and quicker to learn about affiliate marketing. Having some knowledge is a good idea before diving into the extremely competitive niche of casino affiliation. Becoming and staying competitive in this sector requires a lot of effort and are capital intensive. The returns can be great but it’s not easy. So before anything, gain some experience about building a website, writing content, basics of SEO – you know, the do’s and don’ts, best practices. If you already have knowledge of affiliate marketing, or you have the capital to get started with casino affiliate, then, by all means, jump right into casino affiliation
How long does it take to become a successful casino affiliate?
That’s highly subjective depending on the market and competition. It also comes down to the amount of time and resources you are able to put in. Ranking in Google, for example, could take up to six months to 12 months. With experience and best SEO practices, you can probably do it in six months. That’s just time and work. You also need to put in capital. Hopefully, with the time you start earning some money, before that it’s not uncommon that you won’t earn any money in the first year. Once you start earning though, you will likely see irregular but exponential growth, where you start earning a little money and see these earnings steadily grow. If you are successful, this industry can be one of the most lucrative sectors to focus your affiliate marketing on.
What is the number one advice you would give someone who is just getting started with casino affiliation?
Manage your expectations. There are plenty of success stories out there, large media companies growing from two employees to 150 people, getting publically listed on stock exchanges with valuations of a $100,000,0000 in just a couple of years. These are unicorns. Such companies are rare and far in between. Even moderately successful affiliate companies can make millions of dollars in a year, usually, they have been grinding for years with meager returns before finally taking off. It takes serious work and commitment to become successful, keeps that in mind and expects slow growth, especially the first year. In general we would suggest, as a rule of thumb, to calculate budgets and expenses for 12-24 months while pushing to make it a viable business within 6-12 months.