Affiliate Grand Slam by SiGMA
Alaeddin Moftah, Founder of Best Arabic Casinos, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Alaeddin Moftah at Best Arabic Casinos knows that it is not enough to know the language, one must also understand the culture, the beliefs, and the mentality of the target group. Localisation is key - follow his story below.
How did your affiliate business take off? And, is iGaming your only vertical?
My wife has been in affiliate business for a while. One day we realised that there is quite a gap in gaming affiliate websites in Arabic language targeting Middle East and North Africa, so we decided to take on this niche. I have the advantage of speaking Arabic and knowing the culture, and I learnt the basics of content writing and SEO.
Right now, iGaming is the only vertical I work with.
How is your company structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
It’s me and my wife plus a few freelancers. I am working on expanding in social media presence and searching for new traffic sources apart from SEO.
What can operators do to increase support with affiliates?
Operators should see and approach each affiliate individually. Each website is unique, as well as traffic. I really appreciate it when an affiliate manager looks at my website and suggests something that he thinks might be beneficial for both of us. I also appreciate custom offers for my players.
How can affiliates be more unique in their approach?
Think outside the box. Don’t try to copy other affiliates, learn from them and try to do better.
What makes your traffic proposition/traffic sites unique?
I run the biggest casino & sport betting affiliate website in Arabic language targeting specifically GCC and North Africa. When creating content, I do it with an understanding of the culture, religion, and other aspects of those regions.
Are you contemplating bringing in investors to scale or grow your business? Or, with such a big M&A market, have you ever contemplated selling the business?
Yes, I am open to it, both to investors and buyers at some point.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
Patience. It takes a lot of time and hard work to start seeing some results, sometimes a few years. It is important to believe that your efforts will eventually pay off and keep on working.
What sets you apart from other affiliates?
I can speak from the perspective of an affiliate working with the Arabic market. I think what sets me apart is the understanding of Arabic players, their culture, how they think, their language, and what they want to see on a website of this industry.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
Technology is something without which I wouldn’t be able to do this kind of business. Starting every day with checking e-mails and Skype on my phone, working on my laptop throughout the day, using multiple software to build my websites, analyse them and the competitors’ websites – you can’t do any of this without modern technology.
Which emerging technologies like AI and big data will impact the affiliate industry in 2020 and beyond?
AI is developing rapidly and affects a lot of fields of our life already; iGaming is not an exception.
Is the grass greener on the other side - have you considered going down the operator route?
Yes, I did. I am still considering it, but I need to gain more experience in this field. Right now, the competition is very high, you need to come up with a really good unique product and have a lot of affiliate connections to start.
Which markets are you eyeing up as a priority in 2020, and why?
For me it is definitely Middle East and Africa. There are new interesting emerging markets like India, for example, but my focus is not there. There is still a lot can be done in Arabic Geo’s. People love to gamble, the player’s value is big, so why move on to something else?
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
That it’s going to take a long time to see the results. When you start, you can’t expect to be in top 10 in a week, you will get there, maybe in a year if you are lucky; and sometimes you get demotivated. You have to believe in yourself and go on.
What’s been your biggest nightmare to date?
Everything has been running smoothly for me. I try to learn from other’s mistakes and not make them myself.
What are the main challenges for the sector in 2020?
COVID-19 which affected sports betting greatly, and more and more regulations.
What are your predictions for the future of the sector?
I believe it will become even more regulated, but also new markets will be emerging. I also believe that, unfortunately, SEO traffic will become less important than other traffic sources, like social media, for example.
How do you manage relationships with multiple operators?
I like to build close long-term relationships with a few operators who are attentive, responsive and willing to provide custom made deals and offers.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
For me, it’s first of all to meet the operators, the affiliate managers who you only met electronically before, getting to know each other, and sometimes negotiating better deals.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
I started attending SiGMA Malta three years ago and make it a must to go there every year. Would love to attend SiGMA Manila at some point.
Tell us a bit about yourself - after all, business is done with people, not just companies!
I love life, travel, music, and people.
- What’s on your must-read list right now? I like to read about history.
- Which quote do you live your life by? Always help people and expect nothing in return. Treat a janitor the same way you treat a billionaire.