We are lucky to call on iGaming veterans like Miles Saacks when it comes to mentoring our job candidates for life in Malta. In this article, the Johannesburg-born Senior Affiliate Account Manager gives his views on casino affiliation in 2022, competition from the younger generation, and why iGaming can be compared to a game of rugby.
Family comes first
Thank you for taking the time to speak to me, that’s much appreciated.
Family is everything but we are really going through a tough time. I am sad and mentally drained for my eldest brother Leon as he is suffering from kidney failure and requires urgent dialysis. This is a very expensive treatment in South Africa costing around 16 000 euros and we are running out of time to raise these funds. It’s a matter of survival or not!
We are working hard with fund-raising so he can get treated privately, at least until he gets on the government system but as it is now there are 2 spots available for over 2000 people.
Please let me just use this opportunity: The support and backing from the iGaming family have been remarkable, and your warm messages and donations mean a lot to me. It gives us hope and it gives my brother the strength to fight on. You can read more about it here:
The journey from South Africa to Malta
Yes, now I’ve certainly realized I’m a long way from home. I love Johannesburg and miss South Africa a lot BUT Malta is home now, and I love it here. The rock has been very good to me, and my long-term goal would be to stay. I enjoy my job with EGO and I feel as good as ever work-wise. Not bad for an iGaming veteran with 18years in iGaming, eh?
I started my career in 2003 and I was involved with online gaming before the US market was regulated and well after. I have been exposed to the Technical, Compliance & Operational areas of each business and I have extensive experience with affiliate management and Marketing.
I have worked for a lot of different brands, but Videoslots.com will always have a special place in my heart. I met Magnus Hyltingo, one of the co-owners of Videoslots at a gaming conference in Berlin in 2016. I was allowed to get out of South Africa which has become very unsafe and dangerous to live with a young family.
6 months later and Videoslots had completed my paperwork and I was on a plane to Malta to start a new adventure. Fantastic people, I was given an opportunity of a lifetime and for that, I will be forever grateful to Magnus and Videoslots.
Entering Canada with Ontario license
Happy days for Team EGO! Our brands for Canada Play OJO and Slots Magic both received Ontario License this week and we are very excited about pushing and developing the brands there to move further south and into the US soon too. Currently, we have Sweden, MGA, UK, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, and Ontario Licenses and are working on New Jersey, Greece, Germany, Netherlands, Columbia, and a few others.
So you better look out for our EGO Brands! We are pushing into regulated markets very heavily as this is the way we want to operate and the way the industry is going. Canada is a huge market with massive potential and we truly believe that it starts with Ontario where the majority of the traffic comes from if we succeed there we should succeed everywhere else it’s a great testing ground.
Being a Senior Affiliate Account Manager
This role is all about relationships. I spend most of my time developing these and trying to give my affiliate partners the best service they require. I don’t mess around! I answer emails and Skype chats very quickly and am very responsive, affiliates are so important to the operators they send traffic to and we need to treat them the same way VIP Players would be treated at a casino.
I work through multiple skype chats a day sorting out anything from new accounts to links to payments, going through my emails following up on leads, meeting invites, etc. I will do my daily research and outreach and check streamers, networks, and other important marketing partners.
Working with affiliates
I believe EGO is due some credit as they have been super great in backing me from Day 1. I’m a little bit of an introvert but this industry brings out the best in me so am always trying to put my best foot forward. I don’t just sign up an affiliate and leave them be with a casino bonus and some promotional offers. I am always curious as to how they are doing, and what they are working on and always try to assist where I can. With my top affiliates, I would look at what exposure we have and where we can improve and am always updating them on new information i.e information about Canada which then opens discussions about new projects or market initiatives.
I treat all affiliates the same big or small as you never know the small guy today may become the monster/super affiliate in the future and they remember things like that.
iGaming is like a game of rugby
As a sports passionate South African in iGaming I will support this metaphor. It’s also a word of advice for younger job seekers to keep in mind. Battle hard and you will be successful.
Working in iGaming is like playing rugby, that’s a 100% valid point. It’s all about the team in this very competitive industry. You can’t be successful on your own; you need a good product, good customer support, forward-looking management, and good affiliates to make a successful brand and have long-term longevity in an industry that has a multitude of new operators coming every day. It’s important to stay ahead of the chasing pack if you want to be around a long time and be a top brand. Very much like a rugby team the forwards and the backs need to work together if they don’t the team fails you need a good captain and players of experience to bring the young guys through and to teach them if all comes together along with a good coach then you end up winning and the same principle applies to Affiliates and Operators.
The fear of age and the younger generation
I’m not feeling old, I don’t worry about my age and I believe age is a contributing factor to my success as an affiliate manager. It’s called wisdom!
When I was younger I said or did the wrong things because of over-confidence but as I got older and got more industry experience it taught me the correct ways to sort out issues and resolve certain situations better. I am like a good old red wine these days. The youngsters are great, they can party and network and have massive fun at shows but when it comes down to negotiating, knowing when a deal is bad or an option is good nothing beats age and experience. Knowing the industry players and what sites do well and how to avoid bullshitters comes with experience. I don’t like young brash egocentric affiliate managers who refuse to ask for help or guidance but they have to remember that all a good affiliate wants is to make money.
I banged my head against the wall a lot when I was a younger affiliate manager but I grew both as a person and as an affiliate manager over the years from having all those experiences. These days numbers matter and the way we manage this is through a brilliant KPI report we get each month that was created by our Genius BI team. That report alone helps me see what deals are bad and what are good and if you have that sort of help affiliate management becomes a much easier game to play. While talking about experience let’s not forget, that good affiliate managers should know a bit about everything now incl. SEO, GDPR, Compliance and regulations, Game portfolios and software, Payments providers, Fraud, and AML and show real confidence in contractual situations. Believe me, I am learning new stuff every day!
iGaming career mentoring
I love to see the arrival of new business talents in the affiliate industry and as an industry veteran, I am happy to be asked to do a bit of mentoring. As a mentor I support growth and I feel we can see mutual benefits as my company is creating a high-quality and productive workforce. Personally, I remember the support and guidance I got early in my career and almost two decades later I still do business with some of these professionals. As an iGaming recruitment advice, I always say we all love to work with outgoing and friendly people who can show desire and self-discipline. Those are valuable traits to have and the rest we can teach you.
The affiliate manager jobs in the iGaming industry are becoming more commercially orientated which require basic analytical skills, and there are excellent iGaming career opportunities for a good communicator who is numerate. Networking skills are important but the real key to success is to be able to do reports, understand numbers and present stats as most companies will support you with software and BI teams.
As a South African, I will always refer to rugby as the game is founded on teamwork. Be a motivated team player and do your best every day as success and profit are the results of teamwork as we are dealing with the training of new staff, supporting online players, follow-ups with affiliates, offering the best casino bonuses, and liaising with tech team. Rugby is an extremely competitive game and so is the world of iGaming and casino affiliation. If you are a talented job candidate able to establish strong business relationships both internally and externally then feel free to contact me on Skype, or Linkedin.
Thank you again for your support and encouraging words during a very tough time for my family.