Meet Joris Dekkers, Managing Director of Delta Markets
Hello Joris, how are you? Are you ready for SiGMA17?
Hi Marius, I’m very good thanks! Unfortunately, I can’t be present at SiGMA17. A shame, as I always love to come to Malta for a few days to network and party. However, my parents have been married for 40 years and to celebrate this, they are taking me and my girlfriend to South Africa in November. So instead of negotiating on flat fee’s and CPA’s I’ll be spotting wild life! No reason to feel sorry for me! Martijn, our executive manager, will however be present and perhaps more of our Delta Markets team will join.
How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?
I think in 2005 I already had setup my first online poker website, which was focused on educating American poker players. I also sold an e-book, which made it to the top 3 best sold online poker e-books on Clickbank (a sales channel) at that time. After the legislation prevented US players from depositing money on foreign online sites, I had to sell the website and decided to step out of the industry for 3-4 years. Then I started TopCasinoBonus.nl, after which we started more than 10 other affiliate ventures under the umbrella company Delta Markets.
Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?
Delta Markets BV stems from the consultancy company I erected in 2012 to facilitate the income and expenses of TopCasinoBonus.nl. Officially I chose the name in 2015, just after I had resigned at Unibet as Online Marketing Manager for Holland. Soon I hired Martijn Bluemink, who still is my right-hand and the manager of the team. 5 other people have joined the company after that, of which 2 also have had to leave us. So the current team is 5 people strong. We focus our efforts on Dutch focused casino, forex bingo and scratch card sites and have also started expanding into the UK, Germany and .com. 5 casino projects are 50% owned by Gaming Innovation Group’s branch Innovation Labs. Roulette.nl is owned by a private person; we manage the domain for him. The rest of the projects are fully owned by Delta.
With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?
As you all know I have experienced it myself. Back then I wanted to sell TopCasinoBonus.nl not just to settle financially, but also due to the upcoming regulation of the market which would have repercussions for affiliates. Frankly, the Dutch gambling market has still not regulated. But I do not regret the sale at all. To be honest, affiliate business can be risky and competition is rising every day. I do feel that today the prices paid for affiliate sites are sometimes too high. But for the Catena’s and Innovation Lab’s of this world it doesn’t matter too much, with the bonds they secure they can take risks.
A number of your competitors have gone down the real money operator route, and tried their hand at white labels. Have you also done this?
No, but I have of course thought about it. The thing that keeps me from doing it, is that it is a life changer compared to the affiliate life. As an affiliate you can skip a day and you never have to wake up during the night. As an operator this changes, you’re in it 24/7. Also, it’s very hard to come up with an online casino that’s different. For me, all these whitelabels all look the same, except for the ‘theme’ they choose. So if at all I’d decide to step in, I’d want to create something unique throughout all the layers of business: product wise, CRM wise, VIP treatment, (affiliate)marketing etc.
Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?
We are already moving forward by creating video content, integrating more rich-media in our pages and emphasize on easy to read text. Our content writers are very experienced and know exactly what players like. So it’s also a manner of keep doing what we do well. The world changes fast, but not over night.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets ?
Holland is our main market, after that come The UK, Germany and the .com world. We also have a big casino site in Belgium.
How do you find Dutch market and competition?
The Dutch market is a good market. It’s not too competitive, like Sweden or The UK. But it is becoming more saturated. A disadvantage is the regulation process which is tiring, also for the gaming authority; lately, they seem annoyed by the disruptive forces in the political arena which gives them a reason to start chasing affiliates on the basis of the old gaming law which clearly states Holland has a monopolized casino market. This makes it sometimes a bit edgy to focus on .nl traffic. But all in all it’s a great market.
How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO and content at your company?
We focus less effort on link building, and if we build links, it’s quality links. Our content writers stick to the changing rules of google, meaning shorter sentences, easier to read language and less keyword stuffing.
Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
Yes, we are launching our UK and German live casino affiliate sites, toplivecasino.co.uk and later on toplivecasino.de. Furthermore we’ve launched this great slots content portal allonlinecasinoslots.com, it’s a giant beast with more than a 1000 pages.
What is the main thing that you’d like Sigma readers to know about your sites?
Not sure, they’re great sites I guess : – ). On a more serious note, if you want to launch your online casino in Holland, we dominate three of the five most important niches (being online casino, casino bonus, roulette, live casino, slots). The latter three categories are our dominions so Delta can be your one stop shop to plug and play your casino in the Netherlands. And of course we hope to do this in the UK and Germany soon as well.
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
All of our sites have always been mobile optimized, because of the great wordpress theme’s we use.
What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?
We will have to create more compact content to cater the impatient needs of youngsters nowadays and in the future. Young people growing up in the current society don’t read books or watch 15 minute videos. They want everything to be fast and summarized, or they go somewhere else.
What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
I’d tell them to look at my answer of question number 13. Second, I would advise them not to be afraid of the big companies: the creativity and ingenuity of a fast paced speedboat can always beat slow moving cruise ships.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
Yes I have to admit I play slots sometimes. To be honest, I have no clue what I would do with that money, the good thing would be to invest it in more affiliate business :- )
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