Yeva Avagyan: “Affiliates ought to inform about the ‘dark side’ of gambling”

Yeva Avagyan: “Affiliates ought to inform about the ‘dark side’ of gambling”

Yeva Avagyan: “Affiliates ought to inform about the ‘dark side’ of gambling”
SBC Summit Barcelona 2023 was a blast and the Casino Guru News was able to catch up with the Head of Commercial at AffPapa, Yeva Avagyan. Avagyan spoke about the success of the recent iGaming Clubs, the company’s commitment to building a robust affiliate platform that allows companies in the sector to connect and improve industry standards and touched on the importance of responsible gambling in the industry. Not least, Avagyan highlighted some of the new challenges that businesses face that come not only from regulatory headwinds, but also from ill-meaning bad actors. Q: Yeva, it’s good to catch up with you in person. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and what you do as part of AffPapa’s team? First and foremost, thanks for having me for this interview. In short about me, I am the Head of Commercials at AffPapa and I deal with everything and anything that has to do with sales, client onboarding and retention, pricing development, company representation at expos etc. Q: AffPapa has been heavily involved with the affiliate sector and building an ecosystem in which partners can collaborate and explore new business opportunities. Has this been an easy journey to build the kind of repository that you have today? It’s been a process – definitely. When we were just starting, it was quite new for everyone – especially the operators/affiliates. The market didn’t have a product like AffPapa and to get some attraction, we would individually reach out to affiliates, explain the concept of our platform and get them onboard. Right now, the process of sign-ups is very organic, affiliates know about us, they trust us, and they join the directory voluntarily, currently, we have a smooth and effortless flow I’d say. Q: And the journey goes on, right? Your iGaming Club format has taken the industry by surprise – and frankly – we feel that nobody could have predicted the success and interest in the event. Did you venture into iGaming Club knowing that it would draw such a warm reception from the crowds or were you also caught off your guard? We were absolutely caught off-guard with the results of the IGC series. With any new venture you take on – it’s either going to be a hit or miss regardless of the circumstances. And we ended up hitting the jackpot. At one point we had quite a high demand from our clients, to arrange something that wasn’t online. We decided to come up with a concept of gatherings where they could meet each other in person, chat, discuss business in a relaxed environment and make it a continuous project. Our most recent iGaming Club event was in Barcelona, and it has been a blast – people really enjoyed it based on the feedback we got. The location was perfect, the ambience, the attendees themselves. We’re going to have more IGC events so keep your eyes peeled for the next location which will soon be announced. Q: And have you been happy with SBC Summit Barcelona 2023 so far? Yes, for AffPapa it has been quite fruitful. Whether it’s getting new leads or catching up with old friends and colleagues it’s always a fun and exciting experience for us. The venue itself was very spacious, and beautifully structured, overall SBC did an immense job of bringing it to life, I think. Q: Alright, our next question has to do more with the changing nature of business. Affiliates clearly play a crucial role in the gambling industry, but gambling as we know it has changed a lot in the space of just a few years. What fresh challenges has this introduced to the sector in your experience? In my experience, we have seen a lot of fraudulent activity, and specifically scammers who have been impersonating other affiliates. That has been a huge problem and we are actively fighting it. My biggest concern is that right now operators need to be extra cautious and double-check anyone who claims to be a well-known affiliate or is impersonating an individual with fake domains and such. Do your background check, and thoroughly assess the “affiliates” before going into any kind of contact with them. Q: Scammers have definitely been an issue – at Casino Guru we too recently had our fill with such bad experiences. Can we talk quickly about the age of responsible gambling which – we think – will dramatically shift how affiliates operate? Can you already see good examples from the industry that go beyond the “fadness” of the matter and make hard decisions to build future-proof solutions? Actually, Casino Guru is a good example of how affiliates are changing – you have been focusing on responsible gambling and providing players with insightful information. I think affiliates need to be aware of how they can better inform and help their players and how not to get too involved with the “dark side” of gambling. It should be fun, it should be exciting – it shouldn’t be harmful. I think you guys are doing a great job. It’s good to have a place where people can go and get all the information that’s needed, and you know – a place where people feel supported and understood. Q: And you, how important is RG to AffPapa as well, and where do you think you have helped improve the overall industry standards? This is the thing, even with affiliates and operators, we try to keep everything straightforward and open. In our case, we don’t usually deal with players but again if we are seeing Casino Guru put its work into it, we are supporting it as much as possible and trying to also provide information through our articles and guide the affiliates in the easiest way possible. Of course, our main focus is on affiliates and operators, but when it comes to responsible gambling we are more than happy to act as a platform that will shine light on companies who are fully committed to educating the players and helping out all parties involved. Q: Thank you, Casino Guru definitely does its best to help elevate standards industry-wide. Now, you have another edition of the AffPapa iGaming Awards planned for next year, correct? Yes, definitely. We held the AffPapa iGaming Awards 2023 in June and it was amazing. We are planning our next AffPapa iGaming Awards in 2024 with the same categories included. It’s going to be much bigger this time since the directory is expanding, and our clientele is as well. We already have a lot of interest expressed regarding involvement and attendance so I’m expecting it to be a grand event. Q: What is next for AffPapa in 2023 and next year? We have so many exciting things coming up – I cannot share too much right now though. We have the AffPapa iGaming Awards on the agenda as I mentioned, we will also have some fresh announcements coming up regarding iGaming Club so I would suggest keeping a close eye on our updates and Newsletters. Image credit: Casino Guru News

04 OCT 2023

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