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Slovakia: How iGaming sites can build traffic (second part)

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Slovakia: How iGaming sites can build traffic (second part)
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Let’s look at how the typical marketing strategies employed by iGaming firms can be applied to Slovakia.
Marketing strategies for operators and affiliates who want to apply for licence
If the laws do get changed, and you apply and receive a licence, then you will have access to the standard advantages.

These are:
The possibility to use Google Adwords PPC campaigns. I have found one of the top affiliates which is using Adwords on google.sk, and they seem to have complete control of this market right now. There are a lot of big keywords which they don’t even try to cover, so PPC could be worth exploring.
Greater advertising choices. Most of the big local sites use display advertising, and you must negotiate with the site directly (not with a network). If you can show you have a licence, then you will have a better chance of being accepted, as the site won’t have to worry about any advertising fines.

Similarly, a lot of the big native and display advertising networks do accept gambling adverts but often want to see a local licence before accepting them.

Marketing strategies for operators who don’t want/can’t wait to get a Slovak licence
With so many international operators seeming not to care about the potential fines, and Slovak ISPs and banks seemingly not blocking sites or payments, there will be a temptation for operators (and affiliates) to not bother waiting for a licence. This is especially likely with a proposed tax on revenue of 23% and considering the unstable political climate.
For those in this position, here are some strategies to gain a share of the Slovak market.

SEO
No good strategy in a market like Slovakia would be complete without some good old-fashioned SEO.
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Aside from building quality on-site content in the Slovak language, operators and new affiliates would obviously need to build links from quality local sites to their pages, to challenge the top spots.
Acquiring links from existing Slovak sites might be difficult, because of the potential €250,000 fine that the site owner might face. Foreign operators in Malta might not feel threatened by such fines, but a small amateur site owner in Bratislava is likely to take these threats very seriously. The situation for link-building in Slovakia is likely to be very similar to the one in Finland right now.
Slovakia therefore looks like the kind of market where you may need to run a quality Private Blog Network (PBN) to build rankings.

A potential PBN strategy for Slovakia

I would recommend a multi-tier structure, with the bottom tier being made up of expired .sk domains with positive metrics.
The content on these sites should be recreated as much as possible using the waybackmachine downloader tool. A new landing page would then be created with casino content in Slovak, and a link from that page to the upper tier sites.
These upper tier sites would be made up of expired .com or .eu domains, with positive metrics. The content would be changed to iGaming content in the Slovak language, with links to the money sites.
This mix would protect against the .sk sites being confiscated by Slovak authorities at any future stage, while still allowing for some local TLDs.
.sk domains no longer require to be registered to a Slovak business address, but anonymous ownership is not allowed, although some registrars will allow you to use their details. You can buy expired .sk domains at Webhouse.

Top keywords for your SEO strategy

Keyword research of the Slovak market shows that poker is still a popular subject in the country, as is roulette.
The data below is pulled from SEMRush and Google Trends, and shows the following suggested keywords to focus on (where available, monthly search volume is given).

Kasino: 1000
Poker Online: 880
Ruleta: 1000
Ruleta online: 210
Poker: 14800
Online Ruleta: 20
Kasino online: n/a
Hracie automaty: 15 – 100
Hracie automaty online: 0- 100
Online kasino: n/a
Hraj v online kasine: n/a
Online kasina: n/a
Hraj online: n/a
Stavky online: n/a
Online stavky: n/a
Stavkuj online: n/a
Online stavkovanie: 0 – 90
Vyhraj v online kasine: n/a
Ako vyhrat v online kasine: n/a

Right now, the top keywords seem to be mostly informational in nature, reflecting the newness of the Slovak market. The user intent seems to be about learning more about how to bet online, and not about which is the best casino.
Building landing pages with content focusing on satisfying these user intents seems to be the way to go for now. It might not convert immediately, but building trust is an important step at the top of any sales funnel.
There’s no surprise about who dominates the social network scene in Slovakia, with Facebook and Instagram both the most prominent.

Facebook’s targeting tools are second-to-none, but they require a big advertising spend before they will allow you to run gambling ads. In a small country like Slovakia, it probably isn’t going to be worth it.
However, gambling fan pages that aren’t too pushy should work well.
I see three basic ways of getting traffic from social media in Slovakia:

– Find a local influencer on FB or Instagram and get him or her to endorse your brand
– Start a FB group where people can swap tips, bonus offers etc.
– Start an Instagram account and send out a mix of funny gambling-related pictures/quotes, and offers such as welcome bonuses

Partner with existing Affiliates

Operators looking to gain a quick foothold in the Slovak market will naturally turn to the affiliates who are dominating the google.sk SERPs.
The current reluctance for these affiliates to partner with licenced local operators means there could be room for some negotiations.

Use Adwords even if you don’t have a licence
I have heard that some clever PPC ninjas use cloaking to display adverts in countries where they don’t have a licence. It sounds really risky to me, but if you have plenty of accounts that you don’t mind sacrificing, and don’t put landing pages directly on the money sites, then it might work.

Display

This form of banner advertising dominates the top local sites. Most of the big media sites will probably turn down gambling content because of the fear of fines.
That said, I know that one of the big names on the blacklist uses display advertising on one of the top 50 sites in Slovakia. I won’t name names, to protect both parties, but this shows it is possible.

Adult

Several of the top 50 sites are adult-themed and are part of the Trafficjunky network. The targeting options on Trafficjunky are excellent, allowing you to target even to the city level.
This could be useful in a diverse country like Slovakia. For example, Google Trends data shows that the hracie automaty (online slots) keyword is much more popular in the east of the country than the west. Similarly, you can target by gender, so you could perhaps offer games popular with women on the ‘female-friendly’ adult niche.
If you want to try the adult channel, you should know that visitors who are there for the free content tend to have low conversion rates. That could be a problem on a CPM model (as Trafficjunky is) as you might have to burn through a lot of cash to see results.
However, premium adult subscribers tend to convert a lot better, and Trafficjunky have several sites which offer these customers, making this network the perfect place to experiment.

Native

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you probably have been exposed to native advertising.
In contrast to display ad banners which leave no doubt they have a commercial intent; native ads aim to blend in with other articles on a site. Here’s an example of native advertising from the Times of Malta recently, alongside some classic display banners.

This form of advertising has become very popular in the English-speaking markets in recent years, especially on informational websites like online news, forums and other places where users come to consume information. However, it’s pretty new in Slovakia and not many publishers have signed up with the big networks (yet).
Native works well for binary options and other such financial niches. People are always on the lookout to make some money, and if you can create native adverts which claim to spill the secrets that the casinos don’t want you to know about, then this could be the perfect way to tap into the Slovak customer’s hunger for information.

The MGID ad network allows gambling content, and doesn’t specifically prohibit it in Slovakia, but you should check with them before trying this out.
Anybody thinking of entering the Slovak iGaming market will need to be flexible to deal with unstable and unreliable laws and regulations.

 

Written by: Ivana Flynn for Calvinayre.com. Ivana is a Malta-based SEO Consultant dedicated to helping iGaming operators and affiliates improve their organic search rankings. Her biggest professional passion is using SEO to break into new and tricky markets. In her spare time, she bakes, works out and plays with her cats.

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GR8 Tech Opens New Hub in Warsaw, Poland

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GR8 Tech opens a hub in Poland
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An award-winning iGaming platform provider, GR8 Tech, opened its newest hub in Warsaw, Poland, on June 6, 2024. As a company committed to a remote-first model since the pandemic, GR8 Tech continues to support its diverse international staff by offering flexible and comfortable working conditions. In addition to assisting in home office arrangements, the company also provides local hubs in target locations where employees are concentrated and hiring activities are underway.

These hubs, available in several locations across Europe, including Cyprus, the Czech Republic, and, from now on, Poland, offer employees the opportunity to work in an office-like environment if they choose. This initiative is part of GR8 Tech’s ongoing efforts to ensure that its employees have the best possible working conditions in any location they choose to work from—efforts that have been recently recognized with the “Best Workplace 2024” title by SiGMA Americas Awards.

The new Warsaw hub will serve as a convenient workspace for the 80+ specialists already located in Poland and all new employees joining the company. It will also be available to any GR8 Tech employees traveling internationally who require a professional environment to work from.

The opening of the Warsaw hub aligns with GR8 Tech’s broader strategic activities across Europe and specifically in Poland. Recently, GR8 Tech participated in the largest Polish IT festival, Code Europe, held on June 10-11 in Krakow, as the technology partner, with GR8 Tech’s Chief Talent Officer, Tetiana Davydova, holding a talk on “Mastering the Science of Negotiation: Secrets to Successful Dialogue in Tech” at the event. GR8 Tech will also participate in the Devoxx conference in Krakow on June 19-22 as a partner. The company’s Deputy CTO, Pawel Grzegrzolka, will hold a talk on “Integrating quality gates in IaC”.

To learn more about GR8 Tech and its upcoming activities, visit the company’s website and join its communities on LinkedIn and Facebook for business-related topics or Instagram for the highlights of the GR8 work environment.

 

About GR8 Tech

GR8 Tech is an international iGaming provider of high-performance Sportsbook and Casino platform. Holder of the “Best Workplace 2024” title by SiGMA Americas, “Best Online Sportsbook Provider 2024” by SiGMA Eurasia, and, most recently, “Rising Star Provider of the Year” by Affpapa iGaming Awards.

GR8 Tech’s flagship product, GR8 Sportsbook, renowned for its exceptional event coverage and robust feed, manages heavy user loads with real-time anti-fraud processing and advanced margin management capabilities. Complementing the Sportsbook, GR8 Tech’s portfolio includes the GR8 Casino platform and vital standalone products like CRM, payment gateway, player account management, etc.

Focused on the personalized approach and lifetime partnership, GR8 Tech perfectly alleviates iGaming operators’ challenges by delivering customized, scalable solutions that evolve with business growth.

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KJM Endorses IDVerse to Tackle Rising Concerns Over Minor Protection

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The Commission for Youth Media Protection (KJM) has officially endorsed IDVerse, a leading provider of online age verification solutions, to address the growing need for enhanced minor protection. This endorsement comes in the wake of concerning statistics from the Javelin Report, which underscores the critical importance of safeguarding children online. With 54% of households not monitoring or restricting their children’s online activity, the risk of exposure to harmful content is significantly heightened. KJM’s endorsement of IDVerse is a significant step towards robust and comprehensive solutions for protecting minors online.

KJM, as the central oversight body for youth media protection in Germany, plays a crucial role in evaluating and endorsing effective age verification and protection systems. Comprises experts from federal and state media authorities, KJM ensures that digital content adheres to stringent youth protection regulations. The organisation’s endorsement is a significant mark of credibility and reliability for solutions like IDVerse.

The Javelin Report, a comprehensive study on online safety, reveals that more than half of households do not monitor their children’s online activities, leading to increased risks of identity fraud and exposure to inappropriate content. The lack of oversight amplifies the need for advanced technological solutions that can provide a safer online environment for minors.

By endorsing IDVerse, KJM champions innovative solutions that prioritise the safety and well-being of minors in the digital age. IDVerse’s advanced age verification technology offers a proactive defense against online threats, ensuring that minors are protected from identity fraud and inappropriate content. This endorsement is particularly valuable for the iGaming market, where preventing underage gambling is a critical concern.

Peter Violaris, Head of Global Privacy at IDVerse, said: “We are honored to receive the endorsement of KJM, which validates our unwavering commitment to minor protection and online age verification. The alarming statistics on unmonitored online activity among children underscore the critical need for robust solutions.

“At IDVerse, we have developed cutting-edge technology that not only protects children but also respects the privacy of all users. Our system ensures that only the necessary information is shared and that data is securely handled and promptly deleted after verification. Together with KJM, we are dedicated to creating a safer online environment for children worldwide.”

The endorsement of IDVerse by KJM sets a precedent for future initiatives aimed at enhancing minor protection and safeguarding children from age-restricted or inappropriate content. It underscores the importance of collaboration between regulatory bodies and industry leaders in addressing the evolving challenges of the digital landscape.

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BGaming enters Slovakia in partnership with state-owned operator TIPOS

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BGaming enters Slovakia in partnership with state-owned operator TIPOS
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iGaming content provider BGaming has made its debut in Slovakia after penning a landmark content agreement with state lottery operator TIPOS.

As part of the deal, BGaming has integrated several licensed games, such as Alien Fruits, Wild Cash, and Bonanza Billion with TIPOS’ online casino platform.

Founded in 1992, TIPOS currently offers lottery, sports betting and online casino in Slovakia. As a result of its collaboration with BGaming, the former government-owned monopoly will strengthen its slots game offering in an increasingly competitive market.

Following its market launch, BGaming has bolstered its leadership credentials in Europe. The studio continues to deliver on its promise to create the best iGaming experiences for players in regulated markets worldwide.

Marina Ostrovtsova, CEO at BGaming, said: “Slovakia is a market we have been working to enter for two years. It has plenty of potential and we are thrilled to partner with TIPOS to deliver BGaming’s unrivalled proposition to the players.

“The titles we have integrated are greatly varied and will appeal to a broad range of player preferences. We look forward to seeing how this partnership develops.”

Štefan Hrček, Casino Brand Manager at TIPOS, said: “We are delighted to strengthen our portfolio with a handpicked selection of BGaming’s most iconic games, including its first-ever cascading reel game Bonanza Billion.

“BGaming has established a strong reputation as one of the leading suppliers in Europe and it is a pleasure to add them to our list of partners.”

 

BGaming is a fast-growing iGaming content provider converting gambling into gaming. Thanks to an expert team and a player-driven approach, the studio creates innovative and engaging products featured on reputable platforms and 1,100+ online casinos worldwide. BGaming is the world’s first to support cryptocurrencies and offer Provably Fair games. Today the brand’s portfolio includes 150+ products with HD graphics and a clear user interface for every device. The studio is also known for its brand exclusives created in partnerships with leading operators in the industry.

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