Jesper Søgaard – Better Collective – The changing landscape for affiliates

With the working climate constantly changing, Jesper Søgaard, Founder and CEO of Better Collective, spoke to SBC about how affiliates can ensure stability for the forthcoming future, as well as how things have changed over recent years.

After being crowned as the affiliate of the year at the SBC Awards 2017, the Better Collective CEO stated the group “are really grateful for the award and the recognition that comes with it”. By winning the award, they saw off tough competition from the likes of Catena Media, LiveSport Media, Raketech, Easyodds and OLBG.

Søgaard added: “Although Better Collective brands cover both casino and sports betting, we have always perceived our core competence as being sports betting. Receiving this award from SBC confirms that we are walking the walk as a leading sports betting affiliate.”

Detailing how the landscape has changed for affiliates over the past year, Søgaard emphasised that: “I think we can all agree that the affiliate industry is maturing quickly, and the past year saw a lot of consolidation within the landscape. News related to M&A’s was consistently being shared in 2017, and it seems that if you want to keep up in this industry, you have to make moves sooner rather than later.

“Additionally, a few big examples of why we need to focus on compliance came to light, and I think that these instances really emphasised how remaining compliant is important for our industry.”

Looking ahead, a key focus for affiliates heading into 2018 will be ensuring there is a stable market for them to operate in, especially given the turbulence of 2017. Something that Søgaard outlined as a crucial factor for affiliates in order to achieve this, is the ability “to recognise the importance and value of being compliant”.

Explaining why it’s so vital that affiliates are aware of compliance, he stated: “Due to their regulations, operators are coming under scrutiny. If affiliates do not follow the same standards as the operators, then we will see instability in the mutually beneficial relationship affiliates and operators have enjoyed until now. I believe the market will continue to consolidate as it has, and that affiliate compliance will play an even stronger role over the next year.”

With incoming regulations on both the industry and affiliates looking increasingly likely, Søgaard goes onto describe the importance of regulations not crippling affiliate creativity: The affiliate industry has always been a playground for innovation within the iGaming industry.

“We’ve been able to approach gambling from new angles that can only be achieved from a third party perspective. However, creativity and uniqueness can still occur while remaining compliant–if affiliates do not collectively observe the standards set out by the operators and legislation, then we may all suffer from the consequences.”

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