In this edition of Affiliate Spotlight, we speak to Fintan Costello. Fintan is the founder of BonusFinder, an award-winning online casino comparison site.
Having recently been granted a licence in Colorado’s online gambling market, now is a perfect time to speak about the US iGaming landscape. That’s exactly what he is going to do in this interview.
Costello will also talk about the origins of BonusFinder, plus regulation in other European countries.
Anyway, without further ado, we’ll let Fintan take centre stage.
Affiliate Industry Review: Tell us a bit about BonusFinder’s origins. What prompted you to create the website in the first place?
Fintan Costello: “At BonusFinder.com, we want to help people “play with more” at their favourite casino or sportsbook.
“We wanted to create a way for players of all levels to find the perfect bonus that suits their playing style and presenting them with all the options and bonus terms before they commit to a specific brand.
“This player centric approach is core to what we do.”
AI: You were recently granted a Colorado licence. What in particular do you think are the most appealing aspects about the US iGaming market and which states are you keeping an eye on for potential future expansion?
FT: “Despite the massive amount of paperwork required to get a license, in the long-term, the US market is attractive due to its sheer size and the population’s well-established passion for sports and gaming. As an example, VIXIO GamblingCompliance forecast the total US sports betting market (online and land-based) to currently be worth $6.2 billion and to grow to $8.1 billion in total annual revenue by 2024. A large proportion of that growth will come from online bets.
“We are committed to getting licenses in all US states that regulate. Our Colorado licence was our fourth in the US and we have since just been granted a fifth license in West Virginia. We are keeping an extra close eye on Ohio, Virginia and Washington that have recently, or are close to, legalising online sports betting.”
AI: With land-based casinos shut and states such as New Jersey reporting increased online gaming figures, how do you view US iGaming developing both during and after Covid-19?
FT: “The increased online gaming activity in New Jersey is not a surprise. Our own research, carried out using Google Trends, showed a 100% increase in internet searches for online casino across North America as land-based venues shut because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
“This is a wake-up call for the 12 states that have already established an online sports betting regime to also consider regulating casino products. They should take note of the enormous interest in online casino from players and use this momentum to legislate iGaming, before we start seeing players turning to unlicensed, offshore sites.”
AI: Heading over to the other side of the Atlantic, you recently spoke to the media about gaming regulation in Sweden and Germany.
What are the most important player behaviour aspects in these markets that you think legislators need to understand, in order to channel them away from unregulated operators?
FT: “The problem in Sweden is mainly the one-time bonus offer limitation per licensee. This has significantly lowered the appeal of the market and, according to our research, has led to more than 30% of online casino players searching for terms such as ‘unlicensed casino’ (casino utan licens) since the country regulated in January 2019.
“Players want more freedom to play what they want and less restrictions on deposits, promotions and rewards. They often look for the best possible offers, whether sites are licenced or not, and lawmakers there need to perhaps reconsider their plans to ensure both a sustainable, profitable market and a responsible framework is put in place.”