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Joonas Karhu: How Online Gambling Sites Can Boost Their Success With Affiliates?

InsightSuccess had the opportunity to sit down with Joonas Karhu, CEO of UK iGaming comparison site, just after it was reported that they had exceeded €75 million in deposits. This number refers to the amount deposited by UK players, who are referred to the gambling sites with which they are partnered.

Founded in 2017, Bojoko has rapidly evolved from a newcomer to a key player in the online gambling scene, helping players navigate online casinos, sportsbooks, and bingo sites.

Karhu himself has been part of Bojoko’s journey from the start, serving as Chief Business Executive before taking over the reins as CEO. He has also been part of the gambling industry for well over a decade and has a background as an online poker player before moving into affiliate marketing.

In this interview, we’ll explore the origins of Bojoko, the function of affiliate platforms in the online casino sector, how gambling sites can use them to boost their success, and where the industry is headed.

First, tell us about the inception of Bojoko and the core principles that guide its operations.

The idea behind Bojoko was simple: create a platform that makes it easier for players to find their ideal gambling sites without the usual hassle and with confidence in the site’s integrity.

I see our platform as much more than just a comparison site for online gambling. Bojoko is conceived as a comprehensive ecosystem designed to bridge the gap between players and operators in the online gambling industry, emphasising user empowerment and informed choices.

Our mission is to provide a transparent, honest, and user-centric platform where players can find, compare, and select the best online casinos, sportsbooks, and bingo sites that meet their individual preferences.

We have achieved this by offering a variety of sophisticated tools and filters, allowing users to effortlessly navigate through options based on criteria that matter most to them, such as game selection, payment methods, bonuses, and overall user experience.

Your background in the industry is quite extensive. How have you seen the role of affiliate marketing evolve, particularly regarding player acquisition?

When I first entered the industry, affiliate marketing was still a straightforward referral system with the main objective of driving traffic to gambling operators. Over the years, this approach has transformed dramatically.

Today, affiliate marketing has become an indispensable part of the online gambling ecosystem, characterised by a much more sophisticated and strategic implementation.

The advent of advanced data analytics and technology has enabled affiliates like Bojoko to tailor content and offerings to specific audience segments. This level of precision in targeting potential players allows for a more personalised approach, significantly enhancing the effectiveness of player acquisition strategies.

One of the critical shifts I’ve observed is the transition from quantity to quality. The focus is no longer solely on driving as much traffic as possible but on attracting the right kind of genuinely interested players who are likely to engage with the gambling platforms long-term.

This benefits the operators by improving conversion rates and player retention and enhancing the user experience, ensuring players find platforms that best suit their preferences and gaming behaviour.

Furthermore, the role of affiliates has expanded beyond mere referrals. Platforms like Bojoko are now seen as trusted advisors and influencers within the gambling community.

As the industry continues to grow and adapt, I believe the role of affiliate marketing will only become more integral. It will continue to evolve, embracing new technologies and strategies to serve players and operators better.

Considering the regulatory environment in the UK, what should online gambling brands keep in mind when selecting affiliate partners?

Choosing affiliate partners wisely is paramount in a regulated market like the UK. Brands must seek out affiliates whose audience matches their target demographic and maintain a reputation for compliance and responsible gambling practices.

With strict regulations governing the industry, working with reputable affiliates ensures that operators reach their desired audience and do so ethically and competently.

How does Bojoko adapt to these changes, and how does it promote responsible gambling?

Adapting to regulatory changes requires vigilance and flexibility. We closely monitor developments in all markets we operate, ensuring our platform and partners fully comply with current regulations. This commitment to compliance is critical for maintaining the trust of both our partners and our users.

Promoting responsible gambling is a fundamental aspect of our operations. We offer extensive resources to help users gamble safely, including links to professional help and educational content on responsible gambling practices.

By integrating these resources into our platform, we aim to encourage a safe and responsible gambling environment for all our users.

How can online casinos leverage relationships with affiliates like Bojoko to improve their conversion rates?

Affiliates are the primary way of attracting new players for operators that do not have the budget for massive marketing campaigns, including TV ads, large sponsorships, etc. Even these top brands are still heavily reliant on affiliates such as ourselves.

This is because players looking for new gambling sites do not just want to sign up for the first website that comes along. They want to get the best deal or otherwise find the operators that best cater to them.

Google understands this, and if you search for any general casino term, you will see that Bojoko and other affiliate websites hold the majority of top positions. Players click through to the websites and start comparing the casinos, bookmakers, bingo sites, etc. A solid portion of these players then continue to sign up and make a deposit. Not working with affiliates means losing out on all of these players.

Bojoko is one of the top affiliates in the UK, with tens of thousands of visitors every single month. This week’s news that the players we alone have referred have deposited more than 75 million euros at our partners further solidifies our position in the industry.

Being listed with us means you are present on every relevant page and can be found via our quick filters, allowing players to find the exact types of gambling brands they are looking for. This means that when the players click through to a gambling site, they’re already a high-quality lead likely to convert. For our partners, this translates to higher conversion rates and, ultimately, more FTDs.

Furthermore, operators can directly engage with us at Bojoko for strategic insights. By doing so, they can receive tailored advice on how to enhance their appeal and effectively increase their number of FTDs.

This direct interaction helps fine-tune their offerings to match player preferences. It provides a pathway to leveraging Bojoko’s extensive knowledge of the online gambling market for better alignment with consumer expectations.

What future trends do you see in the online gambling industry, and how is Bojoko positioning itself as part of that future?

For most operators, achieving visibility in such a saturated space is practically impossible, and it will not get any more accessible in the future.

Bojoko is keenly focused on fostering deeply symbiotic relationships between operators and affiliates in this evolving ecosystem. This approach is about enhancing visibility and creating an environment where both parties can thrive, leveraging our platform for mutual benefit.

As we look to the future, our commitment at Bojoko is to continue pushing the envelope, ensuring that our platform remains at the cutting edge of innovation and utility.

We’re not just following the trends—we aim to be ahead of them, making strategic adjustments to better connect our users with quality gaming experiences and help our partners achieve their goals. This proactive stance is at the core of our mission, driving us to build a future where everyone in our orbit finds success and value.