The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

Honesty and transparency are key

Thursday, 22 July 2021, 12:22 Last update: about 3 months ago

‘The Malta Independent’ spoke to TONI HALONEN, CEO and co-founder of Bojoko

Let's start from the beginning... what motivated you to create a gambling website, provide lead generation to the iGaming industry and join the affiliate market?

I have always loved playing games and competing, either through sports, board games or - you guessed it, gambling. My enjoyment of poker and passion for learning led myself and a friend to launch affiliate sites and eventually launch our flagship casino affiliate site, Bojoko in 2017. Bojoko helps users to choose gambling sites as part of wider efforts to bring iGaming to the mainstream through safer and more fluid gambling.



What were your biggest challenges and are there challenges still facing the current post-pandemic iGaming affiliate market?

Fortunately, the global online gambling industry wasn't really impacted by the pandemic and in most jurisdictions it actually enjoyed quite significant growth over the past 12 months. Like many businesses, the biggest challenge for us was deploying remote working and ensuring that staff were happy and healthy while working from home.


Can you define your role, the company's culture and what differentiates Bojoko from the competition?

As CEO of Bojoko I am ultimately responsible for the day-to-day running of the business and in particular leading the talented team that is behind the site. I focus heavily on SEO and product development.

From day one we tried to build an open and flexible culture that allows all team members to reach their full potential. This includes having a six-hour working day where employees can choose when they start between 8am and noon.


How do you choose which operators to work with? What do you pay the most attention to when choosing an affiliate programme?

We only work with licensed, trustworthy operators and make sure the commercial agreement between Bojoko and the operator is mutually beneficial, fair and viable for both parties in the long-term.


What is Bojoko and why has it been your most ambitious project so far, signalling its main benefits and why is it so different from other casino affiliate sites?

Bojoko has been designed to help users choose gambling sites in many different ways.

Honesty and transparency are key; we allow online casinos to create their own dedicated listing page on Bojoko and our members, of which we now have more than 30,000, then rate and review the experience they receive at each. We also have a team of independent casino testers that leave their feedback, providing a "double layer".

In addition to this, we have created intuitive tools to help players filter casinos based on the factors that matter most to them and have developed our own in-house training apps for blackjack and roulette with more to follow.


Can you describe the online gaming industry in Europe - how has it grown and how much competition is out there?

The landscape is incredibly competitive for all stakeholders - operators, suppliers and affiliates. That much of Europe is now regulated or regulating also presents additional challenges when it comes to responsible gambling and safe gaming. Despite this, the market continues to grow and as mentioned earlier, the sector has emerged as being pandemic proof.


Could you share a couple of success stories of gaming companies that use Bojoko's platform and services?

Absolutely - this is what an operator and a slot developer had to say about working with Bojoko.


Tim Merchant from Unibet

"Bojoko is innovative in the model that it uses to allow casinos to list on its site and we do so with confidence because we control the content that is published. We have a great relationship with the Bojoko team and are beyond pleased with the quality traffic they send to our brands."


What challenges do you face in the Maltese gaming sector and what do you think about the industry in Malta?

Malta is considered the global hub of online gambling and that is why we decided to base Good Game Ltd on the island. It has incredible infrastructure but also an unrivalled talent pool that we have been able to tap into when growing the Bojoko team. That is why so many operators, suppliers and affiliates call it home - the beaches and year-round sunshine help, too.


How do you encourage responsible gambling?

Responsible gaming is at the core of Bojoko. We have partnered with gambling block software provider, Gamban, to provide our members with a free trial of its services.

In addition to this, we work with a gambling law expert who carries out an annual audit of Bojoko to check that our content and marketing activity is responsible and that we are doing all we can to encourage safe gaming. This approach has seen us be shortlisted in this year's Global Gaming Awards for Social Responsibility of the Year.


Any new projects in the pipeline and what kind of changes can we expect from the iGaming sector in 2021/2022?

We recently made our first move into sport betting affiliation with a dedicated site aimed at players in Finland. At the same time, we have big ambitions for the US market where we are already live in New Jersey and are in the process of securing licences in other states like Pennsylvania.



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