AskGamblers is presenting you Renee Mate, our representative and trademark of Rewards Affiliates, one of the biggest and greatest Microgaming brands in gambling industry! Renee is young, successful woman, also a very beautiful one. She has won iGB's Best Casino Manager award 3 times in a row! Her replies are always fast and comprehensive, she's very helpful every time and it's a great pleasure working with her! She takes an outstanding care of 31 Rewards Affiliates brands! Privately, Renee is very friendly and talkative person, who loves riding a motorcycle, attending concerts, running by the coast, great parties and of course, her job! She lives in beautiful Australia!
1) Hi Renee! You've been working for Rewards Affiliates for almost 8 and half years! How did you start working in the gambling industry? Have you worked somewhere else related to gambling, before CR?
Funnily enough, it was a total fluke to start working at Rewards Affiliates. I was doing some web dev for a small engineering company which had very little work for me and were not managing their funds properly so I decided to look for something new (I have a computer science background – yep I’m a nerd). As I’m the type of person to aim higher than what I think is achievable on the off chance that something awesome comes out of it, I decided to apply for this job that wanted all of these qualifications that I didn’t possess.
When I came for my interview there wasn’t much on their list I could actually do so they got me talking about what I was working on and after an hour of me blabbing (no surprises there) they said thanks and I left. As I walked out my initial thought was, “Well I definitely didn’t get that one”. To my surprise they called me on Monday and offered me the job! I even asked them 3 times whether they had called the right person. Apparently the other people they interviewed had all the tech skills they wanted, but I was the only one who could talk – and trust me, I could probably talk Under Water. My dad calls me the social Butterfly. Fast forward over 8 years and I’m pretty sure they are glad with their decision :)
2) What's the secret of the long and successful tradition your brands are nurturing for years and what is it, in your opinion, that distinguishes them from other brands in the industry?
I think one of the things that you’d find in our company that you wouldn’t find in many others is a large amount of employees who treat the business as if it is their own, and therefore have been around for many years whether in the same position or moving around the company because they care about the success of the company. In return, the employees are treated very well here and it is very hard to make the decision to leave if it was to come about. I think when any person does something with passion, the output is so much better, and I believe that our success is a direct result of that.
3) Do you have any advice for players on how to recognise a good casino?
I think everyone has different opinions on what is good and what is bad. Due diligence is always a good idea – looking for complaints and whether or not the same complaint is always posted and whether it’s something that can be avoided on the player side or whether it is an issue where the casino is acting dodgy. Complaints are also a hard one to judge because it’s rare that a player posts when they have had a good experience, but 9 times out of 10 when a player has a bad experience (and a lot of the time when they have simply just not had any luck) they will post about it. I would say that the player should read the terms and conditions thoroughly and if they are happy with the terms and are not worried about any complaints then they should play.
4) Despite good reputation and fairness which are characteristics of your brands, we are receiving a few complaints from time to time. What is the reason this happens? Any advice for the players on how to prevent and avoid such situations or what to do before they decide to post a complaint?
Many complaints that come through for our brands are for the same reasons, and most of them could easily have been avoided by reading the terms and conditions thoroughly. As always, if the player is not sure on a term, our live chat is available 24/7 to answer any questions, so I would suggest to hit them up on chat and get clarification. It could save a confiscation later down the track.
5) Casino facts and features in all your brands are stable and solid for a long time! Do you have any plans for changing or upgrading it, with, for example, different welcome bonuses or other games software addition?
December saw us launch a new version of our Rewards Affiliates loyalty program where the player now has a VIP level from Bronze up to Diamond and has varying benefits depending on their status level. The player earns status points with their play and each point pushes them closer to the next status level. The loyalty program now also includes a jackpot which turns over every 8 hours where the player will use their membership number to see if they are a winner. If the prize is not claimed it rolls over into a potentially huge jackpot for the winner.
Players in the higher VIP levels have the opportunity to win once in a lifetime experiences, 5 star dining with their VIP host and sporting tickets to their favourite sporting event. On top of this they have the opportunity to play exclusive games, obtain exclusive weekly and monthly bonuses and promos, high roller bonuses and birthday bonuses.
As for the welcome bonuses on the individual casinos, we have tested these over time and kept the ones that work. Since we have so many brands it makes sense to vary the bonuses throughout the casinos, so we have a mix of free spins, deposit bonuses, no deposit bonuses and low minimum purchase amounts (some of our casinos require a minimum $1 deposit to play). There are some website revamps on the cards and some new languages coming soon for both download and mobile casinos so stay tuned for those!
6) Are you willing to consider the idea of an exclusive bonus, made for your affiliates in the near future?
We have started looking into this in a bit more detail more recently and I would say it’s definitely a possibility on the cards for 2014.
7) Do you plan on speeding up the withdrawal procedure and pending period in particular, since 48 hours may be considered long for the biggest Microgaming powered brands in the industry?
There are no current plans at changing the withdrawal procedure or pending period at this time. Looking around at other groups it seems to be the industry average, and less than the average among Microgaming groups.
8) Are you planning to implement weekend cash-outs?
Not at this time.
9) Rewards Affiliates includes 31 brand! Is there going to be a 32nd?
There are currently no plans to increase the number of brands any time soon and thank goodness! Having so many brands is a lot of work, especially on the affiliate side!
10) What is the relation between your brands - is one player eligible to have an account in all of them and redeem welcome bonuses in each?
A player may redeem the welcome bonus at each casino with the Rewards Affiliates network, as long as they make a deposit in between each bonus.
Think of Rewards Affiliates like an airline frequent flyer program. Earning points at one brand means you can spend them at any brand within the group, just like you can with the airlines. This gives the players so many more options on where to earn points, allowing them to move around if they feel lucky at a brand they don’t necessarily play at regularly, and still be able to spend their points at their favourite casino.
11) Are you gambling yourself? Maybe playing slots?
I’m not much of a gambler to be honest. I don’t mind the odd game of Blackjack (which seemingly I am very good at), and I like to have Poker games with friends over drinks mostly because I like the interaction, but competitively it’s not my thing.