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Interview with Ville Saari, Head of Content at Bojoko

Interview with Ville Saari, Head of Content at Bojoko

The online casino market is constantly growing, and players are having a hard time figuring out which casinos are good for them. This is where casino experts and reviewers come in and help them out.

We had a chance to talk with Ville Saari, the Head of Content at Bojoko, a leading UK casino review site, about their process. Saari is an industry veteran whose reviews have helped players for well over a decade.

You have been reviewing casinos for a long time now. What initially drew you to this field, and how has your perspective on casinos evolved over time?

I started back in 2009 and have worked for multiple affiliate companies over the years, reviewing casinos and creating helpful content. My journey started accidentally, as someone near me offered me a job to write casino and betting news. Writing at that point wasn't my trade, but I was willing to give it a go. Practice made perfect, and I've been sticking with it for a decade and a half now.

In that time, the casino world has evolved significantly, but one thing remains: You can always spot a good casino. They stand out and create something worth their customers' time. It has staying power. Some of the same casinos are still operational from when I started, and those are the ones I have always rated highly. When you do things right, you succeed.

Can you walk us through your process of evaluating a casino? What criteria do you consider most critical?

Everything starts by hopping on to the casino, signing up, and basically clicking everything. Before I write a single line, I want to have a good sense of the user experience. Is it quick and nimble, or am I stuck waiting for menus to open and spending my time trying to figure out where everything is?

From there, I start collecting data, writing down numbers, checking all the games, contacting support, and doing everything a player would do. This is where my experience plays a big role. I can quickly assess a casino and know where the trouble spots are.

If we look at our hand-picked list of the top 50 casinos in the UK, we will see the same things over and over again, but in a good way. Even though the sites may look unique, the core elements that make them good are always the same, i.e. a smooth user experience, good bonuses with fair terms, a varied selection of games and payment methods, easy withdrawals, and, of course, a helpful and knowledgeable support team.

Expertise and unbiased analysis are crucial in your role. How do you maintain objectivity when reviewing casinos that your company also advertises?

I have always pushed myself to be as impartial and truthful in my reviews as possible. The idea behind this for me has always been that if I embellish a casino or simply misdirect a reader, they will never trust me again. One sour experience is often enough for them to go elsewhere.

To be able to keep my readers' trust, I need to tell the truth at every step. The reader is more important to me than the casino. There are always other casinos to fill in a spot if one doesn't like what I have to say about them.

User experience is paramount in online gaming. From your perspective, what elements constitute a superior user experience for casino players?

The best experience is always the same. A casino makes a good product, I review it favourably because I genuinely liked it, and a player then plays there because of my review and actually enjoys it.

How do you see the future of online casinos, particularly with advancements in technology such as artificial intelligence and blockchain?

The future of online casinos is a mystery, and I always enjoy seeing new things. The technological advancement that will, in my opinion, play the biggest role is AI. The personalisation of your experience is where we are probably going to be heading.

From automatic customer service to better recommendations and tailored content, casinos will likely follow in the footsteps of streaming services. The words "if you liked this, then you'll probably enjoy these" are something we are likely to see more and more.

This does require additional resources, which is why the change is going to be slow. It starts from the bigger brands and eventually makes its way down to all of them.

Has your review ever impacted a casino's approach to player satisfaction or operational improvements?

Yes, though only in rare cases. Most of these revolve around bonuses, as those are the things casinos are the quickest to change.

Our company is, of course, in contact with the casino's affiliate managers, and there have been cases where they have reached out to hear why their bonuses have been spoken about unfavourably and have changed them accordingly. It is rare, but having that kind of impact gives me great satisfaction.

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