Tag: domain

Three Minutes With – Martins Tanne, Co-founder, Serpa Media Group

In our latest Three Minutes With, Martins Tanne, Co-founder of Serpa Media Group, spoke with Jennifer Kite-Powell, Head of Content at Okens Domains, to talk about how the company helps iGaming operators break boundaries, the importance of community building between operators and regulators, iGaming threats and the value of transparency they get with Okens Domains. Serpa Media Group works with all aspects of the casino and sportsbook industries to help them push boundaries and conquer new digital mountains.

Jennifer Kite-Powell (JKP): I love how your company name is tied to how Sherpas act as guides and porters to help people climb mountains to break boundaries. How do you approach your iGaming customers to help them break boundaries?

Martins Tanne, Serpa Media Group (MT): We create innovative and fun products for iGaming customers. But most importantly, they provide engaging and accurate ways to find useful information about operators and games. For example, one of our recent projects is Bookofslots.com. It’s focused on fostering the industry in communities, which is different from the thousands of top-list sites created just to make money. We believe product quality, innovation and strong communities are the right way to have the best long-term customers around iGaming operators.

JKP: What challenges do operators face when they connect with the consumer? 

MT: The biggest challenge for operators is undoubtedly regulatory. Many countries impose various restrictions that open the gates for gray-market casinos. On the other hand, these casinos often fail to provide high-quality services, have lengthy withdrawal times, and lack strong customer support. 

It’s a never-ending cycle for this industry, creating challenges for operators, regulators, and players. I believe that responsible gambling tools and a safe online casino environment for regulated market casinos are crucial. They must be maintained at a high level to build good relationships between regulators and casinos.

JKP: That’s a good point; relationship building always seems to be the last thing people think of these days. So we know operators have their challenges, but in your view, have iGaming consumers changed how they relate to iGaming operators?

Martins Tanne, Co-founder of Serpa Media Group
Martins Tanne, Co-founder of Serpa Media Group

MT: As regulations tighten within the iGaming industry, players now expect higher levels of transparency and fairness, pushing operators to adhere to stricter standards and maintain a wider choice of gaming options.

Also, as I mentioned above, the social features and community-building efforts within gaming platforms create deeper connections and interactions among users, enhancing loyalty and engagement. 

It is also important to mention that many players increasingly demand responsible gaming tools such as deposit limits, self-exclusion options, and prioritizing operators that promote ethical practices and customer welfare. This gives consumers more trust in the operator when they do these things.

JKP: Trust and security go hand in hand. Do you have any insight into the critical importance of maintaining a strong and secure online presence? 

MT: As we all know, the internet is a world of its own, and it’s crucial to maintain a strong and secure website for your business’s benefit and the consumers using your platform.

Interestingly, we faced our first DDoS attack three weeks ago and were unprepared. However, we’ve learned our lesson and added an extra layer of protection against such issues. It’s always important to remain vigilant about cybersecurity threats.

On another note, communicating with your clients is key. Ask them what features they want to see on your platform can create trust and connection. Customer satisfaction is the most vital aspect of your business; by listening to your customers, your product will improve daily.

JKP: I think companies don’t think a DDoS attack will happen to them until it does, so looking at online threats, what are iGaming operators facing?

MT: The primary threats to iGaming operators are regulatory issues, cybersecurity and reputation.

The narrative around anti-money laundering (AML) practices and government regulations is continuously evolving in this industry. This reflects the significant economic impact these businesses have on consumers.

Many casino sites have gone offline due to cybersecurity problems, highlighting data breaches as another major threat to this business.

Lastly, reputation is crucial. The iGaming industry is vast and with numerous fraudulent casinos emerging, particularly in Latin America, concerns about the legitimacy of online casinos are increasing. Many users find these platforms untrustworthy. Therefore, it is essential to build a brand that is both reliable and meets user needs effectively. 

JKP: How can Serpa help operators sidestep those threats – or better yet, blow past them? 

MT:  We encourage players to use responsible gambling tools and to play only on licensed operators. We also inform users about safe gambling practices and what to check or verify before playing at any online casino.

JKP: What tech developments do you see coming down the road for operators today that will positively impact their online presence? 

Implementing more artificial intelligence (AI) and automation that is connected to user behaviour (responsible gambling and limits) will definitely allow the iGaming industry to be more fun and less economically devastating for consumers, and this will also satisfy regulation more.

More swift and reliable payment systems- faster and safer crypto payments – will allow players to use operator services more often. We have spoken to many iGaming customers, and one of the most important questions is about withdrawal methods and time.

I’ve mentioned this before, but building community is vital. It’s important because gamblers tend to play at three to four casinos simultaneously, and a great community vibe will help them maintain a longer player life.

JKP: You’ve been working with Okens Domains since 2023. What motivated you to choose the company for your domains? 

 MT: We are working with Okens on new domain registration and management. It’s a very handy service for foreign country TLD registration because it helps us manage hundreds of domains with a convenient and easy-to-use platform. We value their transparency and swift customer support. I believe that’s one of the most important things when it comes to domain management and the fast business phase, as iGaming itself.

 

How Domains Really Work

At its core, a domain name is a string of characters that serves as a human-readable alias for an IP address. It provides a user-friendly way to access resources on the internet. For instance, the domain name example.com corresponds to the IP address where the associated web server is hosted. More casually, think of a domain name as the virtual equivalent of a street address. It’s the keyword that users type into their web browsers to navigate to a specific website. 

Currently, there are three widely recognized types of domain extensions, also known as top-level domains (TLDs):

  • gTLD (Generic Top Level Domain): These represent the original five TLDs introduced to the public: .COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO, .BIZ. It’s worth noting that the first TLD created was technically .arpa, but it was reserved for technical infrastructure and not utilized by the general public.
  • ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domain): These TLDs indicate specific geographical locations, such as .UK for the United Kingdom, .DE for Germany, and .BE for Belgium. Their purpose is to enhance the connection with local audiences. Importantly, the use of ccTLDs does not restrict international users from accessing the associated websites.
  • New gTLD (New Generic Top Level Domain): These are essentially extensions of the gTLD category, sharing the same registration, management, and administrative rules. However, new gTLDs often feature innovative and specialized extensions like .BET, .CASINO, and .GAMES, catering to specific industries or interests.
Here’s the important part

It’s important to understand that domain names come on a first-come, first-served basis and are never truly owned. When you register a domain, you effectively become its caretaker for a specific period, usually marked by expiration dates. 

Once that time runs out, the domain name expires (usually, it comes with the domain’s disconnection from the connected services, such as DNS, email, web hosting server, etc.). If the registrant does not renew the domain by paying the renewal fee, it will eventually be deleted by the Registry and released into the public pool for new registrations. 

In the domain industry, domain registries and domain registrars are the primary facilitators of domain usage for the general public. Despite their interconnected roles, they differ significantly, each contributing distinct functionalities to the domain ecosystem. 

Let’s examine their roles individually.

Domain registries (architects of the DNS hierarchy)

They wield authority over specific top-level domains (TLDs) within the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy. They operate under the rules & policies of organizations like ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), overseeing the management and governance of TLDs.

Behind the scenes, domain registries maintain master databases containing authoritative records of all registered domain names within their area of responsibility. These databases adhere to the DNS protocol, facilitating the resolution of domain names to their corresponding IP addresses. Domain registries execute essential functions, including domain name registration, renewal, deletion, and maintenance of WHOIS data. However, domain registries don’t interact directly with individual website owners. Instead, they work through intermediaries known as domain registrars.

Domain registrar (the person in the middle)

Domain registrars serve as intermediaries between domain registries and domain holders, enabling domain registration and management services. Accredited by domain registries, registrars operate in the domain resale market, offering a suite of services to individuals and organizations seeking to acquire and maintain domain names.

Here’s how it works: You search for an available domain name using a registrar’s website, select the desired TLD, and proceed with registration. The registrar then submits your registration request to the corresponding domain registry. Once approved, your chosen domain name becomes officially registered to you, provided you fulfill any registration requirements and pay the associated fees.

Registrars offer a range of additional services, such as domain privacy protection, DNS management, and email hosting, to enhance the domain ownership experience. They also handle domain renewals, transfers, and other administrative tasks throughout the lifespan of your domain.

Last but not least, the domain registrant

They can be called different names: holder, owner, etc., so it could be you if you read this.
But in essence, the domain registrant is a person (or company) who registers and manages the domain name through a registrar company. 

As we conclude our exploration of how domains really work, it becomes evident that domain names are not just strings of characters but essential components of the Internet’s infrastructure. They serve as virtual addresses, guiding users to their desired destinations with ease.

In a world driven by connectivity and innovation, mastering the nuances of domain management opens doors to endless possibilities, shaping the online experiences of millions worldwide. So whether you are a seasoned IT veteran or a curious new user, it is crucial to remember that domains are not just about navigating the web but navigating the future of digital interaction 

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Oleksii Haltsev is an experienced IT services industry professional and holds a Master’s degree in International Economics from the International Slavonic University in Kharkiv. Oleksii is our lead product owner at Okens Domains.

Here’s How You Treat Your Domain As A Strategic Asset

Your domain defines your brand. It’s like any other asset a company would invest in, manage and protect. Affiliates and operators face a deluge of new technologies [Web3 and AI], privacy threats, and an ever-expanding global marketplace. Your online brand is at risk without a strategy to protect and value that asset. 

Operators and affiliates face constant global challenges to protect their brands—from phishing to cybersquatting to domain name hijacking. Domain names play a fundamental role in the digital landscape. Millions of domain names are registered yearly, increasing the risk that those domains get into the wrong hands and pose prominent threats to brand owners and customers. Just like any asset, there are challenges and opportunities that have to be addressed, and your domain is no different. There is always a list of things you must do and things that aren’t mandatory, but the world would be easier if they were in place. 

Here are three things operators and affiliates should consider to reduce risk with their biggest online asset – their domain.

  • Losing domains versus having a plan
  • Check the best practices before engaging 
  • Create an analysis and action on your proactive defense 
  • Training and domain strategy + contingency plans
  • Scheduled billing and credit lines for domain renewal
  • Overspending versus smart spending
    • Proactive naming analysis and planning
    • Analyzing the portfolio, grading and ensuring there are no loose ends

    • Personal account management and tech support on the supplier side 
  • No security protocols versus security strategy
    • Create defensive domains
    • Mandatory multifactor authentication
    • Two-layer Whois

Author: 

Alexander Kucherenko is the global Business Development Director for Okens Domains.  He helps his customers focus on the tools and products they need to secure their domains and protect their brand online. Alexander talks about the importance of understanding the gaps in an operator’s domain strategy that create unnecessary risk to the brand. He has an uncanny ability to find the heart of a problem for operators and how to solve it. He was featured in Three Minutes With an OI article, which tells you more about his personality and passion for protecting the customers’ most important digital asset – their domain.  Alexander can speak on domain strategy, brand protection, domain registration, domain privacy, igaming market, cybersquatting, Web3 technologies, and domain asset management.

Photo by Ashraful Islam on Unsplash

Domain Mistakes

#2 Mistake – My Unused Domain Has No Value

Remember when you bought a set of domains to protect your brand as it grows? You were so proud of yourself – planned for your most important digital asset. Years have passed, and you haven’t used them, so you think they have no value.

Think again! Your unused domains have value.

Sometimes, our need for a domain or set of domains is no longer relevant; some customers leave them to expire, and others try to resell them via third parties. But here’s the thing: If you think that your domain or domains have no value 90% of the time, it is because there was no consideration given to the value of those domains when you acquired them.

You know what happens? It becomes a bargain for the buyer, but you just give money away. In some cases, we’ve even seen domain holders try to buy back their old domains later because they altered their business model or expanded faster than expected. We see this mistake frequently repeated despite our hand-waving.

Our best advice is to think twice about letting a good domain expire. It may be better to hang on to it, so think long-term rather than short-term. And if the financials are an issue, have a chat with us about possible domain parking solutions.

If you want to let them go after or see their value or lack of value, Okens Domains can help you assess their value. And here’s the really good part for you — it doesn’t matter which domain registration company those domains are with; we will help you sell them and reduce your time worrying about whether you did the right thing.

Stay tuned for the next story in March for our Mistake of the Month series. In the meantime visit www.okens.domains to learn how we can help.

Domain Mistakes

Mistake #1: Creating A New Brand Without The Domain

Recently, a customer came to us to acquire the most strategic domain for their new brand only to find that it had already been taken by another company with the country Top Level Domain (TLD) of their primary country of business. They had put considerable thought, resources and money into the brand design and positioning.

Ouch.

We see this happening a lot more than it should, but don’t worry; we have three tips to prevent this kind of mistake. And remember, we are here for you so get in touch – a real human will answer the phone. 

  1. Think domains from the beginning – even when you start your brand brainstorms. Think about the countries you need to operate in and the countries you want to expand into. There might be specific TLDs that make more sense and then you can see if they are available. It’s better to invest time at the start of the new brand than to waste money and resources developing a brand and a name.

  2. Look at associated domains via a simple domain gap analysis to safeguard your brand going forward. (we can do that for you!)

  3. In the case of the customer, they chose to use Okens Brokerage capabilities to negotiate and purchase the domain. We acquired the domain for them at a reasonable rate, safeguarding the marketing investment they made.

Stay tuned for the next story in February for our Mistake of the Month  – Don’t Waste Unused Domains. But in the meantime, read more about how to protect your domain on our OI Blog. 

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Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash

Domains

The Real, Real – How Domains Work

Hey there! As part of our “How to” series, we want to take a closer look at something we all use daily but might take for granted: how domains actually work.

A domain name is like the address of your website that people type into their browser’s address bar. It’s much easier to remember for us humans than a numerical IP address. When you type in a domain name, it sends a request to a global network of servers called the Domain Name System (DNS). These servers work their magic and direct you to the right place where the domain is hosted.

Domains are divided into two main categories: generic top-level domains (gTLD) and new top-level domains (new gTLD). These categories help keep domains organized and make managing and finding them easier.

Generic top-level domains

The generic top-level domains (gTLDs) or new gTLDs are generic domain extensions listed at the highest level in the domain name system. Hundreds of gTLDs are available, but the most popular ones are .com, .org, .net, .biz, and .info. Others pertain to specific sectors such as .bet or .casino.

One of the primary differences between gTLDs and other TLDs (such as ccTLDs) is that they are the easiest to register and maintain. Anyone, anywhere, can register and manage a gTLD. This makes them a popular choice for businesses and individuals alike who want to establish a strong online presence quickly and easily.

Country Code Top Level Domain

Country code top-level domains, or ccTLDs, are domain names specific to a country. They end with country code extensions such as .uk for the United Kingdom, .de for Germany, and .au for Australia. Websites use them to target audiences in a particular country. 

Most ccTLDs worldwide are governed by their respective local governments and have specific requirements for registration. For instance, TLDs like.NO, .CA, .AU requires a local presence. To register any of these TLDs, you must be Norwegian, Canadian, or Australian. 

In some cases, such as.IT, .EU, .FR, ccTLDs have EU-presence requirements. 

In extreme cases, such as.COM.BR, the registry may require a notarially certified document for registration or subsequent actions such as transfer to another registrar company.

Sponsored Top Level Domain – sTLD

Sponsored top-level domains (sTLDs) are a valuable category of TLDs, with a sponsor representing a specific community served by the domain extension. They are ideal for industries or communities that need a dedicated online presence and aim to differentiate themselves from the rest of the web. 

One of the key benefits of an sTLD is that it is regulated by the sponsor, which enables them to maintain control over the domain extension and ensure that it serves the community’s needs. For instance, .apple is governed and managed by the Apple corporation, which ensures that the domain extension aligns with the company’s values and goals. Similarly, .ORG is sponsored by the Public Interest Registry (PIR), a non-profit organization that operates in the public interest.

Domain registries manage all top-level domains (except sponsored TLDs). There are numerous registries for global domains like .com managed by organizations such as ICANN and country-specific or community/vertical-specific registries. 

These registries then enter agreements with registrars like Okens to sell domain names to users worldwide. A registrar like Okens will typically manage the domain on your behalf, dealing with records, renewals, transfers, etc., while providing guidance and expertise on confidentiality and privacy.

At Okens, we take pride in our global reach, working with registries worldwide and many community-led TLD registries. This allows us to assist you globally and provide the most vertical/community-specific TLDs. 

Our focus on B2B means that we aim to provide you with the best possible service by offering advice and help from a human representative, ensuring that your needs are met with the best care and attention.

Don’t Let Your Domains Turn Into The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

👹 👻 It’s Halloween, and no one should have to face a Texas Chain Saw Massacre in their brand’s domain. Cyber or typosquatting is a real threat that every company must be prepared to face. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re safe from it. Horror stories can happen to anyone, even from something that happens closer to the beast – your own backyard.

Domain mistakes can damage your reputation and revenues. There might be 13 Halloween 🎃movies in the franchise, but here are six screams to watch out for when you register your domain. Give Okens.domains a call to avoid all these and survive another night.

1. Always proofread the domain name before you register or publicize it
2. Always research who else owns matching TLDs
3. Don’t publish your URL before you have registered a domain name
4. Don’t let your critical domain names expire
5. Be careful who you share your plans with
6. Always understand TLD restrictions

Photo by Sabina Music Rich on Unsplash

domain

Best Practices To Manage Domains

As a part of our OI blog best practice series, we bring you the first in a series of articles about ways you can manage your domain strategically and efficiently. Establishing a few best practices is a great way to ensure your domains aren’t hijacked, expired, or cyber squatted.

Here are three domain management practices that can help minimise domain risk and ensure domain dominance.

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create a custom domain like a rockstar

So, You Want To Make A Custom Domain Like Will.i.am?

Will.i.am, the multi-talented Black-Eyed Peas artist, has not only created a brand with his name but also a domain that represents his identity and what he stands for. His success inspires us to learn from his experience and follow in his footsteps. Here are four amazing tips to do it like a pro and create a successful brand.
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