Ask The Affiliate Experts: How To Choose A Reputable iGaming Affiliate Program?

by Gambling Industry News - Friday, January 7th, 2022 8:12

gambling affiliate program tips from the experts

The world of online affiliate marketing can be a minefield for the inexperienced, but with a growing global gambling industry that shows no signs of slowing down – those who succeed in the space continue to enjoy huge rewards.

Despite a mish-mash of gambling regulation worldwide, iGaming affiliate marketing is generally quite straightforward: Affiliates direct traffic to operator websites (after being approved by the brands) and enjoy commission based on earnings from the traffic.

We asked a number of established gambling industry affiliates and experts “What should affiliates look for when choosing a trustworthy affiliate program?”

Frank Op de Woerd –

In the Netherlands, there’s only a limited number of online casinos you can partner up with right now. That is, if you focus on the regulated market, something I’m a big advocate of. I don’t deal with unregulated online casinos, so I can’t enlighten you on that market.

As the regulated Dutch market is in its infancy, there’s not a lot to choose from just yet. My philosophy is, and it remains to be seen if I’m right or not, is to close deals with as many regulated partners as possible for the best possible deal. Then, with numerous partners on board, I decide who to push. Therefore, to remain flexible, in this first stage of the market opening up, I haven’t committed to selling set positions on the frontpage or other high traffic pages just yet.

The choice to go for CPA, rev-share, or a hybrid deal, isn’t one that’s come up all too often so far. With the small number of operators active right now, they mostly dictate the terms. I prefer rev-share and building a good relationship so to work towards high retention. If you don’t have the highest hopes for an operator and think they might not be around in some time or don’t make for the highest retention, a good CPA is a smart option.

Connie Burstin – The Affiliate Agency

– Research the product: Make sure that product you are promoting is good for the end user. Such as stable game provider, friendly cashier process, variety of payment/withdrawal options, good customer service, attractive promotions for all budgets, etc. The terms and conditions and promotion terms can give you a good understanding. For all of that you might need to create a player account and test it yourself and experience what your audience will experience as well.

– Beneficial Commission Structure: A good commission structure where merchant and affiliate feel comfortable to build a long term relationship. The terms and conditions from program will give you the whole picture on how the program operates.

– Reliable Affiliate Management: The role of an affiliate manager is important as they will provide you with targeted tools to acquire the potential player. Also, keeping you informed on all the promotions and other type of information that might be necessary to grow your business with the operator.

– Testing Testing: An initial test will also give you an idea if the product is right for your audience after the above 3 points are good. If all good with player conversion, proper commission calculation and reliable affiliate management then is a good affiliate program for you.

Johannes Turunen –

Poker apps have become a hot topic among players lately, and you can find good licensed options for some GEOs. Just remember to check the actual player traffic before signing up as an affiliate, as the last thing you want to do is sign-up a ton of players for an empty poker room!

When choosing a poker affiliate program, make sure to check out what kind of special promotions are available to your players. Everyone loves extra bonuses and promos – you can shoot up your conversion rates by picking the right affiliate programs.

An important best practice every poker affiliate should have is checking the actual commission structure, taking into account all the possible deductions from your potential commissions. Poker operators have varying conditions and terms in their affiliate programs that might not stand out at first sight. A big number like 50% revenue share might sound attractive before you figure out that all player bonuses and expenses of money transfers are deducted from your pay – it’s worthwhile to pay attention to the details in this matter.

In our experience, for long-term profitability you should stick to revenue share programs unless you can get a ridiculously high CPA like 300-400usd per sign-up (which can happen in the US market). Otherwise you just cut your potential profits as you catch players who put in a ton of volume month after month. CPA programs with strict conditions are usually something to avoid.

In terms of operators to work with, try to get a hold of an affiliate manager that’s able to cater to your specific needs. Even if some operator has a general affiliate program that doesn’t look that attractive, with a bit of negotiation you can strike up profitable deals, especially if your audience of players is a large one.

Christine M –

Choosing a perfect affiliate program to work with is becoming more and more of a difficult task these days. I find myself making sure I do a lot of research before signing up to market new brands. There are many factors in choosing a good program, one of the biggest for me is to ensure the program has been around for longer than a year. New start-ups are just too volatile. I also make sure I do a deep dive into the program, I search many affiliate news sites to ensure there are no ongoing issues with payments, support, etc.

One of the most important steps in choosing a program is making sure they are not flagged as a program with predatory terms, there are more and more programs resorting to retroactive term changes as well as adding in hidden admin fees, these fees at times can bring down your agreed revenue share to pennies! If I am promised 40% revshare and the program is removing 30% in fees, I will not waste my energy or time marketing a brand with very high admin fees. Try to make sure to have an agreement with low admin fees. Another term I look for is an ‘activity clause’, these can be the death of your affiliate earnings, along with the potential loss of all the income from players you have previously brought to the program.

In short, it is very important to research and be very picky about what affiliate programs you intend to strike up a business deal with.

Mike Murphy –

Affiliates in the US market looking for reputable usa sportsook partners to promote need to consider the market they operate in, where they will promote offers, and licensing status of both the operator and the affiliate.

As a fractured market – the US market is best viewed on a state-by-state basis. Licensing requirements for both affiliates and operators are not consistent in all states. For example: New Jersey requires affiliate partners to be licensed, but New York does not require affiliates to obtain licensing.

It’s also worth pointing out that even in states that require affiliates to be licensed, those regulations only apply to online sports betting, online casino, and online poker markets.

Horse racing betting, daily fantasy sports, and online lotteries do not have any level of affiliate licensing requirements. Daily fantasy sports and horse racing betting is legal in most US states, so that’s a potential entry point for affiliates looking to test the waters and gain market experience in the worlds biggest regulated market.

When choosing potential partners in the US market, I’d recommend starting with market-leading brands, such as DraftKings and FanDuel. With the US a technological and innovation hub – many startups will enter the market, and the reality is that a large percentage of those will fail. Leading operators with significant market share are the most established, with long track records of paying affiliates on time and having the most available markets to promote to.

LIcensed affiliates will need to avoid the temptation of promoting offshore operators on lucrative revenue share deals. Not only can promoting these illegal brands cause affiliates to be black listed from future markets, but these brands are also likely to be pushed out of the market as more states regulate online gambling.

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