In the last few years, many countries have begun the process of legalizing online gambling and betting.
One of the major reasons for this is the significant economic benefits these activities bring to a country, not least because online casinos can be heavily taxed. In addition to this, they may also increase employment opportunities and tourist interest in the area.
With these significant changes to the online casino industry, there has never been a better time to become an affiliate for these networks.
Since these changes mark a significant shift in the way the industry operates and increases growth opportunities, you will be able to reap more profit from an online casino affiliate program as time goes on.
If you’re just beginning to explore this possibility, however, the whole project can sound completely overwhelming.
It’s not uncommon for people to ask themselves what becoming an online casino affiliate entails, and then quickly talk themselves out of it they blow the requirements out of proportion.
For those who are serious about this, however, there are significant advantages that make the initial process of learning to understand it completely worthwhile.
In this article, we will simplify the information so you receive the essential information you need to make a decision about whether you want to take the plunge.
This includes information about the current state of the market and the benefits of casino affiliate programs on the casinos themselves and the consumer.
After providing you with this information, we will simplify things further, taking you through everything you need to create a successful online casino affiliate program.
Online Gambling Market Overview
The first online casino launched in August 1996, offering just eighteen games. Now, online casinos are thriving, with new businesses coming to the gambling table every day.
This industry has shortened the steps taken to become one part of the ever-expanding online gambling market, which also includes sports betting and online poker.
Current predictions suggest that this market as a whole could be valued at more than USD$94 billion by 2024, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 9%.
Two aspects contributing to this market growth are increased availability and advancements of technology, such as smartphones and mobile apps, that make online casino websites more accessible.
The changes to legislation are also having a major impact, with the legalization of sports betting in the U.S. thought to have a significant impact on the industry as a whole.
Despite this news is a good thing for the online gambling market as a whole, it has also created tighter regulations for the industry.
With some states and countries throughout the world have had legislation in place regarding online casino websites for several years, however, this should have a very minimal impact on the industry.
Popularity Of Online Casino Games
Online casino games are considered to be the most popular sector of the online gambling world, having gained traction in countries throughout the world.
Much of this popularity is thought to be held in European countries, partly because they were some of the first to legalize online gambling.
In 2015, when online gambling was illegal in most states in the US, online casino gambling accounted for 33% of all gambling in the UK.
By 2017, a rise in the number of online casinos available to residents within the UK had led to a 10% increase in the overall revenue these sites generate.
We’re also seeing growth in other parts of the world: in Australia, those using internet gambling in any form has grown from 15.7% in 2012 to about 34%.
Of this number, about 22% exclusively use smartphones for betting, something you need to consider when it comes to setting up your own affiliate program.
Since online casino gambling is still illegal in most states throughout the U.S. to varying degrees, it’s difficult to find statistics that accurately represent this market.
With the rise in online casinos catering to U.S. residents and the changing legislation, however, it won’t be too long before the U.S. online gambling market is as open as those of other countries.
The Online Casino Affiliate Market
The online casino affiliate program market has grown significantly in recent years, with many now viewing it as a viable way to earn, and even exceed, the equivalent of a full-time wage.
A recent survey of the internet gaming industry found that 35% of affiliates for one casino website alone were earning more than $10,000 a month.
Determining the exact size of the online casino affiliate market is an impossible task, but the fact that most of the biggest contenders in the industry have some sort of affiliate system in place speaks volumes.
That 75% of affiliates view online casinos as an area to focus their efforts, suggests that even affiliates know where the profit is in the gambling affiliate industry.
Considering the thriving world of online casinos in the UK, it’s probably not surprising to learn that most online casino affiliates primarily target this market.
Some online casino affiliates have also found success targeting other Western and Eastern European countries in addition to Australia and the United States.
When you consider that Australians spend more money per capita than any other country at in-land casinos, this isn’t much of a surprise.
These results also show that you don’t necessarily need to market your affiliate services to mainstream companies, as some have found success in smaller European countries.
Why Casinos Will Always Use Affiliate Programs
When it comes to investing in the world of affiliate programs, there is always an innate fear that they will disappear one day.
Many people warn you not to put everything into affiliate programs, but with online casinos, there’s nothing to say they won’t be around forever.
The main reason for this is that they are mutually beneficial for both the company and those running said affiliate programs on their websites.
Ultimately, the main purpose of affiliate programs within this industry is to deliver referral traffic to the casino website via the use of links or banners.
The websites to which these affiliate advertisements are linked often specialize in casino gambling, which means there is an increased chance of a high volume of referral traffic.
Not only will the website receive more traffic, but said traffic will also be extremely valuable because it will lead to higher than average conversions.
In a world driven by monetary gains and profits, this alone is reason enough to explain why casinos will always use affiliate programs, but it isn’t the only one.
Another common reason to use them is to make possible the application of a marketing method that has a clear way of being measured without much effort.
Using affiliate programs, all online casino executives need to do is calculate the amount they’ve invested against the amount they’ve earned as a result of the affiliate link and they’ll understand their return on interest (ROI).
In most companies, online casino businesses will find that their ROI is far higher from affiliate referrals than other forms of digital and traditional marketing.
These businesses aren’t using affiliate programs to replace other forms of marketing, though; some use them especially to execute trial runs of their campaigns to see what works and what doesn’t.
To do this, companies will advertise different banners with affiliates to see what resonates most with their target audience.
Although this is not true in every case, running different banners often helps them to refine their marketing efforts by excluding banners that don’t bring in much referral traffic and focusing on the ones that do.
Finally, some online casinos will simply use affiliate programs to encourage their positive reputation and increase their presence online.
Ultimately, many of these successful affiliate websites have a great reputation online, so why shouldn’t online casinos use this to their advantage in a mutually beneficial deal?
Doing so can increase the online casino’s credibility, strengthen the brand, and provide the affiliate website used with a commission for doing so.
How To Create Your Own Casino Affiliate Program
Now that you understand the online casino market from the point of view of an affiliate, it’s time to think about creating your own casino affiliate program.
The big mistake most people make when doing this is believing they’ll start making money from the offset. This is very often not the case.
Like other online-based businesses, you will have to work hard for a significant amount of time before you can reap the rewards.
It takes some casino affiliates up to a year to start seeing money coming in from the effort they have put forth.
Even so, being successful by creating a casino affiliate program can definitely be done if you’re passionate about it.
The hard work can seem extremely overwhelming, but it’s made even harder if you don’t know where to start, which is why we’ve put together this guide to tell you how to do just that.
Choose Your Niche
It’s advisable that you have some experience of online casinos before becoming an affiliate because it makes the ability to share correct and up-to-date information easier.
It will also make deciding things like choosing your niche far easier, something which is extremely important when you’re competing against other already-successful websites.
By focusing on one sub-section of online casinos, such as bitcoin casinos or fair casino games, you will more easily find an engaged audience.
This will allow you to make commissions far easier and increase your profits, and will also show the online casinos you’re working with that you’re a good affiliate.
It also gives you a number of keywords you can use for SEO purposes that other established casino affiliate programs aren’t already using.
Create A Domain and Attractive, Mobile-Friendly Website
The next fundamental thing you should do before getting started is to create a memorable domain name and mobile-friendly website.
When affiliate marketers in the online casino world receive over 50% of their monthly income from mobile phone users, optimizing your site for mobile users isn’t optional.
It will also help your SEO ranking because Google favors mobile-friendly websites.
Having a memorable domain name that describes your specialism and is memorable is also extremely important because it encourages people to return to your website when looking for future recommendations.
Find A Trustworthy Partner
The affiliate marketing industry relies on trust more than most other businesses.
Between the online casino and the casino affiliate program, there is an agreement in place that someone will be paid for promoting their website, but this doesn’t always happen.
Sometimes, you’ll find untrustworthy casino establishments that will do anything they can to withhold the commissions you earn from affiliate links and banners.
In some cases, this will even include shutting down their operations, only to have them re-open up a new name a few weeks later.
To avoid this, it’s important to do a lot of research and only work with legal regulated online casinos.
It’s also a good idea to look at a casino’s reputation online to see what others are saying about it, because this can also affect with which company you decide to work.
Discuss Payment Arrangements
After finding a trustworthy partner, it’s time to sit down and talk about money.
In general, the commission offered by online casinos will be between 25% and 30% of the bet amount made by the player you referred to.
For those affiliates who bring a significantly high volume of traffic to the website, these percentages may rise to somewhere around the 50%-60% mark.
In some cases, online casinos may opt for a system offering a set rate of commission for every person you refer.
If a casino offers this last option, it doesn’t necessarily mean the casino is a bad partner to work with, but it can work out to be less lucrative than the more popular option of a percent of amounts bet, if you’re bringing many customers to the casino.
Most online casinos will aggregate commissions and send out direct deposits or checks in the middle of the month for what you’ve earned during the previous payment period.
This can vary depending on who you partner with, however, so it’s always best to speak to them about the exact terms of your affiliate program agreement.
Bringing Attention To Your Website
As an online casino affiliate program, you’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t bring attention to your website.
This is the stage that people tend to find most overwhelming because they have little marketing experience and don’t know where to start, but attention can come from many different directions.
In the long-term, you should focus on a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy to increase your ranking in Google for relevant keywords. This will increase the number of people who see your website after searching for something, and will thus increase your traffic.
If you don’t understand how SEO marketing works, there are many freelancers or digital marketing agencies who specialize in this area that can do it for you.
Social media is another area where you can draw much attention to your website by posting promotional tweets and becoming involved with the online casino community.
On places like Instagram, Twitter and even LinkedIn (to a degree), this can involve using relevant hashtags to make sure you show up in the community.
On places like Facebook, joining certified groups for online gambling that allow promotion may be a better option. Even posting regularly on a business Facebook page can help to increase traffic and conversions in your business.
Bringing attention to your website can also be done using content marketing, which involves writing informative content about online casino games.
If you can write about the niche you specialize in, it’s easier to rank for keywords when competing against affiliate program websites that already exist, and can help your website receive attention sooner.
Primarily, content marketing can be used to create a positive impact on your SEO ranking, but it may also make you an authority figure within your niche if you show you know what you’re talking about.
The Waiting Game
After successfully doing all of the above, there is a little bit of a waiting game involved. As mentioned, online casino affiliate programs do not gain popularity overnight.
If you put in the hard work and follow the tips we have provided, however, your chances of succeeding with this venture will increase.
We’re at a stage where it’s almost impossible to ignore the transitional period currently experienced by those within the online casino world around the globe.
With many countries looking at legalizing online casino gambling in the near future, with some places having already done it, the industry is going to grow like never before.
Even in places where online gambling has already been legalized, advancements in technology mean the uptick of online casino gambling players is increasing year-on-year.
Although current data is extremely limited, it is reasonable to suggest that increased legalization will lead to higher profits and overall revenue for casino companies.
This transitional period provides perfect timing for those thinking about creating an online casino affiliate program; profits are as high as they have ever been and are only going to increase in the next few years.
Although creating an affiliate program isn’t necessarily easy, it’s well worth it for those willing to put in the hard work it takes to succeed.