Do casinos really need affiliates?


Dormant account
First, let me say that I don't operate an online gambling marketing site of any kind, so you can just disregard everything I say...

but really, do casinos need affiliates? I see the affiiate system as being set up totally in the favor of the casinos. The affiliates assume all the initial investment and risk of setting up sites. If they bring in new players, swell, but if they get into confilct with one another or with other forms of marketing, the casino isn't going to feel any pain. This occurs to me looking at the list of operators--the oldest operators on the Internet--who still abuse their affiliate partners by using popup marketing. Casino On Net. World Wide Telesports. Lucky Nugget (that's Microgaming). Intercasino. Stanley Leisure.

I also don't think they will care much about the rakeback issue. If a software provider bans rakeback marketing among all their own affiliates, they will lose competitive advantage to sites that do allow it. Unlike other forms of gambling, poker players actually talk to each other; rakeback programs literally can use MLM and word-of-mouth to reach players with something that they'd actually want (free money!). Would a poker room want to monitor player chat for such trolling?

Gambling Federation may provide a test case. Since they've been dumped from the leading affiliate networking venues, will they survive? Will they be able to make up that lost player base with other forms of advertising?

I hope they don't. Players and affiiates have common interest in enforcing some standards of ethical behavior on the part of casinos and sportsbooks.


Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Hmm, how'd you get in here :D

Seriously - there is a bit of give and take from both sides. Sure, affiliates take on a lot of the costs of setting up sites, marketing, etc., but on the other hand, there are some affiliate programs that cater to webmasters' needs. It may seem that affiliates are a dime a dozen, but many of these are part timers who use the extra cash to supplement their income. It's sort of a hobby to them because they have real jobs. :D

Then there are the full timers that put a lot of time and effort into what they do. And they are free to drop a program just as quickly as a program can drop them. So it's a two way street there.

I'd be interested to hear what percentage of affiliates are part-timer weekend warrior compared to the full time webslave.

As for Gfed, time will tell. They still have a high profile, and even though the CAP and GPWA no longer carry them, I don't think that will make much of a difference. In a year's time, most people will consider the malware thing water under the bridge.


Dormant account
casinomeister said:
I'd be interested to hear what percentage of affiliates are part-timer weekend warrior compared to the full time webslave.
My guess would be 1000 to one. Only a very small percentage of aff sites make a profit. If you are a well producing affiliate, programs will woo you and do much to incentivize you to list them on your site.

Conversely, these affiliates will ignore the scum ads, and they will also not be targeted except by their esteemed colleagues. Producing affiliates are well taken care of by the aff programs, but constantly sabotaged by their peers.

Party Poker is eliminating rake back piece by piece from all their skins. Paradise will not allow it. Several newly started rooms have decided to disallow it. It is a very hot topic and I am contacted by both affiliates and programs about it a lot.

In the long run, rake back will die a natural death unless the poker rooms step in and pay it themselves, as well they should. I have seen rake backs as high as 50% - these affiliates will push each out of business. Rake back offered by affiliates is likely a nonsustainable business model. Rooms that allow it will not be able to attract the type affiliate that can promote them effectively.

GF will likely make a comeback. I talked to them in Amsterdam and while the had a booth, they were not recruiting affiliates and were mostly assuring everyone that they had no problem with affiliates dropping them, they understood the problem. I am sure that those affs who make money with them will continue to do so. That means that CAP and GPWA can hinder the growth of a program, they cannot influence the current income at all. My guess is that GF has decided to sit back for a year and coast on what they have going now. That gives them a lot of time to come up with a marketing idea.


I think an affiliate program represents a good deal for a business. Marketing costs can be outrageous and decent aff programs will create a win-win situation. It can only be beneficial for casinos. As for the affiliate, I see it as an opportunity to get a small piece of the action. Although there is no doubt in my mind that some have lost, plunging into this thinking it would be a picnic, I believe most have been cautious with their marketing strategy and slowly built their players bank.

The 'no negative carry over' policy proves that casinos badly need affiliates investment. Sportsbooks will not follow (not the major ones).

I never said anything about Gambling Federation because I'm a novice in this business. But I never considered that goof of theirs as a major crime. It didn't damage my computer in any way, other than stopping me from playing at a couple of casinos. It was stupid and inconsiderate. But considering all the cookies, pop-ups and infiltration going around, many high-profile businesses would be lynched if we were to investigate and condemn every user-control attempt. I liked GF multilingual feature but I was concerned about the lack of winning screenshots. I believe Dom: they'll keep a low-profile and be back in a year or two.



Dormant account
I think an affiliate program represents a good deal for a business. Marketing costs can be outrageous and decent aff programs will create a win-win situation.
Affiliate marketing programs are the backbone of internet business.

Casinos are only one small group of businesses using it - almost everyplace you go you see a link for affiliates or webmasters.

There is no more efficient way of marketing.


Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Just to continue this a bit more, one thing I got out of the GIGSE was that more and more casinos are putting their ad-spend into off-line marketing. I think you'll see even more of this once the UK gets 100% regulated and after Party Poker weeds through the DoJ's stupid BS they are throwing at them.

But for the time being, I think affiliates are going to find themselves in for a tough ride.


Dormant account
Perhaps that is why Fortune and Vegas Partners broke their own T&Cs in order to bundle casinos.

It is quite unsettling that what would result in a lawsuit in any other industry will just slide with online casinos.

ECOGRA is looking the other way, too. So much for vouching for the integity of their casinos. I still think players are better off playing eCOGRA than playing a whole lot of other places, but we must not mistake this for a guarantee that these casinos operate with integrity.

Affiliate programs in all other industries are thriving. Online lends itself to promotion by affiliates. I am not the only one having a closer look at the online retail industry. There seems to be a lot more honesty there.

Those casinos who think that cheating affiliates is good business - good luck!

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