What is a casino affiliate?

A casino affiliate works in partnership with an online casino and essentially exists to advertise online casinos. He or she will get paid commission for each player that either visits the casino site or becomes a depositing player through a unique affiliate link. There are different payment models for affiliates and casinos can offer more than one.

How do they work?

If you’ve been searching the web for online casinos may have come across websites that appear to be casinos, but do not actually host any games. ‘Affiliate marketing sites’ or ‘affiliates’ make money by promoting online casinos to potential players. In effect, affiliate markets are middlemen between players and casinos.

This term is not unique to the world of online casinos. In fact, it originated in a different industry altogether – e-commerce. However, the basic premise is the same across the board. An affiliate is a person or company that drives custom to a particular site, brand or company.

In essence, each affiliate works as a small, independent marketer on behalf of the other company, earning an amount of money (i.e. commission) each time a new customer is guided to the goods or services on offer.

Let’s look specifically at online casino affiliates. An affiliate can be one passionate player with a casino blog or an entire marketing agency. Each of these performs the same task – bringing new players to their partner casinos.

Each affiliate is given a unique URL link to embed in their website/s. These links are a way to track where web traffic is coming from. By using the affiliate’s online reach, casinos can share the burden of marketing with a multitude of affiliates, thus bringing their products to more players.

How to spot an affiliate

It can sometimes be hard to tell casino affiliates apart from casino websites. They usually have similar imagery and employ the same type of language aimed at enticing players to sign up and gamble.

However, there are a few tell-tale differences between casinos and affiliates …

No games

Most obviously, casinos have game catalogues displaying all their products. Affiliate websites do not run any games of their own, but they often provide online casino game reviews and can offer free play demos of certain games.

Multiple brands

Affiliates usually market multiple casino brands. If you see a lot of different logos, offers and adverts, you’re most likely on an affiliate site.

Referral

Casino affiliates’ main goal is to get you to sign up to one of their casino partners. If you see lots of links saying ‘Sign Up!’ or ‘Play Now!’ then you’re on an affiliate site. Casinos, by contrast, require customers to create accounts in order to gamble.

How are affiliates paid?

When it comes to payment, there are two models that are very popular among operators. The first is called revenue share. In this model, payment for the affiliate is a percentage of the profits made by the traffic generated by the affiliate, usually over the course of a month. In this case, higher traffic equals higher payment.

The second model is called Cost Per Acquisition or CPA for short. This is based on the number of users who, thanks to the marketing efforts of the affiliate, perform a particular action. In the case of online casinos, this is either the player signing up for a casino account or signing up and making a first deposit.

Some casinos offer just the one payment method, others offer affiliates the choice of two or more. Now, it’s important to know that some affiliate programs run by casinos enforce certain restrictions that can be disadvantageous to the affiliate or not compatible with the kind of marketing an affiliate does.

Affiliates, like casino players, should carefully read the terms and conditions associated with joining a casino affiliate program and keep any eye out for things like bundling schemes and negative carryover, which can mean a smaller payment at the end of the month. Just like casinos, not all programs suit all affiliates.

How to become an affiliate

Most casinos offer affiliate programs. Indeed, affiliate marketing has become an integral part of the online gambling industry at this point and many brands are keen to employ affiliates to broaden their potential reach.

The first step is to take a look at a brand’s affiliate program page. This is usually reached via a link, often stashed in the footer of the casino site, and includes important information you will need to know before becoming an affiliate.

Signing up to become an affiliate is free but keep in mind that it is only one step of the process. Once you receive your unique affiliate link, you will need to put it to use. Blogs are a popular choice for amateur affiliates and indeed many affiliates often start out as casino bloggers.

Affiliate links can be embedded into all sorts of online content, including banners, pop-ups, text links and so on. A budding affiliate will need to think about who their audience is and what kind of content they respond to the best.

Being a successful affiliate means understanding the mechanics of a good website, the function of different sorts of content and putting all that together into an appealing online resource for readers and potential players.

Things to keep in mind

Always do some research on the casino brand whose affiliate program you are thinking of joining. Even if you are a long-time player at that casino, you may find the program is not exactly what you want and it’s worth having that information before becoming invested. Besides, you wouldn’t want to be involved in marketing a casino that is unfair or unethical towards its customers.

Next, keep in mind that as an affiliate, there are other rules you must adhere to as well. The UK Gambling Commission takes a keen interest in the marketing and advertising activities of casino brands and affiliates should be aware of these rules. For example, the UKGC demands that marketing should not be appealing to anyone underage, to prevent them from being encouraged to gamble illegally. Casinos must follow these rules and so should affiliates.

At the end of the day, affiliates play an important role in getting the word out there about casino brands. As an affiliate, it is crucial that you believe in the brands you are working with and that you, as a participant in the online casino industry, do your part to ensure that any gambling activities you promote are safe, fair and secure.