Mar 22, 2024

Reasons Why Online Casino Operators Need an Affiliate Program in 2024

According to Statista, the global turnover of the online gambling industry will reach over $146 billion by 2025. This opens up a wide range of opportunities for various market players including operators, software platforms and gaming content providers, advertising networks and affiliate marketers. Given the nature of gambling, not every promotional method works well for operators looking to grow their user base. As for affiliate marketing, it is the best channel to connect with solvent gamblers who prefer to play casino games while risking their money.

So, affiliate marketing is a powerful machine driving the online gambling industry forward. And if you are an online casino or sportsbook operator still not utilizing affiliate marketing strategies, now is the time to tap into this powerful tool. Thanks to affiliate marketing, you will not only be able to expand your audience reach but to establish long-term relationships with those who prefer online gambling entertainment. Below, we will talk about the features of iGaming affiliate marketing, the role of online casino affiliate programs, as well as things that give a clear idea of why you should use the affiliate marketing channel to promote your online gambling projects.

Ever-Growing iGaming Opens Wide Opportunities for Affiliates

In 2023, the global revenue from iGaming amounted to an impressive $116 billion, which is more than 13% higher than the 2022 figures. The online gambling industry is expected to continue its impressive growth in the near future due to the following factors:

  • Increasing global network penetration. Thanks to the ever-increasing number of people in the world with access to the internet, additional opportunities are opening up to attract potential users of online casinos and sportsbooks.
  • Popularization of mobile devices. With rather large screens, productive hardware and the ability to exchange data at high speed wirelessly, smartphones and tablets are attractive to those who prefer to gamble on the go.
  • Legalization of online gambling and sports betting in new jurisdictions. Having realized the benefits of legal gambling, many governments have decided to bring iGaming into the legal field recently.
  • Innovation. Developers of software and gaming products prefer not to sit idle, and they have presented many exciting solutions using advanced developments in the field of AR, VR and artificial intelligence to provide even more immersive and personalized gaming experiences.
  • Social aspect. Thanks to the live chat function and voice interface, players can interact with croupiers and other platform users to exchange useful information and share experiences.

By utilizing affiliate marketing gambling tools, you can increase your brand visibility, attract new users and improve the level of engagement of existing users, diversify revenue streams and ensure the growth of iGaming platform in the long term. So, nowadays, having a good iGaming affiliate program is a necessity for your gambling business to thrive.

Features of the Affiliate Ecosystem You Should Be Aware of

Today, the affiliate program casino ecosystem offers many tools and opportunities to increase the profitability of your iGaming business. Below, we will tell you about the importance of an online casino affiliate program, the peculiarities of its work and its role in the development of the gambling business on the Internet.

Importance of Choosing Reliable Affiliates

In order to benefit from a gambling affiliate program, you need to focus on cooperation with effective affiliates with experience in iGaming industry. To establish a mutually beneficial relationship based on trust, you need to offer favourable terms of cooperation for affiliates with high commission payouts. By incentivizing affiliates to attract paying customers to your platform, you will be able to achieve significant success in your online gambling business.

Casino Affiliate Management Solutions

Simply put, the software is an affiliate program platform that helps you manage your affiliate relationships. From tracking leads, commissions and payments to giving affiliates access to marketing tools and promotional materials (creatives), the software performs a multitude of tasks. By providing partners with an API, you’ll allow them to integrate their processes into your affiliate program and automate routine tasks to increase productivity.

Importance of Fast Data Exchange and Timely Updates

Both online gambling and affiliate marketing are industries where a trend replaces another in the blink of an eye. Therefore, it is crucial to keep up with the changes and implement all the best tools and practices to stay competitive. By keeping up with the times, you will be able to make informed decisions regarding changes to your strategies in order to attract new customers and keep existing ones engaged.

Reasons Why Every Casino or Sportsbook Operator Needs an Affiliate Program

The role of affiliate programs for iGaming businesses, in general, is hard to overestimate today, as many other marketing channels do not work for online casinos and sportsbooks as effectively as for other niches. According to Statista, in 2023, more than 83% of iGaming operators used affiliate programs to promote their business, and this figure is gradually increasing. Due to their affordability, flexibility, scalability and proven effectiveness, iGaming affiliates are extremely popular among online casino operators.

We have highlighted several reasons why a modern iGaming operator needs a good gambling affiliate program – check them out below:

  • Reaching new audiences. Having access to a huge army of potential customers, affiliate marketing gambling affiliates can attract solvent players not directly aware of the promoted casino brand.
  • Increase in conversions. The key feature of iGaming affiliate programs is that they receive a monetary reward for performance. This means that they are motivated not just to bring new users to the promoted platform, but to encourage them to make deposits and bet real money.
  • Increased brand awareness. Another advantage of gambling affiliation is that your affiliates can connect with their audience and promote your brand thereby fostering loyalty from gambling enthusiasts.
  • Controlling the costs of promoting your iGaming platform. You will pay commissions to gambling affiliates through one of the common payment models such as CPA (Cost-Per-Action), RevShare (a portion of the revenue generated by users referred to the platform) or a combination (CPA + RevShare). Using a unified payout model will help you better control your marketing costs.
  • Access to new markets. Gambling affiliates can localize existing marketing materials making them understandable for potential customers from the countries you plan to expand your business to. By working with experienced affiliate programs, you will tailor your marketing strategies to the cultural, demographic and other characteristics of the target audience of new markets.

In addition, affiliate programs can provide you with valuable data about their players thereby helping you improve your marketing strategies. By choosing a good affiliate program, you will get quality traffic, boost player retention and generally increase the return on your marketing investment.

Using Diverse Commission Payout Models to Increase Profits

As mentioned above, you will pay commissions to your affiliates for their productivity using different payment models, and this diversification is an important advantage of affiliate marketing. Since this marketing field has been around for about as long as the global network, several commission payment models have been developed that are beneficial to both casino operators and gambling affiliates. Below, we will give more details about the payment models that have proven to be the best, as well as reveal some important terms of affiliate programs that you should know about.

The Most Promising Payout Models

Most modern affiliate programs working in the gambling and betting verticals offer their affiliates three options for commission payments – CPA, RevShare and Hybrid (CPA + RevShare). We have reviewed them in detail below:

  • CPA. According to this model, affiliate programs pay affiliates a fixed amount of money for each new player who performs a targeted action (registration and deposit). Due to its simplicity, this option is the most favourable for beginner affiliates.
  • RevShare. By choosing this model of commission payments, affiliates receive a percentage of the net income generated by the referred user. The percentage of income of the casino operator paid to an affiliate is negotiated individually (on average it is 20-45%).
  • Hybrid. Combining the options described above, this payment scheme offers the advantages of an upfront payment under CPA. Also, it gives the opportunity to receive additional payments in the long term during the life cycle of the user brought to the platform.

Thus, thanks to the availability of different payment options, affiliates have the opportunity to choose what suits them based on their experience and available marketing tools.

Subtle Points of Commission Payout Models

So, after learning about the available payout schemes and their features, probably many gambling affiliates are enthusiastic and hope for good profits. However, there are some things that will mar your experience as a gambling affiliate. So, cooperating with an affiliate program on the RevShare model, you risk losing your profits and even going into a negative.

Thus, some affiliate programs use the negative balance transfer model. According to this model, you will incur losses if the winnings of the players you refer to exceed their losses. Another problem you may encounter is the low activity of the players referred by you on the promoted iGaming platform. Finally, in cases where players make chargebacks, you will also lose part of the commissions.

Fighting Against Fraud Encountered in iGaming Affiliate Marketing Environment

Building a user base with customers trusting and loyal to your brand is a complex and time-consuming process. And the bad news is that just one wrong move can destroy this shaky structure in the blink of an eye. So, fraud is rampant in the gambling affiliate marketing environment where dishonest marketers seek to capitalize by stealing personal information, providing fake recommendations, attacking with bots and by other traffic manipulation. So, before using an affiliate marketing channel, you should take care of security issues as your reputation depends on it.

To protect your iGaming platform from the negative impact of fraudulent affiliate networks and solo affiliates, you need to take the measures described below:

  • Thoroughly vet affiliates before cooperating with them. Pay attention to important things like the traffic sources the affiliate works with, their work history and reputation.
  • Use only reliable software and marketing tools. You should use specialized software solutions to detect fraud and other dishonest affiliate activities. In addition, prioritize time-tested marketing tools.
  • Spell out the terms and conditions of affiliate participation in the affiliate program. Clearly define the terms and conditions regarding the quality of traffic, channels and other aspects directly related to the affiliates’ work.
  • Track the activity of your affiliates and audit them at certain intervals. With this approach, you can be sure that your affiliates are complying with the established terms and conditions.
  • Share information with other online casino and sportsbook operators to report dishonest affiliates.

To minimize fraud risks, you also need to create an enabling environment for your affiliates with transparent terms of cooperation. You can also integrate solutions based on AI and machine learning to quickly and efficiently analyze transactions to identify fraudulent traffic. Keep in mind that your ability to protect yourself from fraudulent affiliates is the foundation for the long-term sustainability of your online gambling and sports betting business.

Reputation Comes First

Although software solutions and marketing tools play an important role, success in promoting an iGaming brand depends on the reputation and performance of affiliates. To create a good affiliate program, you need to take a responsible approach to choosing affiliates. By favouring only time-tested affiliates, you will be able to increase traffic to your online casino platform, improve player conversion, enhance brand awareness and generally ensure your competitive advantage in such a saturated iGaming market.

Monitoring Complaints and Mediating Disputes

To ensure maximum efficiency of iGaming affiliate program operation, you need to constantly monitor every aspect of its work. Thus, by monitoring complaints, you will be able to quickly identify problems in the affiliate program, respond to complaints in a timely manner and prevent problems from escalating. By mediating disputes, you will be able to preserve the relationship between the casino and affiliates, as well as protect the reputation of the iGaming brand. Here are some tips you should follow:

  • Develop an effective system for receiving and handling complaints.
  • Appoint people responsible for resolving your affiliates’ issues.
  • Try to respond to affiliate inquiries in a timely manner.
  • Be objective and fair in resolving disputes.
  • Give affiliates the opportunity to appellate the decisions you have made.

By paying attention to each aspect mentioned above, you will be able to create a really effective affiliate program that will work for the benefit of your iGaming brand. 

Finding the Right Affiliates

Every affiliate program looking to succeed in the highly competitive marketplace must take a responsible approach to selecting affiliates. You need to customize your affiliate selection process by setting clear criteria that affiliates must meet. Here are some important criteria you need to adopt:

  • Experience in the iGaming industry. Affiliates with a long track record in the dating or health and beauty industry are unlikely to deliver high performance to promote your online casino brand if they do not have experience in the online gambling industry. Therefore, selecting affiliates with the necessary knowledge and skills to promote your online casino platform is crucial.
  • Traffic quality. Before entering into an agreement with an affiliate, make sure that he/she works with traffic sources relevant to your target audience.
  • Reputation. As mentioned above, reputation plays a crucial role. So, give preference to affiliates with an honest and transparent history of working in the iGaming sphere.
  • Matching with your requirements. When choosing affiliates, make sure that they adhere to certain rules and regulations in their work regarding legal issues, age limits, responsible gambling practices, commitment to a particular brand, as well as the marketing tools and promotional materials they use.
  • Communication features. To build strong business relationships, choose affiliates who are willing to get in touch with you at almost any time.

By cooperating only with reliable affiliates that meet the above criteria, you will reap the following benefits:

  • Generating large volumes of quality traffic for your online casino.
  • Increased conversion rate, as experienced affiliates are able to attract gamblers ready to make deposits and play for real money.
  • Reducing the cost of promoting the iGaming platform.
  • Building long-term relationships for mutual benefit.

Although the affiliate verification process requires the allocation of additional resources and funds, with this approach, you can significantly increase the effectiveness of your online casino marketing efforts. In addition, it is crucial to monitor the activities of your affiliates to ensure that they continue to meet your requirements.

Features of Effective iGaming Affiliate Marketing

Given the nature of iGaming, affiliate marketing is your key strategy for attracting customers willing to spend their money on gambling entertainment. As with other strategies for promoting products and services, you need to adhere to certain principles in your affiliate marketing efforts:

  • Use best practices and data tracking technologies. To have a complete view of your traffic sources, you must be able to track transactions in real-time. Advanced affiliate programs use an S2S postback mechanism with which you will know everything about your target audience and their journey to your iGaming platform.
  • Analyze affiliate performance based on the data obtained through the S2S postback mechanism. This includes dynamic variable tracking, cross-server tracking, and URL tracking. This way, you will have accurate and reliable data to optimize your affiliate program.
  • Navigating across different markets. While many countries have brought iGaming into the legal field, today there are still many grey markets where there is no clear legislation prohibiting or allowing the activity of iGaming operators. By keeping track of constantly changing legislation, you will be able to adapt your marketing strategies to maximize the profitability of your online casino business in different GEOs.
  • Assess the risks of operating in different markets. While operating in countries where there are no clear legal rules regarding online gambling can bring you additional benefits, you should not forget about possible reputational implications.
  • License and compliance. Even if you operate in grey markets, it is crucial to have approval from a reputable regulator with licenses recognized in most jurisdictions (e.g., MGA, UKGC, Curacao eGaming and some others). Having a license from a reputable authority is proof that an online casino operates legally and provides fair gaming conditions. When checking the license, you need to pay attention to such important aspects as the status of the license (whether it is valid), the reputation of the issuing authority, independent auditing organizations, as well as continuous monitoring to ensure that the requirements of the regulator are still being met.

To stay relevant and keep up with the times, you must constantly adapt your affiliate marketing strategies to stay on top of new trends. By applying the best casino affiliate software solutions, you will be able to fully track the user journey of your gaming platform gaining valuable data needed to optimize your campaigns.

Consider affiliates as ambassadors of your brand, who are vital to have access to advanced tools and materials to properly represent your iGaming platform. Give them access to advanced marketing tools and on your part, use best practices and systems to select and track affiliates to maximize the effectiveness of your business promotion.


The rapid growth of iGaming that began several years ago – also due to the pandemic – and continues has clearly demonstrated how affiliate marketing is essential to success in the online gambling market. To secure a competitive advantage, build your user base and increase your profitability, you need to work with affiliate programs that reach a previously unreachable audience.

Thanks to the scheme where you pay remuneration for results, each participant in the relationship is incentivized to maximize performance. By offering different commission schemes, you give affiliates the opportunity to choose what works for them based on experience, available marketing tools, and other things.

By prioritizing reputation, you must put strict fraud protection measures in place. In addition, you need to constantly monitor complaints to ensure that any points of contention are resolved fairly and quickly.

As today’s market is extremely competitive, you need to stay ahead of the curve to ensure that your business really thrives. With a flexible mindset and a willingness to constantly improve partnerships, you will be able to create truly effective marketing strategies to ensure your growth and sustainability in the long term.

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