Mike Murphy, founder of BettingUSA.com, talks about the challenges and opportunities that await those getting in on the action in the US sports betting affiliate sector
The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018 has unleashed a sea change in the regulated US sports betting market.
What was once illegal and the realm of shadowy offshore sportsbooks has now come into the mainstream with legal in-person and online sportsbooks slowly but surely funneling gamblers back onto regulated platforms headquartered in the United States.
Change can be uncomfortable, but it also provides opportunity. Many affiliates made a lot of money and got comfortable during the unregulated offshore days, but those days are dwindling and a new order is rising.
The question for sports betting affiliates is whether or not they will adapt to the changing environment and capitalize on the new opportunities before them. We suggest taking full advantage while the getting is good but acknowledge we will all face challenges moving forwards.
Let’s consider what we face and what we stand to gain.
Challenges Facing Affiliates in the Legal US Sports Betting Market
The greatest opportunities in life always come with challenges, and the newly-regulated sports betting market in the United States is no exception.
The good news is these challenges will sharpen and diversify your skills. Overcoming these challenges will make you a better, smarter and more well-rounded affiliate.
You will also find these challenges act as a sort of filter such that when you emerge on the other side, your competition will be reduced in number. The competitors who remain will be skilled affiliates like yourself, but there will be fewer of you competing for a piece of the action.
Higher Quality Competition
The regulated online gambling and sports betting market in the US has already attracted the attention of big players with deep pockets. The quality of websites that appear in search results is a night-and-day difference compared to just a few years ago when the only real opportunities to make money as a US-focused gambling affiliate were either questionably legal or outright illegal.
Legalization and regulation have resulted in major media companies finally entering the US market now that they can do so in a fully legal and transparent manner. These companies have big budgets, hire the best writers and churn out high quality websites in bulk.
Competing against these types of affiliates is challenging, and there are no indications things are going to get any easier. If you’re an independent affiliate with a website, you have your work cut out for you. The bigger companies can outspend you and likely have better connections.
That doesn’t mean there is no room left for independent affiliates like some of the doomsayers have taken to claiming of late. It just means you’ll need to be agile, pick your target markets carefully and cultivate a real relationship with your viewers.
New Licensing and Compliance Hurdles
One of the most challenging and frustrating hurdles we see in the US market today is the introduction of regulations that impact affiliates. States such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania require all affiliates to acquire a license in order to make money promoting licensed sites to players in those states.
The magnitude of this challenge remains to be seen as additional states pass legalization laws. New Jersey’s affiliate licensing process really isn’t all that difficult. Getting licensed in Pennsylvania has proven to be fairly complicated. Meanwhile, we have seen no indications affiliates need to be licensed in West Virginia.
The types of laws passed in the future will determine the true startup costs associated with licensing. Our best advice to smaller affiliates here is to target states in which the licensing hurdles are minimal or nonexistent and build out from there.
Additional compliance hurdles are likely to materialize at some point as well. We can look to recent developments in the UK online sports betting industry for a preview of what may come in the future.
Advertisers in the UK are subject to an increasingly complicated set of rules regarding how to promote gambling responsibly, for example. The US has not gotten to this point yet, but it is worth keeping in mind additional regulatory hurdles remain a distinct possibility.
A Fractured Market
Online sports betting and gambling are regulated at the state level, which means the rules vary from state to state. You may need an affiliate license in one state but not another. A particular betting site may be available in one state, but not in the next one over.
This means you’ll need to take a state-by-state approach to your affiliate business by promoting particular sites to visitors from particular states. Some operators have opened shop in multiple states, but you’ll need to stay on top of which sportsbooks are available where so you can direct your visitors to the proper websites.
The upside to this challenge is it too provides opportunity. As legal sports betting spreads across the US, people are going to have many questions regarding the law, where they can bet online legally, where to find licensed mobile betting apps and much more. Affiliates are well-suited to educate consumers and earn some money at the same time.
Now that we have the biggest challenges out of the way, we can move on to the fun stuff: the opportunities that await affiliates who are able to deal with the aforementioned obstacles. The United States presents some very big opportunities for those intrepid affiliates who dare tackle this market.
There is A Lot of Money to be Made
The US online sports betting market has enormous potential for simple reasons. The US has a large population, it has a pro-sports culture and the people have high levels of disposable income.
We also have a strong pro-gambling culture with hundreds of casinos spread across the US and widespread familiarity with sports betting even if it was limited (officially anyways) to Nevada for several decades.
Consider this: The American Gaming Association (AGA) has estimated that one quarter of the US population participated in a sports pool in 2017. The AGA has also estimated Americans already wager upwards of $150 billion per year on sports through illegal channels. That is a lot of pent up demand.
This isn’t just us talking up the industry – major industry players have been staking their claims in anticipation of widespread legalization. Caesars Entertainment, FOX Sports and even Buffalo Wild Wings have all made moves to position themselves for a piece of the pie.
Some affiliates have already made a fortune even though the industry is just now gearing up. We have seen multiple eight-figure sales of sports-oriented affiliate websites in recent times for monthly multiples that would have been unthinkable during the turbulent, uncertain offshore sports betting days.
Case in point: The Better Collective Group recently purchased 60% of the RotoGrinders network for $21 million up front, plus a plan to purchase the remaining 40% “at a valuation based upon an EBITDA multiple between 5x and 10x.”
We also saw Catena Media purchase BonusSeeker last March for $6.5 million with a potential additional payout of $9.5 million based on performance after two years. Mind you, this was before the Supreme Court decision. BonusSeeker was restricted to legal online casinos in New Jersey at the time, and still it sold for that much.
The financial potential for affiliates is almost overwhelming to consider, and yet the industry is still just getting started. Many more states have yet to pass legislation to legalize online sports betting and gambling.
Industry is Ripe for Innovation and New Ideas
This is an exciting time to be an affiliate with operators and traditional media companies alike exploring the possibilities of legal sports betting. We’ve seen the likes of PointsBet hit the market with innovative new ways to bet on games while other operators have greatly expanded their in-play wagering capabilities.
The United States, home to Silicon Valley, has a strong culture of innovation. Even though the European markets have had a lengthy head start when it comes to legal sports betting, nobody can innovate like motivated US companies.
Not only does this make it more exciting and interesting to be an affiliate, but it gives affiliates even more opportunities to show value by answering questions and sharing interesting updates with viewers.
It is Still Early in the Game
The US online gambling industry is still in its infancy. Yes, some of the bigger affiliate networks have already paid millions for well-established websites, but we haven’t even come close to reaching peak saturation.
Consider the acquisitions discussed above: BonusSeeker being purchased for $6.5 million up front with a final sale price of up to $9.5 million after two years; 60% of the RotoGrinders network being purchased for $21 million up front with a very real chance of the final deal being realized for $50 million or more a few years from now.
Consider that these purchases happened when the majority of states still haven’t legalized online sports betting or gambling. Major affiliate companies are not paying that much money for digital assets just for fun. They see the market potential. They know the US market is just barely getting started.
Now, imagine the types of buyouts that will be possible after 20, 30 or 40 states have legalized online sports betting – or if Congress steps in and passes nationwide legislation.
We see the occasional discussion among smaller affiliates bemoaning the “corporatization” of the affiliate business.
Some will tell you it’s too late to get in the game now with the likes of Catena Media and Better Collective out there spending millions on marketing, acquisitions and staff.
It’s true the level of competition has increased and affiliates do have to jump through new hoops with licensing requirements in some states, but the market is still just barely getting started. Those challenges can be overcome, and the rewards will be very much worth the trouble.
There are plenty of opportunities even for the lonely one-man operation. Those who work hard and provide informative or entertaining content have a world of opportunity open to them with the US market just now getting off the ground.
GreenSpin.bet partners with Affiverse for Affiliate Marketing Services
Globalconvert Limited, the new ownership company representing GreenSpin.bet, today announces its partnership with Affiverse, a multi award-winning affiliate management agency to support the relaunch of their GreenSpin Partners Affiliate program. This collaboration will support the brand to lead future affiliate partnerships and global brand growth. Affiverse experienced agency team will be responsible for the day to day administration and management of the GreenSpin Partners Affiliate program, offering affiliates personalized service and a unique opportunity to convert customers and earn increased revenue.
With the online gambling market thriving and expanding rapidly, this partnership recognizes the importance of robust and strategic affiliate marketing campaigns and partner management to drive customer acquisition across core markets including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany and Austria. Ahead of attending the popular IGBLive Affiliate conference in Amsterdam next week, the program is also announcing an attractive Incentive to get started with a 50% Revenue Share promotion, for affiliates who are joining the program during the Summer Promotion term.
Affiverse, known for its expertise in delivering cutting-edge , data driven affiliate marketing services emerged as the preferred choice for GreenSpin.bet due to their exceptional track record in the gaming industry.
Frixos Constantinides, CEO of Globalconvert Ltd , expressed his excitement about the agency collaboration, stating, “We are thrilled to join forces with Affiverse as our outsourced affiliate marketing agency. Their extensive experience and deep understanding of the online gambling landscape make them an ideal partner for GreenSpin.bet. We are confident that their innovative approach and proven management tactics will significantly contribute to the success of our revitalized affiliate program.”
Affiverse founder Lee-Ann Johnstone, shared her enthusiasm, stating, ” We understand the unique challenges and opportunities in the online gaming industry, and we are dedicated to providing tailor-made solutions for our clients that drive measurable results. We look forward to collaborating closely to help our client achieve their marketing objectives and establish them as a leader in the industry.”
As part of this collaboration, Affiverse will employ its own comprehensive suite of affiliate marketing services to support and leverage existing and new affiliate partners to gain momentum in new markets and support the launch of the brand’s new sportsbook program.
The partnership between these two companies demonstrates the brand’s commitment to building long-term affiliate relationships. With Affiverse’s expertise and GreenSpin.bets’ intuitive and exciting gaming platform, this collaboration is set to elevate the online gambling experience for players worldwide.
Cellxpert Launches Advanced Tagging Feature Empowering Affiliate Managers to Streamline Affiliate partner management
Cellxpert, a leading provider of affiliate tracking and program management solutions, is pleased to announce the release of its innovative tagging feature for system operators. This technical enhancement, known as the “Tag Manager”, was released into the Admin dashboard for affiliate managers today. The new custom tag management function will assist system administrators to efficiently tag and segment their affiliate partners for streamlined organization and improved productivity.
In response to the growing complexity of managing large affiliate programs, Cellxpert has developed this cutting-edge feature to simplify the process of handling and organizing tags associated with affiliates. With the new “Manage Tags” section, affiliate managers can now access a comprehensive overview of tags within the affiliate management interface, offering a seamless experience when searching for affiliate partners or grouping them together in segments based on specific customized tags.
By leveraging this advanced functionality, affiliate managers gain greater control and efficiency in partner management and reporting processes.
Key features and benefits of the “Manage Tags” section now include:
- Simplified Tag Management: The intuitive interface allows affiliate managers to easily create, modify, and hide tags as needed. This streamlines the process of organizing partners based on specific criteria or attributes.
- Customized Tag Creation: Cellxpert enables the creation of custom tags tailored to the unique needs of each affiliate program. Administrators can assign tags to partners based on their performance, industry, geographic location, traffic or campaign type or any other relevant reporting parameters.
- Efficient Partner Search: With tags prominently displayed in the affiliate management section, affiliate managers can quickly locate and filter partners based on specific tags. This feature eliminates the hassle of manually searching through an extensive partner list and enables faster decision-making.
- Enhanced Partner Segmentation: The ability to assign multiple tags to partners allows for more granular segmentation. Affiliate managers can create segments based on specific combinations of tags, facilitating targeted campaigns, personalized communications, and optimized reporting.
“Cellxpert is dedicated to providing industry-leading solutions that empower affiliate managers to optimize their partner management processes,” said Assaf Dor, CEO of Cellxpert. “With the introduction of the ‘Manage Tags’ section, we are excited to deliver a feature that simplifies affiliate program management and offers enhanced control and organization for our valued clients.“
The upgraded tagging feature is now available to all Cellxpert users as part of the platform’s latest update which rolled out today. Existing customers can access the “Manage Tags” section by logging into their Cellxpert account.
Fiat & Crypto: King Billy players get the best of both worlds
See how the casino players can deposit in crypto and play in fiat.
Since the dawn of e-gaming robust payment systems have been crucial for the success of any online casino, as they are a key factor in creating a positive and satisfying gaming experience. Moreover, the availability of different payment options allows players to choose the method that works best for them, whether it be classical fiat money or cryptocurrency.
But is it possible for an operator to give its players the best of both worlds, fiat and crypto at once? Yes, it is, with the King Billy feature “deposit in crypto, play in fiat”. The concept is simple. A casino player deposits in crypto (choosing among 4 cryptocurrencies King Billy supports). Then, the system automatically shows them their balance in the currency of their choice (among the 14 currencies King Billy supports, used by more than 3 billion people worldwide). When the players withdraw, their transaction takes place back in crypto.
What are the advantages of this system? Ruslan Legenzov, King Billy Casino Head of Affiliates (or “Lord of Affiliates” as the internal etiquette demands) has the answers: “Good things come in threes, and there are certainly 3 very good things about our “deposit in crypto, play in fiat” feature.
First of all, depositing in crypto means less hassle and paperwork for the player and elimination of the dreaded “transaction not coming through” issue. This has been a problem and actually a torment for many of our players in remote areas of the world. As a global casino, we are happy to act in ways that give peace of mind to our players.
Secondly, this system offers a greater player experience to the King Billy Citizens and Nobles, as they can now take advantage of our numerous promotions and offers in fiat. For example, players who deposit in crypto can now participate in our extremely popular fiat-only “Slot of the Month” offer, that’s been a staple of our casino since our launch.
Finally, with “deposit in crypto, play in fiat” our players, especially the not so cryptocurrency-savvy have a much clearer understanding of their wins or losses. I am sure that a player, let’s say from Vietnam, prefers to see, in real time, how much his slot win is worth in the Vietnamese Dong than running in parallel a crypto converter tool to do the math!”
Well said and well done your Majesty.
For those interested in the “deposit in crypto, play in fiat” feature, King Billy Casino accepts the following currencies: Euro (€), US Dollar ($), Canadian Dollar (C$), Australian Dollar (A$), New Zealand Dollar (NZ$), Norwegian Krone (kr), Indian Rupee (₹), South African Rand (R), Vietnamese dong (₫), Indonesian rupiah (Rp), Malaysian ringgit (RM), Thai baht (฿) and the Philippine peso (₱). King Billy also accepts the following cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Tether (USDT).
King Billy Casino is a new-generation online casino, launched on St. Patrick’s Day in 2017. It is available in 4 languages (English, German, French and Finnish) and it has an impressive record in awards with 25 wins, shortlists and other distinctions, and an amazing variety of features and games. King Billy has prioritized the creation of a superb user experience, focusing on the myth of King Billy and his Kingdom and treats all players with the specialness they deserve.
FAVBET partners with BETER Live in major boost to its live casino offering
BETER Live’s suite of premium games is now available to all of FAVBET’s users in Ukraine, Croatia, and Romania...
Better Collective acquires Danish sports media Tipsbladet.dk
Digital sports media group Better Collective strengthens its position in Denmark through the strategic acquisition of Tipsbladet.dk, one of...
Super Affiliate, betting.bet, Celebrates Brand-defining Re-launch
Online super affiliate betting.bet has enhanced its flagship brand by unveiling an improved design complemented by new functionalities. The...
bet365 Strengthens Responsible Gambling Stance with Renewed Rightlander Partnership
bet365 has announced the extension of their partnership contract with Rightlander, the foremost provider of innovative affiliate compliance solutions....
GreenSpin.bet partners with Affiverse for Affiliate Marketing Services
Globalconvert Limited, the new ownership company representing GreenSpin.bet, today announces its partnership with Affiverse, a multi award-winning affiliate management...
Award-winning affiliate celebrates sixth birthday with major new depositing customers milestone
Bojoko, the award-winning online gambling affiliate site, has marked its sixth birthday in impressive style by surpassing 100,000 new...
Cellxpert Launches Advanced Tagging Feature Empowering Affiliate Managers to Streamline Affiliate partner management
Cellxpert, a leading provider of affiliate tracking and program management solutions, is pleased to announce the release of its...
EveryMatrix acquires DeepCI
EveryMatrix has acquired DeepCI, a unique, data-driven betting and gaming affiliate optimisation service. EveryMatrix has as of July 1st...
KaFe Rocks rebrands to Time2Play Media as a commitment to a new era of growth and innovation
KaFe Rocks Group, an award-winning online affiliate, has announced its full rebrand to Time2Play Media, doubling down on the commitment...
Kim Lindsjö appointed Videoslots Head of Affiliates
Leading operator internally promotes Lindsjö to executive position Leading casino operator Videoslots.com has promoted Kim Lindsjö to the role...
News6 years ago
Paddy Power departs the Italian market
Affiliate Success2 years ago
Blexr has been crowned Best Casino Affiliate at this year’s IGB Affiliate Awards
News7 years ago
Use of Social Media for Online Gambling Affiliates
Affiliate Announcements4 years ago
How to Stand Out on Georgia’s Profitable Gambling Market? Leading Experts to Discuss Best Practices at Georgia iGaming Affiliate Conference
Affiliate Success6 years ago
Affiliate Interviews: CasinoDaddy (Mathias, Anton, and Erik Joelsson)
News5 years ago
Casino Games for Real Money – Choosing One to Play
Affiliate Success4 years ago
iGaming Focus Areas and СРА Selection to Be Discussed at Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference
News5 years ago
Henrik Persson Ekdahl announces sale of stake in Catena Media