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.
Paysafe’s Income Access wins ‘Best Tech for Affiliates’ 2022 iGB Affiliate Award
Income Access platform recognized as the leading software solution for global iGaming affiliate marketers at industry awards in London
Paysafe, a leading specialized payments platform, today announced that Income Access, its marketing technology and services provider, won in the ‘Best Tech for Affiliates’ category at the 2022 iGB Affiliate Awards, held last night at the Troxy, in London, U.K.
Taking place during this week’s ICE London and iGB Affiliate London conferences, the iGB Affiliate Awards recognized the affiliate marketers, affiliate managers, operators and software providers like Income Access that have excelled in the global affiliate space over the last 12 months. Income Access’ ‘Best Tech for Affiliates’ iGB Affiliate award follows a series of major affiliate-focused upgrades to the company’s turnkey multi-channel tracking and reporting platform.
Among 30+ unique reports, the platform’s key reports were enhanced in 2021 through 2022 to optimize the user experience (UX) for affiliates while increasing transparency on data and performance metrics. Other tech enhancements included a move to the cloud to improve response times for affiliates and facilitate scalability for the future.
Affiliate payments were also streamlined through a platform integration with Paysafe’s Skrill digital wallet, with the addition of multiple new currencies.
Income Access continued to strengthen the Income Access Network, the iGaming industry’s longest-serving independent affiliate network. Over the last 12 months, multiple new brands serving a diverse range of iGaming verticals and markets integrated with the Network, and its affiliate membership expanded by 1,000+.
Geoff Smorong, Vice President of Operations at Paysafe’s Income Access, said: “Whether it’s our affiliate platform, the Income Access Network, or our affiliate management services, affiliates are at the heart of everything we do at Income Access. We’re therefore delighted to see our software development and technology honoured at the iGB Affiliate Awards.”
Zak Cutler, CEO of North America iGaming at Paysafe, commented: “Affiliates play an instrumental role in player acquisition for iGaming brands and have helped drive the growth of our wider industry. Given the affiliate channel’s importance, this award is a huge achievement for Income Access, reflecting the innovation, hard work and dedication of their entire team.”
Crash course for becoming a master in Casino Affiliate Marketing
Online casino culture is immensely popular. With the increasing popularity of online casinos, another profitable device is also getting popular, known as online casino affiliate websites. A casino affiliate works alongside an online casino in promoting their business in return for a commission. In some cases, they may have experience operating an online casino. They provide all the details regarding gambling activities and other relevant information about a gambling site. So, the players can be well aware before taking any action. In this article, we will be discussing the basics, tips, and tricks of becoming an affiliate (casino affiliate).
Casino affiliates act as a mediator between the casinos and players. The casino affiliates get a tracking link for tracking the players who play or register in the casino. The affiliate program ensures to pay a business partner for bringing the players to the casino. Joining an affiliate program is simple as it does not require any sign-up charges. You are only required to have a website, to promote the various brand of online casinos by setting up banners and other related advertisements. Once the visitors click on the ad, affiliates start earning money. There are some essential factors to consider before joining an affiliate program.
- You must be sure that you are entering into a partnership with a reliable and reputed casino.
- Ensure that the number of commissions is processed timely in a safe environment.
Features of a casino affiliate
Sometimes it becomes difficult to spot casino affiliates and casino websites. Here are a few features that are applicable for casino affiliates only:
- Generally, casino affiliates have the same type of imagery and similar language to attract players.
- Affiliate websites do not have game catalogs like casino websites rather they provide reviews of online casino games and certain free demo games.
- Casino affiliates usually promote multiple casino brands with various logos, advertisements, and offers.
- The main goal of casino affiliates is to get players and sign them up for one of their casino partners.
Payment arrangements for Casino Affiliates
In terms of payments, there are two models that are very popular for paying affiliates.
- The first one is the revenue sharing model that ensures payment to a casino affiliate as a percentage of profit earned from the traffic generated by the affiliate in a month. In this case, the higher traffic is equal to the higher payment.
- The other model is CPA or cost per acquisition model. Here, payment is based on the users’ The online casinos pay the affiliates based on — whether a player signs up for a casino account or signs up and makes the first deposit. But in both the models, the income is based on performance.
Some casino operators provide only one payment option, while others can offer more than two. Before joining an affiliate program, an affiliate should understand certain restrictions, terms, and conditions to keep away adverse effects.
How to Become a Casino Affiliate
Casino brands always want customers from all over the world, and that is why they use casino affiliates to improve their prospective reach. It can be advantageous for the casinos to start in a country where a particular casino brand is not well-known. Various live casino sites are attractive to brands that seek information on their operations. After signing up for the affiliate program and getting an affiliate link, you need to get down to work. The affiliate creates content in different forms, such as text links, banners, and more.
Casino affiliates employ a wide range of interactive online platforms. They provide offers for attracting and retaining customers. But it is very important to do a thorough background or profile check before joining an affiliate program to understand whether the casino is reliable or a fly-by-night operation. If everything checks out, it is a potentially lucrative business to be involved in.
OMG Affiliates won the Rising Star at iGB Affiliate 2022
OMG Affiliates, a program developed by Vita Media Group, has won the Rising Star Award at the iGB Affiliate 2022!
The award night took place last night (April 13th, 2022) at the Troxy theater in London.
This is the first award for OMG Affiliates where one of the industry’s finest award organizations, iGB Affiliate, has crowned the team for its performance and achievements. The OMG Affiliates was shortlisted in one more category, Best Affiliate Program.
This is also the first award for Vita Media Group as a company and is a solidifying proof of the quality of the different products and business verticals developed under Vita Media Group. As a total summary of the award night, iGB shortlisted Vita Media Group in the Best Casino Affiliate category as well.
After a year where Vita Media Group grew the OMG Affiliates vertical through strategic acquisitions of the rewarded Trada Casino and Greenplay, a casino formerly owned by Codere, the plan for the future holds optimistic plans.
Through this achievement, Vita Media Group continues to expand as a one-stop solution to growth in iGaming.
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