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How Will Gambling Affiliates be Affected by Rule Changes in the UK?

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As the iGaming market in the UK has grown exponentially since 2010, we’ve also seen associated money-making opportunities emerge in the sector.

For example, the most successful gambling affiliates can earn in excess of £20,000 per month when ranking well for competitive search volume keywords, simply by promoting a particular casino brand through their site.

However, given the recent proposals aimed at safeguarding players in the iGaming market and the wider impact of Brexit on the European gambling industry in the UK, the future for affiliates has become uncertain. But how will they be affected by any rule changes?

 

Exploring Current Affiliate Restrictions

During the House of Lords Select Committee meeting on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry in February, delegates discussed a wide range of measures to help protect vulnerable and underage gamblers.

They also entertained the ambitious proposals by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Gambling Related Harm, which included measures such as a £2 online slots betting cap and a comprehensive review of the licensing criteria imposed on operators.

Another key topic for discussion was the role of affiliates, and more specifically how operators feel about regulating these entities and the way in which they advertise to their customers.

Currently, there is a clear rule which makes operators liable for the actions of their affiliate partners, with this having been in place since the last review of the market in 2018.

This rule created a sense of accountability amongst operators and made them directly responsible for the marketing activity (and breaches) of their affiliates, resulting in a slew of financial sanctions for brands across the board.

This was also part of a wider drive to curb the publication of misleading information on affiliate sites, which could occasionally be utilized to target vulnerable or underage players.

Aside from misleading advertising, this body of rules and wider regulatory framework also covers specific database practice requirements, including the requirement to demonstrate explicit consent for any person who happens to be on an affiliate’s email marketing list.

By attempting to control sponsored iGaming messaging in this way, both the UK regulator and the government caused a considerable splash in the affiliate market.

For example, Sky Bet closed their affiliate program completely after the new rules were imposed, while a host of other market-leading operators listed on mybettingsite.uk ceased to partner with their most inefficient and untrustworthy affiliates.

This also contributed to the significant spike in mergers and acquisitions in the iGaming market during 2018/19, so it should come as no surprise that stakeholders are watchful in the event that new affiliate laws are passed.

 

So, What Does the Future Hold for iGaming Affiliates?

The main worry here is that the previous measures clearly have not resulted in the level of control and conformity that regulators would like, which is why alternative (and potentially stricter) measures may be under consideration.

In fact, the most logical and likely move would be to see the government (in conjunction with the UK Gambling Commission) attempt to regulate affiliates and their activity directly.

In theory, this could broadly follow the US model, where sports betting affiliates are required to register or license their operations in full before deals can be struck to promote online sportsbooks and iGaming brands.

This would not only potentially result in the formation of a new and standalone regulatory body, but costs may also be introduced to create a barrier to entry for new affiliates and make the practice less profitable for rogue operators.

Just as in 2018/19, any new rule changes could also trigger another wave of mergers and acquisitions.

In this instance, such strategic moves could well help smaller operators to absorb increased operational costs, while enabling larger corporations to strengthen their market share.

On a fundamental level, however, any new rule changes would require operators (and, to a lesser extent, affiliates) to boost their legal representation, in order to help minimize regulatory costs and pay for any external legal support that may be required.

These challenges will be compounded by Brexit, particularly for UK operators who may also be struggling with the increased RGD levy and other regulatory restrictions.

So, all stakeholders will be waiting with bated breath in the coming months, to see which of the new iGaming rules and regulations are likely to impact on the lucrative practice of affiliate marketing.

 

 

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Does the iGaming industry struggle with integrity when it comes to reviews?

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In this day and age building a successful iGaming affiliate site requires so much more than just an attractive homepage and a list of decent welcome offers that match your niche. 

So fierce is the competition within the industry, it’s evident that there’s no room for complacency. The bare minimum isn’t enough to get a site by anymore, especially if they want to rank amongst the top sites for their all-important high-value money making search terms.

Nowadays, in order to realistically compete, affiliates should be building customer confidence via trust signals such as in-depth, well-researched slot reviews and ratings. 

If you were to search Google for your favourite online slot game right now, we guarantee you’d quickly stumble across some of the most reputable iGaming affiliates on page one of your search. These sites have put the time and effort into writing high-quality content.

That being said, the reality is that only a small fraction of reviews that appear at the top of Google are actually original and completely accurate. According to the experts at Slot Gods, one of the leading sources of independent bias free online slot reviews, the industry has a genuine problem with integrity, here’s what they have to say on the matter.

 

The unfortunate truth behind online slot reviews

Writing informative reviews is a fantastic way to show your end user that you not only know what you’re talking about, but that you’re just as passionate about the subject matter as they are. Ultimately it goes a long way towards boosting your conversion rate and creating repeat visitors who will no doubt return to your site seeking new offers and quality content.

At this point, it’s pretty common knowledge amongst everyone working within the iGaming industry that content is king… However, there are affiliates out there that just view content as a means to an end to rank, rather than to actually give their users a meaningful experience. 

The end goal for some affiliates is to quickly bloat their site with content, so what do they do? They hire a freelance content writer to knock out a handful of reviews for them. 

We have absolutely no qualms with affiliates relying on freelancers to produce content, they’re arguably the backbone of this industry, especially considering site owners have so many day-to-day tasks to contend with already that keep them busy throughout the day.

The issue at hand is that many of these affiliates are hiring budget freelancers from sites such as Fiverr that have absolutely no industry expertise, as a result these content writers are finding themselves on other affiliate sites practically re-writing their reviews with little effort.

This leads to unoriginal copy and paste reviews that offer nothing substantial when compared to other sites. Even more worrying is that this practice can often cause an adverse chain reaction… One affiliate will copy another affiliate and so on, each picking up the same mistakes.

If the original slot review featured an incorrect figure such as the wrong RTP percentage (which happens very often ) then all of the reviews that followed will also feature the wrong percentage.

This leads to confusion for practically everyone, even worse, players might deposit money at a casino to play that specific game under the assumption that it has a better chance to pay out.

Affiliates need to take more responsibility when it comes to filling their site with review content, it’s understandable that financial constraints would mean that inexperienced content writers write the reviews, but if this is the case the site owner should still be checking the key facts and figures related to each and every slot that goes on their site. Blind faith gets you nowhere.

 

The bigger problem – Honesty

Frustratingly, the issues don’t end there. There are actually plenty of genuinely well-written reviews out there that do read well and contain factual and correct information relating to the game… The problem though? They’re not at all impartial.

Realistically, we’re all in the same boat. We want to make as much money as possible from our endeavours and enjoy the flexible lifestyle that comes with creating a site that can generate a passive income over a sustained period of time. Should that come at the cost of your integrity?

There are plenty of online slot games out there that just aren’t very good, it’s the same as any industry, not all products are top quality, award winning creations. So why are we seeing so many online affiliate sites praise every single slot as if they’re the best thing since sliced bread?

We believe in honesty when it comes to slot reviews. Yes, someone might read your review and be deterred from hitting play, but is it not better to send a user back a page in search of a slot that is right for them as opposed to getting them to deposit and play a game they didn’t enjoy based on your false recommendation? 

Visitors to your site aren’t stupid, they know that if you’re willing to speak honestly and frankly about a slot, even if it’s not very good, then they can trust your judgement elsewhere. Don’t be that site that oversells, it does a disservice to yourself and will lead to unhappy players.

  

What makes a good, honest and readable slot review?

According to the team at Slot Gods, the very first thing any content writer should do before they even begin typing the first word of their review is actually visit the developer’s website, load up the demo version of the game and spend a considerable amount of time playing it.

It sounds simple, but it’s clear that so many reviews are based off another affiliate’s page and not an actual well-informed review that was written off the back of a playthrough. Play the game, and make sure you take a good look at the developer’s game sheet that goes with it.

It’s also worth cross referencing all of the key information such as minimum bet, maximum bet, RTP percentage, maximum win potential and volatility… This is because operators don’t always follow standard slot specifications… Developers often create games with adjustable minimum and max bets and RTP percentages to accommodate a specific operator.

Ultimately, from this point on it’s down to you and your writers. Give players what they want, the hard, cold facts that accurately depict what an online slot is all about. 

Don’t just tell them it’s amazing, don’t just tell them that they could win tens of thousands of pounds playing it… Tell them what they actually need to know about the game! Describe how it looks, sounds and how engaging it is during base gameplay and during bonus features.

Players want in-depth, high-quality content that will leave a lasting impression, give it to them. 

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Paysafe’s Income Access Partners with The Pools for Launch of New Affiliate Programme

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Paysafe’s Income Access wins ‘Affiliate Software Supplier’ 2021 EGR B2B award

Income Access, the marketing technology and services provider from Paysafe (NYSE: PSFE), today announced the launch of a new affiliate programme in partnership with The Football Pools, the world’s oldest football gaming company and operator of The Pools sports-betting and casino website. The launch will see the UK-based brand use the Income Access affiliate marketing platform as well as its affiliate management services to expand its customer base and market presence.

Founded in 1923, The Football Pools launched The Pools in 2018 with the site since expanding into a formidable blend of pre-match and in-play betting, along with a catalogue of video slots, live casino offerings and virtual games. Licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, the brand offers fans another unique wagering experience through Footie5, a weekly free-to-play football prediction game featuring a £25,000 jackpot. All games are also available on The Pools mobile app.

Complementing this strong product offering, the launch of The Pools affiliate programme with Income Access will provide marketing partners with access to a robust multi-channel tracking and reporting solution to help them employ informed, data-driven marketing strategies. Combined with expert guidance from the company’s knowledgeable team of affiliate marketers, The Pools will be equipped with the tools necessary to achieve long-term acquisition and retention success.

Affiliates promoting The Pools will benefit from a dedicated Income Access affiliate manager who will be available to assist with creative assets and marketing campaigns. In addition, affiliates will have access to a flexible compensation model with the chance to earn up to 35% revenue share. Further supporting promotion of the brand are a wide range of casino and sports-betting players promotions.

Andrea Foley, Marketing Manager at The Pools, said: “We have been growing digitally, inventing new games for new audiences, while remaining faithful to our heritage. Following the launch of The Pools as our new sports betting and casino site along with a mobile app we have joined with Income Access to offer our marketing partners best-in-class reporting, marketing assets, and dedicated support for our new affiliate programme.”

Tara Wilson, Chief Operating Officer at Paysafe’s Income Access, said: “The Pools is an exciting brand with an incredibly rich history and we have seen that as the market continues to evolve, so does the brand. By bringing together our team of dedicated affiliate marketing experts with The Pools’ all-inclusive suite of products, we aim to further the company’s acquisition efforts and contribute to the brand’s long-term success.”

Contact The Pools for more information about the affiliate programme and its partnership with Income Access.

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Affiliate Success

Blexr has been crowned Best Casino Affiliate at this year’s IGB Affiliate Awards

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Blexr has been crowned Best Casino Affiliate at this year’s IGB Affiliate Awards

The IGB judges said the company’s innovative work with SEO “helped Blexr stand out as a winner, and we liked the deposit guarantee that they offer to their customers”.

The judges added: “Their selective way of working means Blexr only collaborates with top quality partners, which judges felt had helped contribute to their impressive growth over the last 12 months.”

IGB also mentioned how “Blexr’s charitable work within the community helped them stand out as an affiliate to be highly commended”.

Blexr is a lead generation company which operates in the iGaming, sportsbook and forex affiliate markets. It also owns the Home Grounds website, which serves a community of home baristas.

Ian Hills, Blexr’s general manager in Malta, said: “We’re delighted and thrilled to be recognised by IGB this way.

“We pride ourselves on recruiting smart people with innovative ideas and winning a prestigious award like this one is a lovely way for the whole team to be rewarded for their hard work and dedication.”

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