Affiliate partners who are looking to take the plunge into the US online poker market are facing an avalanche of both players, and regulatory hurdles. Cutting through the red tape surrounding licensing and operating an intrastate poker site is going to be a lot easier if you’ve done a little advance planning.

CAP founder Warren Jolly and gaming law expert Professor I. Nelson Rose addressed these issues in a recent webinar titled, Preparing for US Regulation: A Legal Overview & Vital Practices. Here’s some of the advice they had for affiliates getting ready for the US market.

Watch the Company You Keep

If you want to see a template for operating in the US market, just keep an eye on what the big boys like Paddy Power, 888 and Caesars are doing. These companies have been working hard for quite a while to get their business together to minimize licensing hassles.

A big part of this process, and this one every affiliate partner should be emulating, is breaking off relations with sites that are in hot water with the Department of Justice (DOJ). We’ve already seen PokerStars making moves in this direction and it’s definitely going to make any licensing hearings they go to a lot easier.


Whether you’re planning to get a gaming license or not, registering as a corporation is a  good idea and it’s extremely affordable.  In most states, filing corporation papers is done at the Secretary of State’s office and doesn’t require legal representation.

Incorporating will help you build a paper trail that’s going to be very useful, especially if you’re going to try for a gaming license. Jolly makes a point of telling affiliates to engage in some serious due diligence as they prepare for the US and that is sound advice.

We know that obtaining a Nevada license is long, grueling process and companies that don’t mind their p’s and q’s often get left out in the cold. Conduct your own financial audit before you get too far along in this process and make certain your paperwork is in good shape.

Other Considerations

While the US market won’t really open until this fall, at the earliest, Jolly says there are still some things that affiliates can be doing now to get ready including:

  • Promoting US facing, gaming sites like Twinspire that offer legal gaming options like horse racing.
  • Move beyond SEO – When igaming is legal in the US, social media and PPC are going to more gambling friendly than ever.
  • Be ready for some new, lower, commission models – Big gaming companies like MGM already have huge player databases and will probably be more interested in CPA than revenue sharing.
  • Get to know the American market – A lot of Americans don’t trust gaming sites much and winning these folks over is going to be your job.


America is the land of opportunity for affiliates, but getting ready is definitely going to take some work.

What are you doing to get ready for legal, American gaming? Share your experiences on our Online Gaming Newswire Forum.

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