Five secrets of successful U.S. casino affiliates
The UK may be the world’s best regulated and most competitive online gambling market, but there’s plenty of power in the U.S. casino affiliate market, too.
Because of its usually uncertain (and sometimes downright frightening) regulatory status, the United States doesn’t have the robust online gambling market that Europe does. But make no mistake: The U.S. is potentially the most lucrative online gambling market in the world, and every online gaming brand has its sights set on eventually entering the U.S. market.
U.S. casino affiliates already enjoy access to many of the world’s leading online casino affiliate programs, like Chipleader, Bodog, Mainstreet Affiliates, and many others. Here are five secrets on how to make the most of those U.S.-facing casino affiliate programs:
Secret #1: The U.S. is the biggest, and will get even bigger. Reports and numbers vary, but the U.S. is generally regarded as the biggest online gambling market in the world. The Economist puts the numbers this way:
• The U.S.: 17.2 percent of the global online gambling market
• Japan: 13.8 percent
• Britain: 11.5
• Italy: 6.9
• Canada: 3.3
Take a look at the full report from The Economist here.
Secret #2: The U.S. casino affiliate market isn’t as restricted as many think it is. Most of the big-time international online casino operators accept U.S. players. Here’s a brief list of CAP Listed Programs not based in the U.S. that happily accept U.S. gamers and bettors:
Chipleader (home to UB.com and Absolute Poker)
Mainstreet Affiliates (home to Slots Plus and Vegas Casino Online)
Ace Revenue (home to Royal Ace Casino, Slot Madness)
Bodog (One of the world’s best-known bookmakers, with a huge presence in North American sports)
Twinspires (the official affiliate site of the Kentucky Derby)
BetUS (a very popular North American-facing online betting site)
BetED (new to CAP, another popular American-facing Internet sportsbook)
Secret #3: Most players don’t know that online gambling is legal. Seriously, this is probably the biggest factor working against U.S. casino affiliates trying to get conversions from American players.
Many U.S. citizens don’t have any idea whether online gambling is legal or illegal, as reports have shown. A study from April 2010 showed that “only 37 percent of Americans and 23 percent of Canadians were aware of the legal status of online gambling in their countries,” as CasinoAffiliatePrograms.com reported at the time.
So, with your blog posts or home page content, let your visitors know that the sites you promote are perfectly legal for them to play at. When the U.S. government does crack down on online gambling, they target the operators, and the financial institutions, never the players themselves.
After all, the way the UIGEA and the Wire Act (the two U.S. laws used by the Justice Department to target online gambling) are written, players have nothing to worry about on a legal basis. And if your visitors understand that, they’ll be more likely to click on your ads and become conversions.
Related article: Internet gambling legal issues for casino affiliates
Secret #4: Don’t ignore the international market. Even if you’re a U.S. casino affiliate, there’s nothing stopping you from branching out into other markets.
Online gambling is truly a global arena. As we pointed out yesterday, the UK has the most robust Internet gambling market. And as we’ve been exploring in recent weeks, the Latin American market is also growing very quickly — and that’s a market that even overlaps the U.S. market significantly.
So, what’s to stop a U.S. casino affiliate from marketing to gamblers in the UK or Mexico? Nothing but your own ambition. If you want to market to international players, make sure they understand the rules. Beyond that, make sure you communicate with the affiliate manager for those programs and make sure you’re following all their rules for international conversions.
Secret #5: Don’t ignore conferences. Networking is a big part of casino affiliate marketing, even more so than many other businesses because of the backlinks networking brings in.
Most of that networking and backlinking is done online, but there’s plenty of room for offline networking, too. And the situation is getting better: Previously, most igaming conferences open to U.S. casino affiliates took place in Europe, but now, with online gambling regulatory drive on the march in the United States, the conference circuit is looking to North America.
And the U.S. has its first-ever igaming conference in just a few weeks; click here for info on iGaming North American and the discount you can get when you register through CAP.
So, what’s the big picture? Even under the stress of multiple regulatory frustrations, the U.S. does indeed have a robust online gambling market, with plenty of opportunity for U.S. casino affiliates.
Know of any other advantages or challenges U.S. casino affiliates face? Sound off in the comments and share your thoughts.