Tips for preventing player poaching

Poach eggs, not players.

Casino affiliate marketing looks easy on paper, but anyone who has done it knows that convincing players to deposit with your partners is pretty tough work. Of course that job is made a lot tougher when your hard won players are stolen by ethically challenged poachers offering under the table rakeback deals.

Unfortunately, preventing player poaching is not a perfect science. There’s not much that webmasters can do to prevent poachers from playing their trade in poker room but there are a few steps that can be taken to help minimize the damage that they do, while protecting your piece of the pie.

Know Your Enemy

The best way to stay ahead of poachers is by learning exactly how they work. There are a variety of methods for stealing players and some of them can be pretty complicated. The folks over at Pokerstrategy.com published a great pamphlet titled Underlying Flaws of the Affiliate Rakeback Model that outlines how rakeback schemes work and it’s definitely worth looking at.

Keep your players where they belong-- on your site!

Poachers and other seedy types don’t like it when their plans are called out. On our CAP Forums, a member called BingoAdvantage relates a story about about a poacher who had hijacked his affiliate program. BingoAdvantage not only called the guy out, but he took the matter to local law enforcement. As a general rule, poachers aren’t likely to be stealing players when they’re actions are being exposed.

Take Care of Your Players

Great customer service is one of the best defenses against player poaching. If your players are happy with the promotions you’re offering them, like tournaments, they’ll be less likely to jump ship. It won’t work for everyone, cash under the table is a pretty strong incentive, but your quality players will respect a good deal.

Check out more articles on player poaching:
How Player Poaching Works
How Poker Tournaments Increase Player Retention

Watch Your Partners

It’s a sad fact of the affiliate marketing game that some poker rooms turn a blind eye to player poaching. CAP community member Dominique points out that some sites are more than happy to take poached players because it hurts the competition.

Try sticking with poker rooms that take a similarly dim view of poaching and rakeback schemes. Plenty of the big boys have been burned by this type of thing and have built in protections into their terms and conditions to prevent getting fleeced by poachers.

Reputable players, card rooms and publishers share a similarly dim view of player poaching. Be certain that you align yourself only with card rooms that are as anti-poaching as your are.

Accept Reality

Face up to the fact that player poachers, and shavers, are a part of the affiliate landscape. Inevitably you’re going to lose some players to these guys and there won’t be much you can do to get in the short term.

How do you prevent player poaching? Tell us about it in our General Discussion Forum.


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