The rapid growth of online gambling has provided an opportunity for affiliates to acquire traffic and customers for their partners at scale. But it also comes with responsibilities.
Gaming affiliates and content publishers in the industry have a duty to be responsible and provide ways for their readers and gamers to be safe with their gambling.
These are some of the ways this can be done:
Partner with Reputable Gaming Operators
The first step to responsible activity as an affiliate is to align yourself only with legal and reputable sportsbook or online gaming operators.
Be sure to read and understand your affiliate agreement fully, to ensure you are entering into a contract that adheres to the laws of the country or region or state you are in.
Kick the tires! Check out the gaming operator and ask questions to be sure they’re someone you want to work with as an affiliate.
Do they respond to your queries? Do they act professionally? How long have they been operational?
Find out all you can about the operator so you can be certain they are honest and will follow the laws and best practices of the industry.
We provide reviews of affiliate programs, and these are well worth reading to determine if a brand is responsible or not.
For example, it is important that the operators you work with are using technology, such as geolocation verification, to assure that their customers do not reside in jurisdictions that have not legalized sports wagering.
Avoid Hyperbole: Be Ethical
Never use hyperbolic language like “guaranteed” or “no-risk” to describe a gaming activity that does have risk. Avoid using the operator’s language where they call subjectively something “the best” and so on. Never overhype an offer or bonus: explain the details.
You are the affiliate, and while you want to create customers for your partners, you want to do so in an ethical way by sharing the accurate details without exaggerated claims in your content and marketing materials.
In the United States, the American Gaming Association (AGA) provides guidelines for gaming affiliates, as well as other entities.
Their members include commercial and tribal casino operators, gaming suppliers, and affiliates. The organization monitors member sites and provides suggestions and feedback so that you as an affiliate can ensure compliance at all times.
The AGA promotes responsible and ethical marketing and operation in the gaming industry. This includes pledging to not market to people under the legal age of gambling in that region, as well as avoiding any messaging that seems to guarantee success in sports wagering. Nor should any message imply or suggest any illegal activity of any kind.
Be Transparent With Marketing
It should be clear to your visitors which content you publish on your affiliate website is advertising and marketing from an operator. You should strive to only use approved marketing graphics and assets from your partners.
Don’t hide your marketing or confuse your users by publishing content that may appear to be analyst and betting advice, for example, but is actually marketing or promotion from a gaming operator.
Your affiliate website should always disclose to users whether or how you share their user information with third parties, whether it relates to gaming or any other purpose.
Never Advocate For Risky Betting
It is your responsibility to provide content and betting analysis that is responsible. Never advocate for risky betting.
A good rule of thumb is: only publish gambling advice that you would take and you would risk your own money for.
Explain The Risks of Problem Gambling
Any website that includes links to or advertising or marketing materials for gambling should include a responsible gaming message.
All good affiliates should include a link to a site that provides information about responsible gaming and responsible gaming services. You should also explain the methods gamblers have to self-exclude.
You may even wish to produce content to describe the dangers of problem gambling on your own website. Every effort you make to honestly encourage responsible gambling and show your concerns about problem gaming will illustrate your professionalism and ethics.
Publish Current Odds Through Live Feeds
When publishing content that is timely, for example a betting preview for a football match, provide the odds through a feed that grabs the most recent odds. That way, if a reader is seeing your article a day after you published it and the odds have shifted, they will see the current odds.
Where you mention specific odds in the copy of an article or marketing materials, clearly indicate that odds can change at any time. Refer the user to the operator website for current odds whenever possible.
Provide Access to Help for Gambling Addiction
Every affiliate website should be earnest in their commitment to providing access to gambling addiction assistance. This is as simple as listing a Gambling Addiction Hotline phone number (typically offered by a government organization) or linking to resources where people can get help.