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Marketing security essentials for gaming affiliates

Security is a major concern for most people who spend money online — and that includes your site visitors.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean your visitors are concerned about whether your website is secure. Rather, they want to be assured that any online gaming room you’re promoting, as well as the process for clicking and registering for that program, is free from security flaws.

So, when we encourage affiliates to address “security essentials,” we’re not referring to fighting malware or computer viruses (the kind of security tackled by Microsoft’s popular Security Essentials software). That’s important, to be sure, but security essentials for affiliate marketers covers completely different ground.

By marketing security essentials, you’re assuring your visitors that the affiliate programs you promote are as safe as possible. That may not guarantee an increase in conversions, but it certainly isn’t going to hurt.

After all, that most important step in gaining conversions — the point in which a website visitor becomes a conversion — depends largely on how secure a visitor feels providing sensitive payment info or personal data to your affiliate partner.

The State of Online Gambling Security
Given that, what should affiliates know about online gambling security essentials? For starters, security issues certainly aren’t as big a problem in the online gambling industry today as they were a few years ago.

Back in 2007, and in the years prior to that, the major gambling forums were littered with complaints about security flaws found in various gaming and poker rooms.

Worse, there were highly publicized media accounts of security breaches and scandals at major poker rooms. Most famous of these was the Absolute Poker and security breach that led to a feature in the Washington Post and on 60 Minutes.

Though it was a temporary black eye for the industry, that incident did lead to changes by the sites’ regulatory body (the Kahnawake Gaming Commission). And there’s a lesson there: Lack of regulation in the U.S. and other markets isn’t helping the security of online poker and casino gamers, it’s hurting it.

So, what can affiliates do?
Regulations aside, operators are making great strides in their respective security features. For example, following 2007’s Absolute Poker incident, CEREUS sites beefed up their security and launched a PR campaign letting the industry know they’d done so. Granted, those sites were subsequently victims of the U.S. Black Friday crackdown, but the trend was still set.

Bwin, for example, was named as a “model” for online gambling security a few years ago. And the eCOGRA certification process focuses in part on how secure a gaming room’s system is.

Consider that a starting point for marketing security to your visitors. Let players know that security is important to you as a webmaster, and that all security essentials are addressed to the best of the ability regarding the programs you promote.

That’s not too hard to do. If you’re promoting top-tier casino affiliate programs or poker rooms, chances are they already have strict security measures in place. Take a look at eCOGRA and what sites they’ve certified, and how they’ve done so, for an insight into optimum industry security.

Then communicate that to your players, and you’ll help to make sure you don’t lose conversions because of security fears.

The last word is yours
Do you consider website security a major issue for you as a gaming affiliate? How about player security? Do you feel players are more or less concerned about gaming security today than in the past?