Sports Betting Basics

If you’re an affiliate marketer, you already know that what you don’t know can hurt your business. Whenever you miss something as simple as the opportunity of a new niche, you’re missing the opportunity to make more money.

And that’s why you should know about sports betting. It represents a huge percentage of the estimated $25 billion of the online gambling industry’s revenue.

It’s also a market that’s appealing to gamblers. In fact, it goes beyond online casino visitors and poker players. Online sports betting gives affiliates an opportunity to capitalize on the popularity of international, national, and even local sports. It provides a great chance to market to normal sports fans who aren’t necessarily casino enthusiasts.

Think about it: People regularly search for info on their favorite NFL team, or NBA team, or UEFA team, wherever they may be. Searching for odds for upcoming games (and the March Madness tournament is right around the corner) also represents a lot of traffic, and there’s a very close fit between people looking for sports news and scores online, and those looking to bet on their favorite teams.

Connecting the Gap
But how do you bridge that gap from casual interest in sports teams, to sports betting?

Marketing, of course. As professional and collegiate sports continue to dominate headlines in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and many other gambling-oriented cultures, sports-related traffic will continue to increase. And that’s a great opportunity for online betting affiliates to market to some sports niches that aren’t available to affiliates working purely in the online casino or Internet poker niches.

Legality is a central issue of sports betting today, online and offline. And this is the biggest obstacle to many potential sports bettors, and many sports betting affiliates: uncertainty over whether betting is legal in any given state or country, or whether promoting betting sites is legal.

In the United States, for example, offline betting is legal in more states than many people realize.

“Where is bookmaking legal?” asks Daniel Roberts at “Each of the following states allows for some sort of bet-taking, though what is permissible is highly specific, so this doesn’t mean you can legally begin a new career as a bookie: Alaska; Delaware; Mississippi; Montana; Nevada; New Mexico; North Dakota; Oregon; Washington; and Wyoming. In addition, Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island all allow the taking of bets on jai alai, a popular sport for gamblers. Of course, in Vegas casinos, all betting is legal.”

That’s a start, but how does it translate to online sports betting — where laws are generally on the federal level, and not state-by-state?

More specifically, can you promote major online sports betting sites like Bodog or BetUS in the United States without fear of penalty? The short answer is yes.

“The takeaway, then, is that for most readers, your occasional bets at the racetrack, keno games in bars, and participation in March Madness pools won’t be bringing the feds to your door anytime soon,” sums up Fortune’s take on the matter.

But for now, it’s important to realize that the people who bet online are also worried about legal issues, and it’s your job as a sports betting affiliate to reassure them of the legality of what they’re doing (and any potential risks). Therefore, understanding legal issues is a big part of being a successful in this niche.

Growing Fast
But legal confusion isn’t stopping the industry from growing at an incredible rate. PricewaterhouseCoopers has noted that intrastate online horse racing betting is legal in 16 states; and online horse race betting — like the Kentucky Derby — is authorized in the U.S. and can be a very strong niche for sports betting affiliates.

Other markets offer the same growth. “Sports betting is big business in gambling-mad Australia, where an IBISWorld survey last year showed that the market share of sports gambling over five years had nearly doubled from $1.6 billion per annum to $2.9 billion,” states the Canadian Press.

Similar growth is enjoyed by the worldwide gambling market as a whole, as laws and regulations tend to be loosening up in most jurisdictions.

In that sense, there’s never been a better time for this niche — and in this series of lessons, we’ll help you learn how to become a profitable sports betting affiliate here at