Understanding Online Sports Betting in Europe

The online sports betting business model is more sophisticated and regulated in Europe than anywhere else. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely without its regulatory issues and hurdles for affiliate marketers.

Get to know the regulations
When you’re starting off in a niche such as online sports betting, make sure you fully understand the regulatory challenges you might face before you start.

Even he UK, where online sports betting thrives, can be challenging. The challenges you’ll face will be a result of such an advanced market that’s dominated by successful operators.

“This industry is dominated by five operators that account for approximately 7,262 (over 80%) of all betting shops,” the Commission reports. Those operators are Ladbrokes, William Hill, Betfred, Coral, and Tote. In 2008, this Commission states that 1,544.3 million online bets were placed by these licensed operators.

The UK does have one regulatory difficulty: In general, Internet betting is allowed, but advertising about Internet betting isn’t.

This is a result of large movements against gambling in most countries. Those movements often site statistics on problem gamblers as their rationale to oppose gambling, offline and online.

So, in some countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand, the government fights advertising for online betting.

Betfair has recently faced problems from the British Advertising Standards Authority, for example, for ads that were claimed to be violating the country’s laws regarding ads for online betting.

But aside from minor glitches like these, sports betting is robust in Europe. As with all countries, the CAP Listed Programs page outlines just what markets each betting affiliate program is licensed in.

European Opportunity
Once you’ve determined what market you’re after, the process of selecting your betting affiliate partner may be more a matter of picking your favorite betting event.

Here are some key European betting events you should be aware of:

The World Cup
The world’s biggest betting event saturates the European media for months ahead of and during the event. European-facing betting affiliates should strive to incorporate WordPress widgets on oddsmaking and include World Cup content regularly in their blog content. If you want to try this market, stick to less competitive, long-tail SEO terms; the market is very saturated.

The Totesport Trophy
As the CAP News page recently explored, the UK race horsing industry is robust, and specific races like the Totesport Trophy get tons of media exposure. Listing odds for races like that is a good betting affiliate marketing tactic.

Football is Europe’s most popular sport, and so many online sportsbooks will pull out all the stops in catering to every aspect of the sport.

Take UEFA, for example. For its recent Champions League knockout phase, Euro Partners sports betting site Titan Bet has engineered special odds designed to drive bettors to its site — and this is the kind of marketing material online sports betting affiliates shouldn’t ignore.

With betting affiliate marketing more so than standard casino affiliate marketing, then, it pays for affiliates to stay on top of news and PR for the betting industry. Whenever a company like Titan Bet is out to promote its services, that’s free advertising for all of Euro Partners affiliates, too. In that sense, marketing the more prominent sports books could be more profitable for the casual affiliate.

It’s generally more sensible to start out by marketing the sports you know about, and to the market where you live. But as you develop as a betting affiliate and grow your online presence, you may want to branch out into new, international markets. And each country offers a separate world of sports matches with their own passionate bettors.