A well-known brand or a no-name casino. Which type of offer is the better choice?
The gambling industry is recovering from the pandemic. The lockdowns have forced many casinos to migrate online. According to the estimates of statistical agencies, online casino turnovers are growing by 10-15% per year. Travel restrictions, as well as gambling bans in some countries, are further encouraging players to switch to the online format. Let’s take a look at how you’re supposed to operate and make money in this vertical.
What’s the better choice: casino affiliate programs or direct advertisers?
Webmasters have the opportunity to sell traffic through CPA affiliate programs or directly. Each option has its own pros and cons.
Working with affiliate programs is easier when you have a small team or if you’re a beginner webmaster. Here’s why:
- no need to communicate with multiple advertisers and establish relationships with them to be able to work with various brands. Gambling affiliate programs are usually a compilation of offers from different brands, GEOs, game types, cooperation terms;
- having a personal manager is very important for both beginners and experienced webmasters. They can give advice and deal with some matters that a direct advertiser just couldn’t be bothered to;
- advertisers won’t work with teams that generate small traffic volumes. While affiliate programs work with solo affiliates with low-profile working assets of high quality traffic;
- affiliate programs provide their partners with apps and promo materials the latter can use..
The drawback of this option lies in the fact that affiliate programs take a small cut for their services and working with casino offers directly when driving large volumes is more profitable.
If the affiliate team is big, granted it has a big budget and the ability to develop its own offers and creatives, the more lucrative option would be to cooperate with the online casino directly. Such an option also yields the following advantages:
- higher rates and exclusive conditions. More often than not, cooperating directly with advertisers implies working through the Revshare or Hybrid models, which allow you to receive passive income from the players;
- exclusive offers. When you’re a partner, a casino brand can reveal exclusive products that have yet to be offered through affiliate programs. New offers generate interest among players and can lead to more conversions;
Why casino offers are profitable
The casino industry is one of the most profitable in the entire entertainment sector. A casino’s income depends on a set percentage of payments from the overall bank. As for its expenses – infrastructure maintenance and advertising. If the gambling offer is high-quality, it can attract paying users for years, allowing the advertiser to share some of that income with the webmaster. In some countries, where gambling is illegal, online casinos are the only way for people to play for money, meaning such services act as literal monopolists in these markets.
Another popular choice are mobile apps, that people can play in any part of the world. The general global digitization trend left its mark on the gambling sector, too. The gambling industry is growing (in terms of attracting new players) by an average of 5% per year. And this growth is here to stay, since the number of new regular Internet users is also constantly growing globally.
After passing the test cap set by the advertiser for traffic evaluation purposes, you can get to work. The main payout models in the gambling vertical are:
Payment per target action. In gambling offers this means the first deposit. Affiliates get paid only for the first deposit the attracted player makes, any subsequent ones don’t provide the former with anything. Often, the advertiser pays affiliates more than the first deposit is actually worth, thereby assuming a certain risk. The quality of traffic is crucial, since unless the casino covers its expenses (your first payouts), it will refuse to accept players from you, since it will keep going into the red if it doesn’t. This model also provides for a baseline — a minimum amount the client has to spend before they are counted as a lead, anything below this amount will not be paid for.
Revenue Share — the advertiser shares a part of their profits with the webmaster. This model lets you secure a passive income, granted you attract regular players.
A combination of the CPA and Revshare models.
Payments for new clients, for each freshly registered player. This model entails the most risk for the advertiser, since a non-target audience won’t cover the casino’s traffic attracting expenses.
How to make money in the gambling vertical and the specifics of picking an offer.
You can choose an offer and get a link or an app in a gambling affiliate program. One of the top advertiser affiliate programs is PM affiliates. Cooperating with this affiliate program is beneficial in that it’s technically not an intermediary that takes a cut. This is a direct affiliate program from the Pari Match brand, and the pay rates and overall working conditions are more lucrative than in other non-subsidiary gambling affiliate programs.
When working with free traffic sources (SEO websites, blogs, streams, channels), the Revshare and Hybrid models are the most lucrative. The audience from these sources is more targeted, meaning it’s more likely to play for a long time and ensure the affiliate gets paid in the long term.
But if you sell paid traffic (Facebook, Google, teaser and push networks), it would be better to go for the CPA and CPL models, since they allow you to recoup your investments, make a profit and scale your subsequent activities.
Working in the gambling vertical is building relationships with advertisers in the long term. If a webmaster tries to deceive an advertiser, drive motivated or fraudulent traffic in order to make a quick buck, what they’ll get are not payouts but a termination of their business relationship. Casinos have lots of KPI they use to evaluate the quality of incoming traffic. Not just test caps and baselines, there’s also:
- the number of times a player comes back;
- the deposited amount;
- reactions to push notifications or email ads;
- the time they spend playing;
Pros and cons of offers from popular brands and no-name casinos
Pros of working with famous offers:
- it is easier to attract an audience to well-known offers thanks to brand awareness;
- there’s no risk on not getting paid or scammed by the advertiser;
- ambassadors — celebrities that help promote the brand;
- players trust the brand;
Large and experienced teams try to work with no-name casinos when they have decent traffic volumes and insurance capital, since scams are sadly an occasional occurrence. Some of the advantages of this method are:
- the novelty of the brand attracts players, it’s always interesting for them to try something fresh;
- new no-name brands may offer higher rates to attract large volumes of traffic since they’re just starting out;
In 2021, the gambling vertical is experiencing a real boom in popularity. It is also one of the most profitable affiliate marketing verticals in general. For those who have not yet worked in this vertical, you should definitely give it a go.