All you need to know about casino affiliation
A casino affiliate cooperates with selected online casinos as a media partner and sends visitors to the casinos through different allowed methods. It could be through a website, social media, emails, PPC advertising, and even through SMSes.
The visitor sent from the casino affiliate to the online casino usually happens through a link. This link places a cookie on the visitor’s device. If the visitor later creates a player account on the casino site, this player is then tagged to the affiliate. The cookie duration is normally active for 30 days but affiliates can sometimes earn commission on referred players for life, depending on the commission model.
Referred players are not affected in any negative way if they are tagged to an affiliate. What happens is that the online casinos instead share some of their future revenue with their casino affiliates (if there is any).
In some cases, players can actually benefit more if they are referred through an affiliate as they might get a unique bonus that isn’t available directly on the casino site.
The majority of successful casino affiliates can earn everything from a few Euros to thousands per month.
Affiliate marketing is a very common way to do marketing nowadays in any industry and not only for gambling. This method of marketing has also increased in popularity during recent years as social media influencers have become popular. If you ever wondered how social media influencers make money, that’s usually how.
Can anyone become a casino affiliate?
In theory, yes. You do need some way of referring visitors to the online casinos. The most common method is to list different welcome bonuses on a website. Interested visitors can then find this list of different casinos and bonuses on your site and decide on where to play.
Some casino affiliates decide to use a wide approach and list casinos and bonuses towards international markets and others decide to focus on specific countries only.
Other casino affiliates have a more wide approach and list information about games, promotions, and industry news on top of the common welcome bonuses.
Another casino affiliate medium that has become very popular in recent years is Twitch. People basically stream themselves when they are playing different online casino games and at the same time refer players to the different casinos and that way earn commission as a casino affiliate.
To summarize, anyone can become a casino affiliate but you need to have a method on how you plan to send visitors to the online casinos. You also need to make sure that your referral method is accepted and allowed with the specific casino that you plan to promote.
What does it cost to become a casino affiliate?
This is the beauty of becoming a casino affiliate. You don’t have to pay anything when joining the different affiliate programs. No upfront or monthly fees and anyone with an allowed medium or method that can send players to the casinos can join.
Can I lose money by becoming a casino affiliate?
This is another perk of becoming a casino affiliate. When players lose, you earn a commission. When players win, the casinos take the cost and pay the players. You don’t lose money when your referred players win but you don’t earn anything either when this happens. The affiliate commissions are normally calculated on monthly basis.
It’s also normal that casinos use something called a no negative carryover. This means that each new month starts on 0 no matter how the previous month ended. The casinos take the full cost for any player wins and then the new months start fresh again on 0 with no negative balances carried over to the next month = No negative carryover.
Read the terms
Note that there can be exceptions to this no negative carry-over rule so always make sure to read through the full terms and conditions before signing up as a casino affiliate. Nobody enjoys reading terms and conditions and these are often written in dull lawyer language but these T&Cs are often written in a similar way and with some practice, you learn to quickly check through these without the need to read every single word.
You can always contact the affiliate program managers and ask them about specific terms as well but we do always recommend you to at least have a quick look at the full terms.
So, you can´t lose money with most of the casino affiliate programs but you can of course lose money if you decide to spend more on the marketing channel that you use compared to what you actually earn from your monthly/yearly commission.
Maybe you spend too much on your website development and design. You might decide to buy links for your SEO efforts. This is not recommended and against Google guidelines but let’s face it, most casino affiliates and other industry affiliates do that anyway as it’s difficult to gain natural links to gambling-related websites.
You might spend money on PPC or other digital advertising. Whatever you decide to spend money on the cost might be higher than your affiliate earnings so then you will lose money. Sometimes you might experience some short-term financial losses but will earn enough commission long term to turn it into a profitable business.
Sometimes it just doesn’t work out and you won’t earn enough and will then lose money both short and long term.
As with any business you can lose money
This also applies to casino affiliation. If you choose to work with the good casino affiliate programs, then at least, you don´t risk losing anything when players get lucky and win. But your business costs might be higher than your revenue, and you will then lose money as a casino affiliate.
It’s a super competitive niche and the biggest casino affiliates make millions of euros per year. Then there are medium to smaller casino affiliates that earn less but still make money. Then there is the rest that makes nothing or actually loses money.
The trick is to find a referral method that costs you less money to keep up than what your casino affiliate earnings will be.
How much can a casino affiliate earn?
Wow, this really depends on the size of your business. There are major casino affiliates that earn more than €1 Million per month. These are rare companies tough. The majority of successful casino affiliates can earn everything from a few Euros to thousands per month.
Most common commission models
The three most used reward plans are revenue share models, Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), and a hybrid of these two.
This is the most used commission model especially for smaller to medium-sized casino affiliates. The affiliates earn a percentage of their sent players combined losses. The common calculation formula is gross revenue – bonuses and other costs = net revenue. You then earn your commission percentage on the monthly net revenue amount that your referred players have contributed to. Most affiliate programs use a ladder plan where you start earning 20/25% and can move up all the way to 45% revenue share depending on either how many depositing players you send per month or the size of the month’s net revenue.
This reward plan is reserved for larger affiliates that can send casinos big volumes of high-value players. Instead of earning a fixed percentage of players’ losses, the affiliate will earn a one-time fee once a referred player makes a successful deposit. At times the casino can add a minimum deposit threshold and a minimum amount of wagering that the player has to reach before the CPA is triggered and paid to the affiliate. The CPA amount that an affiliate can earn per sent First Time Depositing (FTD) player can vary between €50 and up to €450 depending on different factors like the market, overall value of sent players, and the casino’s strategy.
The hybrid reward plan is nowadays the preferred option for most affiliates. The reason is that the affiliate will then be paid both a CPA + revenue share earnings on their referred players. This commission model is reserved for medium to big-sized affiliates though. Very often the casinos want to start on a revenue share basis to see some samples of the sent players. Once it’s confirmed that the average player value is good, then a hybrid deal can be discussed and negotiated in most cases. Hybrid deals can start from €40 + 40% to as high as €200 + 50% in some extreme cases.
How to become a good casino affiliate
This is the million-dollar question that a few individuals and companies have cracked. It basically comes down to two things. You need to provide visitors with some kind of value. It could be really good slots reviews, industry news, bonus listings, free spin offers, or something else that makes people want to visit your site and read your content. It could also be that you find a really good advertising method that works well. Or a combination of the two.
It´s important to highlight that it is difficult to become a good and successful casino affiliate. It is really hard as there is a lot of competition and skillful people that already do this with great success.
Ideally, you come up with a certain niche or an idea that focuses on a specific area instead of the broad entertainment of online casinos and gambling.
However, not everyone can be the best and biggest but many can be small and make some kind of side income if they manage to get the ball rolling and get some traction and progress on their efforts.
If you are new to this, have a proper think about your strategy first and what you want to achieve. Then get to work.
How can I become a casino affiliate on Twitch?
Twitch has become a very popular platform in recent years for video games but also for streaming online casino playing. This might sound a bit crazy but it’s true. People just like to enjoy watching others play and this also applies to online casinos and casino slots.
There are some very popular casino affiliates on Twitch with hundreds of thousands of followers. These affiliates stream their gameplay with thousands of viewers every single day. Just search for any big wins on YouTube on a specific slot and the ones that show up at the top are casino affiliates on Twitch.
So how can you become a casino affiliate on Twitch?
You start a Twitch account, start playing and try to get followers and viewers. It’s not this easy of course but if you are entertaining or have great knowledge about casino slots or have any other quality that differentiates you from others, it helps.
You then need to create affiliate deals with the casinos and you can get started. It takes time to build up a pool of followers and viewers but it’s possible to become a successful casino affiliate on Twitch. Especially if you can focus on a market that is upcoming and that doesn’t have any local-speaking casino affiliates on Twitch yet.
It is legal to be a casino affiliate?
Yes, it is legal to become a casino affiliate but there are a few things that you need to make sure to follow:
- You can only advertise casinos and the games towards countries that are accepted by the casino that you are promoting. In some cases, you need to have a separate discussion with the online casino to make sure that you are not breaking any laws in the country where you plan to promote your services.
- You need to follow the online casinos’ terms and conditions. The casinos are very good at detecting fraudulent behavior nowadays so don´t even think about trying anything dodgy as it’s not going to work.
- In a few countries like in the USA, you need to apply for a separate and individual affiliate license per state where online casinos are legal and allowed.
Can I send players from any country to the casinos as a casino affiliate?
No, you can not. Not all online casinos allow players from any country. Every single online casino has a list of restricted countries. Players from those countries cant sign up and play at the casinos.
Make sure to have a quick chat with the casino’s affiliate manager to check if they allow players from the country where you plan to promote your services.
Which countries are popular for online casinos today?
Some of the most common countries that online casinos target right now are Canada, New Zealand, Finland, Norway, and until recently Germany. Sweden used to be popular but the Swedish government has re-regulated that market recently and applied strict restrictions so a lot of online casino operators avoid this market nowadays. The same goes for the UK.
What most online casinos try to find now is emerging and upcoming markets. These could be countries in South America like Peru and Brazil or countries in Asia like Japan, India, and more. Africa is also interesting.
The USA has started to open up for gambling online in some states and more states will follow and do the same as well. The American online gambling market will eventually become the world’s largest but in general, this market is for the big companies as you need massive budgets to succeed here. And you also need a license per state even as an affiliate.
Eventually, all markets will become regulated and with more restrictions added to them but for now, there are still a lot of countries in the world where a lot of value can be found and where online casinos and gambling online are increasing in popularity.
How to communicate with the casinos
When you visit an online casino site, you can see the “affiliate” option in the footer of the site, in most cases. When you click here, you are re-directed to the casino site’s affiliate program. Here you can read about their revenue share reward plans that they offer and find contact details.
Once you get started as a casino affiliate and build up a bit of a network, the most popular and fast way to communicate with the online casino affiliate managers is through Skype.
All casino affiliates and affiliate managers use Skype today and communicate through that platform to speed up things. Emails work as well but it’s not as efficient.
So once you start working with an affiliate program and start sending emails back and forth, make sure to ask for the affiliate manager’s Skype ID and then continue communicating there as that will save you a lot of time and hassle.
Want to join a casino affiliate program and start earning commission? Click here to find out more.