Betting Partners – Your guide to Affiliates

Online casino affiliate programs are one of the main reasons the online gambling space is booming. To provide some perspective, an online casino affiliate that ranks well for high-value keywords can easily earn over $50,000 per month. This business model is a win-win for both parties, by splitting the workload of bringing in new customers between the affiliate site and the online casino.

The structure of this arrangement is very simple. The online casino provides a link to their site and pays the affiliate for providing them with a new user. For example, if you are a player looking for a new sportsbook and you are searching for NFL odds, Super Bowl odds, or NFL player props  the affiliate site will do all the research for you and direct you to the casino operator that best suits your needs.

How Much Do Gambling Affiliates Earn?

When it comes to gambling affiliates there is no ceiling on what can be earned. The more customers an affiliate directs to an online casino the more money they will make. There are affiliate sites that can bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars a month if they are ranking well for high-volume keywords.

The most profitable gambling affiliates are generally referred to as super affiliates. Super affiliate earnings can be well over $100,000 per month. There are four earning tiers:

  • Beginner – $0 to $1000/per month
  • Intermediate $1000 to $10,000/per month
  • Advanced – 10k to $100k/per month
  • Super Affiliate – $100k+/per month

While the majority of successful affiliates rank in the intermediate tier, becoming a super affiliate doesn’t require a genius marketing strategy. All they need to do is rank for the right set of keywords to get them into this category.

What is an Online Casino Affiliate?

An online casino affiliate is a form of marketing that drives new customers to a gaming operator. Affiliates are a very important part of the modern online gambling industry as players use search engines (mainly Google) to help educate themselves before they play. Affiliate sites provide the education that players are looking for.

In that sense, a casino affiliate essentially acts as an intermediary between online casinos and players. Affiliates are given a tracking link and receive a commission every time a player follows the link and completes a predetermined transaction. In most cases, either registering or playing on the casino site.

The whole system works based on trust by keeping both the online casino and the affiliates happy. The affiliates provide a service by referring interested players to the best casinos to play at with a carefully-curated list of options.

Online casino affiliates can drive huge amounts of traffic and potential customers to gambling operators. This has led gambling operators to enter into lucrative agreements with affiliates for new accounts.

Affiliate Revenue Models and Commission Plans

Commissions are the spine of the affiliate revenue model. The affiliate model works through tracking links built into affiliate sites. When someone enters a site by clicking on an affiliate link, these clicks are tracked, as are any leads and/or sales derived from these clicks.

One of the keys to an online casino affiliate program is making sure the commission is fair. If a casino’s affiliate commission is too low, it will be difficult to recruit affiliates and have them prioritize that site—they may simply go with a competitor’s more lucrative offer. But if a casino’s commission is too high, it could eat away at their bottom line. This can be a balancing act.

In the world of online gambling, there are a few different models online casinos use for paying out their affiliates. Here are a few of the different models:

What is a Rev Share?

A revenue share, or rev share, model allows the affiliate to collect an agreed percentage of the lifetime revenue of every player generated by the affiliate. The rev share model can be very attractive, as most operators will offer an advantageous welcome bonus to a new customer which gives the affiliate an enhanced percentage of earnings for a specified period of time. This deal also provides the affiliate with a constant revenue stream for as long as the player continues to make a profit for the online casino operator.

This is one of the main benefits of the rev share model, as affiliates will (in theory) increase the number of players being funneled to the online casino over an extended period; which achieves an ever-increasing amount of commissions. Furthermore, there is always the chance of landing a high roller or high staking player, who would create enhanced revenues for the online casino and thus for the affiliate.

The rev share model assumes that the players introduced to the casino will generate profits, but this is not guaranteed. There is also the possibility that a casino site will merge with another brand or be re-launched and the revenues created by that affiliate link will vanish.

What Does CPA Mean?

The Cost Per Acquisition, or CPA, model is when the affiliate receives a one-time payment for every new customer they generate who makes a deposit. The main advantage of using the CPA model is it provides the affiliate with a fixed return for every deposit a player makes—there’s no waiting for the online casino to make a profit off the player. This means that an affiliate will be able to earn earnings instantly and commissions are easily calculated; as they’re not determined by a player’s wagering and gaming habits.

This commission method is common for new affiliates who require quick financial returns to progress their business. The downside to CPA deals is if a player does deposit a high sum and plays a lot at an online casino, the affiliate will miss out on a potentially lucrative rev share opportunity. Another drawback to the CPA model is it requires players to make their initial deposit within a certain timeframe.

 What is a Hybrid Deal?

This is pretty self-explanatory, but the hybrid deal is a combination of the rev share and CPA plans mentioned above. The hybrid plan provides the affiliate the stability of receiving a fixed amount for each successful conversion and the potential to earn commissions for the player’s lifetime.

Generally, with the hybrid model, each component (acquisition and commissions) pays a lower rate compared to the standalone CPA or rev share rates. This is understandable, however, as the affiliate receives the benefits of both plans. Consequently, affiliates can start with a hybrid deal if they’re undecided about which payment plan to choose.

Life-time Deals

Life-time deals are another commission format available as part of an online casino affiliate program. As soon as a customer clicks on a CTA button to follow the referral link, and makes a real money deposit, their account syncs to the affiliate. This means every time a player returns to the operator site and makes a deposit, the affiliate earns a commission. Since the accounts are synced, this doesn’t even require the player to go through the affiliate a second time. Even if they go directly to the online casino URL the affiliate will continue to get paid out.

Once a customer has been acquired, they can only be linked to the original affiliate site. This essentially lands the affiliate a lifetime deal for as long as the player wants to play at the casino. As any money deposited at the online casino will continue to net the affiliate a commission.

Finding the Right Online Casino Affiliate Program

It is important to remember that as a casino affiliate you are essentially an independent marketer for online casinos. That means you get to choose which brands you decide to partner with. There is no shortage of casino affiliate programs out there, so you can be picky about which companies you work with. We talked to some experts and they singled these out as the most important factors to consider when choosing a casino affiliate program.

Commissions

Generally, a commission will increase the longer the duration of the relationship between the affiliate company and the online casino. This assumes that the relationship has been profitable for both sides. Our experts have seen commissions ranging from anywhere from 5-50% with a rev share model. Again, the more players an affiliate has sent to an online casino, the more lucrative these commissions tend to be. Therefore, the opportunities for renegotiation become profitable for the affiliate.

 Negative carryover

While it’s not so common among online casino affiliate programs these days, there are still a few affiliate programs that offer no negative carryover. Generally, affiliate programs are paid out by the casino every month. And at the end of each month, the balance on the account is reset to $0.

However, what if a customer referred by the affiliate hits a jackpot playing online slots and the affiliate’s account is sitting at -$2000? In this case, the amount will continue to carry over from month to month until the balance is back in the black again.

Cookie Duration

Cookies are an integral part of a successful online casino affiliate program. Cookies are stored on the players’ devices and online gambling platforms use them to track the flow of potential customers who are referred from the affiliate. It is our task to make sure that the affiliate company sets a reasonable cookie lifespan.  Generally, cookies have a minimum of 24-hour limit and the most common length is 30-days. Some affiliate partnerships prefer a 45 or 60-day period. That is generally the maximum timeframe for cookies as there is no such thing as an unlimited lifespan.

Payments

One of the first things every affiliate looks at before they sign into a partnership with an online casino is how and when they’re going to get paid. There are lots of further questions that spawn out of this including payment methods. For example, can you get paid in crypto? How long do transactions take? Are payments made monthly or weekly? How do the commission rates compare to competitors? These details in the fine print can make or break a successful affiliate partnership.

Integrity

This might be the most important part of choosing a casino affiliate program. Even if everything else lines up, if you can’t trust the casinos to honor agreements and pay you in full and on time, then what’s the point? The online gambling space is small and with a little research on Google and Reddit, you’ll be able to find out who the bad apples are. The main reason most people set up an affiliate site is to make money. Partnering with a company that has a reputation for not living up to its end of contracts is a recipe for unnecessary stress.

How to Become an Online Casino Affiliate

Becoming an affiliate is incredibly easy. All you have to do is partner with a casino affiliate company and add their tracking link to your website. The challenging part is to get players to find your site and click through so you can make money. We broke down the first few steps here.

Domain Name and Hosting

These are two crucial first steps that can either set you on the golden path or leave you stuck behind the 8-ball as you expand your site. You either want to have a URL with a strong authority that can be something you can brand, or you want to go for a straight-to-the-point, exact match, or partial match domain. Both options present their challenges. For example, if you go with a hyper poker-focused domain like https://www.legaluspokersites.com/ you might run into problems if you try to expand into online casino games or sports betting.

As far as hosting goes, speed is the name of the game. Take your personal experience into account—how often are you going to wait for a slow website to load before you simply give up and move on? A slow-running website can crush SEO and user experience.

Choosing The Right Online Casino Niche

The first step to becoming a casino affiliate is choosing your niche market. You can focus on a country, a type of gambling, or a particular keyword, but you need to choose all three to be successful. For example:

Location: United States
Type of Gambling: Online Casino
Keywords: Real Money Online Casino, Online Casino Real Money, Casino Online Real Money
Combination: United States Online Casinos for Real Money

So, why not build a massive site that targets multiple markets?

It can be tempting for new affiliates to see massive online casino affiliate websites and think they need to follow that model to create their casino website. But a site that targets multiple countries and languages has thousands of casino reviews and posts 10-15 blog posts a day. This requires a ton of resources. Don’t make this mistake as a new affiliate.

Many of the most successful affiliates began with a small and hyper-focused niche. These are some of the benefits of starting small and slowly building out.

  • Smaller sites are easier and cost-effective to start, build, and maintain
  • Smaller sites are easier to gain traffic in the short term, which allows you to test a market/niche for profitably
  • Smaller sites allow you to gain experience in online casino affiliate marketing with less investment

Plan and Build a Website

One area that can be a stumbling block for new affiliates is the building of a website. When looking at a modern professional affiliate site, there are loads of different components and plugins that can be very overwhelming to the inexperienced. The reality is, building an affiliate site is similar to building any other site, and the easiest way to do it is to buy a quality gambling theme and slowly build it up over time.

If you are new to this world, and don’t have a lot of experience with website development, your best option is to simply buy an existing template online. Whether you’re looking to start an online casino, sportsbook, or poker affiliate, every online gambling niche has a series of themed templates available. Regardless of the niche you decide to pursue, you want to make sure the theme you choose has these core features.

  • Responsive Design with Mobile Menu
  • Customized Calls to Action (CTAs)
  • Numerous Custom Options
  • SEO Friendly
  • 100% Mobile Friendly
  • Multilingual and Translation Ready
  • Modern & Clean Design

Content and Search Engine Optimization

In the casino affiliate marketing game, you’ll need high-quality content and you will need to use SEO best practices. The good news is if you can write solid copy and use SEO you can simply let the page sit for weeks (and, in some cases, months) and not need to update it.

When you enter into the world of online casino affiliate marketing, Google can either be your best friend or your mortal enemy. Google doesn’t make its search algorithm public and the algorithm changes constantly. That said, there are SEO tools available for anyone to use; Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google Analytics are three of the most popular. As an affiliate marketer, the more SEO best practices you follow the more you’ll be rewarded.

What Do Online Casino Affiliate Pages Need

The next step is making your online casino affiliate stand out from the crowd. What is going to help your site stand out from the rest in the eyes of potential customers and Google? The most important factor for customers is trust—they need to know you’re offering them valuable information and directing them to an honorable and trustworthy site.

The easiest way to build trust with users is to have knowledgeable, well-written content. An affiliate site should possess masterful knowledge of the subject matter they’re covering (and be free from grammar and spelling errors, of course). For example, If you’re running an affiliate sports betting site, you should explain to your users the difference between a moneyline and a point spread bet in football. The same for an online poker affiliate—you’ll have to break down the differences between No-limit Hold’em and Omaha poker.

A popular way many casino affiliates do this is to give popular casino games and slots their own dedicated pages. This allows for a detailed breakdown of the rules of each game, as well as tips, tricks and strategies to help users increase their chances of winning. For instance, it would be helpful for players to know that if they play online blackjack with a basic strategy, the RTP can increase as high as 99.5% depending on the blackjack variant.

The Best Online Casino Affiliate Sites

Here are some of the most popular online casino affiliate sites in the United States. These affiliates provide readers with helpful gambling guides, lucrative online casino bonuses, and a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to play any online casino games.

The Best Online Poker Affiliate Sites

These are some of the best online poker affiliate sites available to players in the United States. These poker affiliates have everything a veteran home player or a rookie needs to get started.

The Best Online Sportsbetting Affiliate Sites

If you are looking to make a wager on your favorite team or sport and not sure how. These are the best online sports betting sites to help you along your journey.

Casino Affiliate Sites FAQs