Affiliate programs serve an important purpose in online gaming. They provide an incentive for affiliates to recruit gamblers on behalf of online casinos.
In return, those operating the programs pay affiliate commissions. Therefore, an affiliate can profit from internet gaming without actually operating a casino.
This guide discusses the relationship between affiliates and gaming sites and covers what casino affiliate programs offer. Below you will also find a list of casino affiliate programs available.
Casino Affiliate Programs
Why do online casinos offer affiliate programs?
Casino operators already bear many responsibilities. They must develop relationships with software providers, deal with complex numbers, and manage employees.
Most ownership groups don’t want to start content-rich websites and YouTube channels on top of everything else. They’d rather pay others to do these tasks and recruit players for them.
Therefore, online casinos use affiliate programs to motivate others to draw gamblers on their behalf. They pay affiliates commissions based on the number of players they recruit.
Of course, affiliates benefit from these relationships, too. Rather than needing to launch their own casinos, they can focus on funnelling players to gaming sites.
Most affiliates feature websites that are used to attract gamblers. They also use social media to fill players in on the latest promotions and gaming news.
How do casino affiliate programs work?
An affiliate program seems simple on the surface. A website encourages gamblers to deposit at a casino and receives commissions in return.
However, affiliate programs are more complex than that short description. You can read about the key points on how these programs work below.
Affiliate registration process
Prospective affiliates must fill out an application before they can join a program. They can find such applications through relevant casinos and casino groups.
These forms are similar to the registration process at online casinos. Affiliates must enter basic information, like their name, address, email, username, and password.
They also need to provide their desired payment method and website information. Most affiliate programs don’t approve anybody who doesn’t own a gambling related website.
Once the application is finished, the hopeful affiliate submits it for approval. Assuming they meet the criteria, the website owner(s) gain membership into the program.
Choose casinos to promote
Affiliate programs cover a wide range of casinos. Therefore, affiliates enjoy variety when deciding which gaming sites to push.
An affiliate can judge which casinos they want to promote based on different criteria. For example, they can focus on sites that feature no-deposit bonuses.
These programs need a method of determining which affiliates are sending them players. Therefore, they provide special links to their partners.
In turn, an affiliate places these links on their website. They can use various means to encourage gamblers to click on the links.
Here’s a basic example of how they encourage clickthroughs:
- An affiliate puts no-deposit bonuses from several casinos on their homepage.
- They place irrelevant affiliate links within the text of each casino and corresponding bonus deal.
- Anybody who visits a casino through one of these links and deposits counts as the affiliate’s commission.
Gamblers aren’t the only ones who produce commissions. An affiliate can also make money by referring other affiliates to a program (a.k.a. sub-affiliate).
One can typically earn anywhere from 5% to 10% of the revenue that a sub-affiliate generates. If the sub-affiliate is active and develops a large website, the referer can earn lots of commissions.
How much do casino affiliates get paid?
Affiliates’ pay differs based on multiple factors involving the programs, including the payment model used and whether negative carryover comes into play.
Revenue sharing model
Revenue sharing is one method for paying affiliates. It sees affiliates earn a specified percentage of the money that their referrals lose.
Affiliates can improve the revenue percentage they receive by sending more players to a casino each month. Here’s an example of how much revenue they could collect from a gaming site:
- 30% for 1-25 players.
- 35% for 26-50 players.
- 40% for 51+ players.
An affiliate’s referrals must collectively lose money for them to profit. They don’t receive anything when their players win.
Fixed payout model (CPA)
Fixed payouts present another way to compensate affiliates. This method involves paying affiliates a fixed amount for every player they send. For example, a casino might pay an affiliate $50 for each depositing gambler.
The requirements for getting paid vary based on the program. An affiliate may receive money when they refer a player who:
- Registers for an account.
- Makes their first deposit.
- Places their second deposit.
- Meets playthrough on the bonus.
Considering the various possibilities, affiliates should always look over the terms and conditions to determine how they get paid.
Affiliate programs typically pay out every month. At the beginning of each month, commissions and stats should theoretically zero out.
However, many programs attach negative carryover to the revenue-sharing model. Negative carryover refers to when players’ winnings carry on into the following month.
Here’s an example:
- An affiliate refers 20 players.
- The 20 players collectively win $2,000 by the month’s end.
- The $2,000 in winnings carries over to the following month.
- The 20 gamblers must lose more than $2,000 before the affiliate can make any money.
Negative carryover becomes significant when big wins are involved. A huge win could derail an affiliate’s chances of making money for a long time.
Some programs don’t feature negative carryover and instead zero out commissions to start each month. These programs greatly benefit affiliates.
A cookie is a small piece of data that identifies a user’s computer as they browse the web. It plays a key role in determining how long referrals last in many programs.
Some programs set an expiration limit of 30 days. In this case, a gambler must register or deposit within 30 days for the affiliate to earn a commission.
Once the player deposits, they may count as the affiliate’s referral for years afterward. The gambler might continue earning the affiliate commissions for anywhere from five to 99 years.
Methods for recruiting players
Affiliates place special links in text to entice gamblers to visit casinos. If a gambler clicks through a link and deposits, then the referrer is in line for a commission.
Of course, affiliates need means to attract people to their websites and links in the first place. Here are common ways of drawing gamblers to affiliate sites.
Online casino reviews
The gaming world is filled with online casinos. Gamblers need help sorting through these many gaming sites so that they don’t spend an eternity choosing a casino.
Therefore, many affiliate websites offer casino reviews. They review the key aspects of a given internet casino and offer their final verdict.
Most affiliate sites also rank their favorite gaming sites. These rankings provide an easy reference for players who want guidance in finding the best online casinos.
The iGaming world is full of exciting news ranging from big jackpot wins to new game releases. Of course, the mainstream media doesn’t typically cover these happenings.
Instead, affiliates act as the main sources of gaming news. Many affiliate sites feature sections that are entirely dedicated to news.
Most online casinos offer bonuses through their websites. However, they may give affiliates permission to provide special bonuses.
Casinos grant these deals to incentivize partners to keep working on their behalf. In turn, affiliates stand a better chance of recruiting players through exclusive bonuses.
Here’s an example of how this scenario works:
- A casino typically doesn’t offer a no-deposit bonus.
- However, it grants affiliates permission to offer a $20 no-deposit bonus.
- The affiliates now stand a better chance of recruiting players for the casino.
- They also have more reason to push the gaming site.
How to choose the best casino affiliate programs
Much like choosing a quality online casino, affiliates want to select which programs they join with care. The following topics entail the main aspects that affiliate sites should consider before signing up.
Revenue share/fixed payouts
Affiliates must put serious work into developing websites and recruiting gamblers. They should earn fair compensation for these efforts.
Quality affiliate programs ensure that affiliates get paid what they’re due. They offer larger fixed payouts or higher revenue sharing than the average program.
A referral lifespan determines how long an affiliate gets paid for each real-money player. Longer lifespans mean that affiliates get rewarded longer.
Many programs are competitive with each other and sweeten the deal by offering lengthy lifespans (e.g., ten to 99 years). Nevertheless, an affiliate should always read terms and conditions to see how long referrals remain valid.
Reputation of the program operators
Program operators must remain true to affiliates to continue attracting their services. They can accomplish this goal by paying out on time and honoring all agreements.
In contrast, a bad affiliate program makes late payouts and breaks terms—a crooked operator may lower revenue sharing with little-to-no notice.
Reputation of casino partners
Affiliates need quality online casinos to promote. Otherwise, they’ll struggle to convince gamblers to sign up at the casinos they’re pushing.
That said, affiliates should pay special attention to which gaming sites they can promote through a program. Reputable casinos increase the chances for commissions.
Most programs pay at the end of each month. However, they may feature minimum payout stipulations that affect the pay date.
For example, a program might only pay affiliates who are owed $20 or more. In this case, a website that earns $10 throughout a month will need to wait until it has met the $20 threshold.
An affiliate gets paid based on two main factors:
1. Their success rate.
2. The specific payment model in place.
Affiliates that send more losing players to a casino enjoy more profits. Some of the top sites make six figures per month.
The main payment models include revenue sharing and fixed payouts. Both methods are lucrative under the right circumstances.
However, revenue sharing can be especially advantageous with high rollers. Unlike fixed payouts, it sees affiliates continue earning commissions and gamblers keep playing.
Each program can differ on the longevity of referrals. However, most programs do a good job of ensuring that affiliates cash in on referrals for a long time.
Much of the battle involves sending players who sign up and deposit within a month. Many affiliate managers only track cookies for 30 days after a player initially visits a casino.
A no-activity clause requires affiliates to access their accounts regularly and actively promote a program’s casinos. Accounts that violate this clause risk being suspended or even deleted.
The definition of “activity” varies from one program to the next. Program managers routinely review accounts to ensure that affiliates are still active.
With revenue sharing, affiliates earn a percentage of their referrals’ losses each month. They don’t make money when their players win, and they end up with a negative balance as a result (e.g., -$2,000).
Many programs carry this negative balance over to the next month. Therefore, the affiliate doesn’t get paid until their referrals finally start losing.
Prospective affiliates must fill out an application before joining a program. The registration form asks for basic information along with the applicant’s website URL.
The website is a key part of this process. A potential affiliate needs to own a gaming-related website to qualify.