How to Choose a Casino Affiliate Program

7 June 2002

Affiliate programs offer webmasters the opportunity to earn commission on revenue earned by players that they have referred to a particular casino through their Web site. Online gambling can be a very lucrative industry with revenue expected to reach $6 billion by 2003. There are a wide range of affiliate programs available online and rest assured that they are not all the same.

All of the major online casinos are part of affiliate programs that help them expand their player base. Competition between various affiliate programs is currently very strong; this gives webmasters favorable market conditions to exploit. Generating players is a task that most casinos are willing to reward very generously. Generally, affiliates will earn commission for the playing life of anyone they have referred to a particular casino.

A major component of choosing a casino affiliate program is determining the demographics of your own Web site. Characteristics such as age, gender, interests and country of origin could all play a roll in which affiliate program(s) you join. If you are promoting casinos that appeal to your traffic, you will be maximizing your referrals and your profit at the same time. Look at what will get the attention of your traffic and whether certain casinos would fit in with the style and tone of your Web site.

Be aware that a significant proportion of your traffic will regard the casino industry with skepticism initially, particularly if they are new to the online gambling world. Players want to know that the casino is reputable, secure and trustworthy.

How does this affect your decision?

Simple: Choose to promote the larger and dependable casinos that enjoy a high-standing reputation within the industry. Your traffic is much more likely to trust their banking details to a respected organization than a casino which is inconspicuous and largely unknown.

It is advisable to check out the affiliate programs of multiple casinos before committing to joining one. You will find that the payout schedule will vary from program to program, as will the payment options offered and the amount of promotional material available. A player sent to one casino may earn you 25 percent, while if you sent that same player to another casino you might get 40 percent. In the long run, you can't afford to undercut yourself by sending players to casinos at below-market rates.

Also note that some casinos run their own affiliate programs, while others outsource their affiliate programs to marketing companies. Some affiliate programs allow you to promote a number of casinos at your own discretion.

Many casinos offer a "tiered commission structure." and will pay affiliates an increased commission percentage if they generate a certain amount of revenue per month. Some affiliate programs are offering as much as 50 percent commission in their highest revenue bracket. The average profit per player is about $64 per month, so webmasters have the opportunity to earn staggering amounts as their referred traffic increases.

As well as researching the affiliate programs themselves, put yourself in the shoes of a potential player and ask yourself what casinos would appeal to you. Some casinos put a lot of effort into creating original, enticing and lucrative promotions, which will appeal to a broad range of your traffic.

Casinos are engaging in a "bonus war" at the moment as a way of enticing new players. If you are promoting a casino whose bonus is substandard in today’s market, then your traffic will overlook it and move on, costing you money. As it is the casino itself you will be promoting, look for exciting banners and buttons advertising great signup bonuses or promotions. You will have to work harder in today’s environment to grab the attention of traffic, but with effort the rewards can be just sensational.

Don’t take your decision to choose an affiliate program lightly. After all, affiliate programs are a potential source of considerable income, and choosing the program(s) that suit your Web site and you personally is an integral part of your success. Remember, as a webmaster you have access to the valuable resource of players that casinos so desperately want to get their hands on. As such you are entitled to expect excellent service and support from the casino and their affiliate program. Further, you should be rewarded for your efforts generously. Don’t settle!

Mary-Ann Dick is the founder and managing director of, a full-service e-marketing firm specializing in the marketing of casinos, online sports books and other online entertainment products. Prior to setting up ispye, Mary-Ann was the marketing director of Captain Cooks Casino and was instrumental in its successful launch in 1999. In her capacity as managing director, Mary-Ann has been involved in all facets of online gaming including campaign management, Web site development and design and business consulting.