Gambling is considered one of the most popular and profitable niches in affiliate marketing. In fact, it is true. The gambling niche includes sports betting and all kinds of online casinos with slots, bingo, and poker rooms.
Statista announced that in 2020 the market size of the global casinos and online gambling industry reached $227 billion. Grand View Research announced that the global online gambling market was valued at $53.7 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at 11.5% from 2020 to 2027.
The growing availability of gambling platforms and gambling mobile applications obviously contribute to market growth. Many mobile casinos offer a free play version for some games, fueling the growth. Many countries legalize online gambling activities allowing players to experience real-time gambling activities. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and consequent quarantine and social distancing measures players shifted to online gambling. In 2020 the sports betting market declined due to the cancellation of the major sporting events; however, online casinos witnessed increased public interest. Online poker got even more attention than usual, particularly from young people aged 18-25. Over many years, convenience is one of the key aspects of online gambling popularity.
Ok, gambling platforms need more players. Here come affiliates with their traffic sources to be directed to gambling platforms: marketers and webmasters drive traffic (potential customers) to gambling platforms and receive payments for registered customers.
Most online casinos and betting platforms offer affiliate programs, aka in-house affiliate programs. There are no special requirements to join them. Before applying, scrutinize the details, such as commission rate, traffic requirements, statistical and reporting tools, and promotional materials.
Besides in-house affiliate programs, there are affiliate networks — intermediary platforms that unite numerous advertisers and publishers (affiliates). ClickBank, Rakuten, ShareASale are just a few examples of affiliate networks, there are many more other well-known reputable networks.
Note: Never hesitate to contact your affiliate manager or affiliate support. If you are productive in generating high-quality traffic, your commission rate may be reconsidered to the higher rate.
Before joining an affiliate program always pay attention to the "no negative rollover" policy. As you know well, players don’t always lose, sometimes they win. But you win when a casino wins. So you’re paid when the player loses. Now, when a referred player wins, a casino may share with you losses too. However, most online gambling platforms apply the "no negative rollover policy", which means that a negative balance is zeroed at the end of every month.
Determining your target audience is the key to success. Let’s see. The average player is between 25 and 45 years old with an average income, impulsive. In other words, players are people who look for an escape from their daily routine. Wealthy people with higher income are less prone to gambling; people with lower income wouldn’t risk losing money. Next, the younger audience, 18-25, has lower solvency, so youngsters prefer casinos with numerous bonuses and special offers; additionally, they aren’t into high stakes (remember, you’re paid commissions). Females are not that rapt gamesters than males, but ladies are still attracted to certain games (for example, slot machines).
So, target the middle class. With the right approach, every referred client can bring you income (revshare or hybrid models) for a long time. Where should you look for traffic? Usually, gamblers are fond of sports and cars, you may get traffic from adult platforms and even streaming platforms. In fact, people you need to target like bright and strong emotions. They strongly believe in luck and fortune. Use these character features while designing creatives and landing pages.
In 2019 desktop traffic was dominant due to larger screens and sound and volume capacity; however, the continuous improvement of mobile devices leads to a bigger share of the market year by year. Gambling from mobile devices allows players an uninterrupted gaming experience from the comfort zone, at any time anywhere.
As with any niche, the right choice of a traffic source determines your potential ROI and income. You need high-quality inexpensive traffic. Lucky are owners of blogs, websites, and video channels devoted to gambling with loyal audiences. Naturally, they get free organic targeted traffic. But gambling-focused platforms are not the only source of traffic for gambling affiliate programs.
Europe is considered as the leading GEO in the gambling niche. Gambling was legalized in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Malta. However, the US market is huge too. In 2020 the Asia Pacific region has demonstrated significant growth due to slackening of regulations and higher availability of digital currencies. As experience shows, the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Russia, India, Brazil, China, Japan are favorable countries to promote gambling affiliate offers.
Below is the example of earning on a gambling affiliate offer using Push Notifications. A marketer has previously worked with sweepstakes but decided to try gambling offers due to higher payouts.
Offer: Syndicate Casino from Advidi (CPL + Deposit)
Traffic source: Push Notifications
Period: April 30, 2019 – May 8, 2019
The marketer was a bit worried about the rather high CPC in Australia ($0.12), but he got conversions from the first day. There were three types of creatives used in the campaign: picturing someone who has won; secrets to winning at casinos revealed; click-baits with girls and money. Below you can see the examples.
The landing page looked quite simple but had very high conversion rates.
The marketer noted that during the campaign he’s got 64 leads. Below you see the stats provided by PropellerAds.
And here is the screenshot from Advidi.
In fact, the traffic was medium quality, but still, there was a deposit.
The marketer confessed that he is just a college student at the very beginning of his affiliate marketing journey. Well, the results are pretty good for the beginner.
A marketer has proved again that the gambling niche is profitable. It wasn’t his first experience with gambling offers: he worked with various offers and different traffic networks. This time the marketer set his choice on three Asian countries: Malaysia (0.011 bid), Indonesia (0.007 bid), and Thailand (0.017 bid).
Ad format: Native Ads
Period: September 2020
GEO: Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand
Expenses: $1 568
Income: $5 538
Profit: $4 000
The regular A/B testing helped to select the best pre-lander (I used Asian girls’ images to let the ad look as native as possible):
Creatives looked quite fresh and lucrative. Properly chosen creatives mean 50% of success.
It was the first experience with native ads for a gambling offer and it worked just fine. The general stats with leads:
And the stats from the ad network looked as follows:
Overall, the marketer received more than 100k+ clicks and around 400 leads. As a result of the campaign, he got 250% ROI, which is indeed a significant achievement.
Gambling affiliate marketing is like any other business — with proper research and strategy, you will be successful. Some affiliates earn really impressive amounts monthly ($10 000 and more — unfortunately, the higher the income, the less marketers are prone to reveal the details). The most high-earning affiliates have their websites and YouTube channels to generate targeted traffic to affiliate programs. Despite its competitiveness, the gambling affiliate market is vast, so you can always find your own hotspot. However, you should always keep in mind existing regulations and government policy towards gambling.