Ready to make some serious money promoting online casinos and gambling sites as an affiliate? You’re not alone. Online casino gambling is a multi-billion dollar industry, which makes it highly competitive for operators and casino affiliates. If you’re not afraid of a little hard work and competition, you can earn a good living from online casino affiliate commissions.
Our guide was written by a gaming industry veteran with nearly two decades of experience in casino affiliate marketing. You’ll not only learn the ins and outs of the online casino industry, but you’ll also learn how to become a successful online casino affiliate.
How Casino Affiliate Programs Work
Casino affiliate programs are basically player referral programs. Many online businesses (like Amazon) offer affiliate programs to acquire new customers. You can sign up for free, and once approved you’ll receive a tracking link. You’ll receive a commission for every person who clicks your link and completes the required transaction.
Understanding Casino Affiliate Commissions
Online casinos offer affiliates deals based on revenue sharing, CPA, or a hybrid of the two.
- CPA or cost-per-acquisition is a fixed commission paid for each depositing player. Most casino CPAs range from $125-$400 per player, depending on the market and type of traffic you get.
- Revenue share is where you get a percentage of what a player loses, minus bonuses and fees. Typically, online casino rev share deals range from 25-50%.
- Hybrid deals offer a mix of CPA and rev share. For example, $50 per player + 15% rev share.
How Much Do Casino Affiliates Make?
One of the biggest questions new affiliates have is how much they can make promoting online casinos and gambling sites. When I first started as a casino affiliate, my goal was to make $10,000/month. Enough to earn a comfortable living from casino affiliate marketing.
At that time I believed that the biggest casino affiliates, also referred to as “super affiliates” made $xxx,xxx+ a month.
But once I surpassed my goal of making $10k/month I realized that the largest gambling affiliates make a lot more than six figures. Based on the Pareto principle and being in the industry for almost two decades here are my estimates for affiliate earnings:
- 80% of affiliates earn 0 – xx,xxx per month
- 20% of affiliates earn xx,xxx+
Of the top 20% of casino affiliates:
- 10% earn xx,xxx – xxx,xxx per month
- 5% earn xxx,xxx – x,xxx,xxx per month
- 5% earn x,xxx,xxx+
With the top casino affiliate companies in the world earning xx,xxx,xxx+ per month.
So how much can you realistically make as a new casino affiliate?
A lot of the answer to how much you can make depends on a number of your decisions and your investment.
- CPA or Rev Share: CPA deals earn more money upfront, but will probably lower your longterm earnings.
- Choice of Niche: Building a website around No Deposit Bonuses will likely earn less than a website about Large Deposit Bonuses
- Investment: Do you have money to invest in web design and writers? Or will you be handling everything yourself?
But for the sake of argument let’s say,
- You’re brand new to affiliate marketing
- You’ll be doing most of the work yourself
- You’ve chosen a profitable niche
With hard work and the right niche, a new casino affiliate with little or no experience should be able to build and rank a website in 6-12 months – earning between 0 – x,xxx depending on commission structure and how well your website converts visitors to players.
In 24 months it’s completely possible for an affiliate to make over xx,xxx a month.
How to Get Players to Sign Up Using Your Link
In order to be approved by most casino affiliate programs, you need to show them you have a way to market their casino to players.
Some ways you can acquire new players include,
- SEO / search engine optimization: You build a website that targets various keywords that players use when searching for an online casino.
- PPC / pay per click: You build a website or landing page and bid on keywords players use when searching for online casinos.
- Email marketing: You build a list of potential players and send them offers.
- Facebook: You create a community of players and find ways to promote your online casinos and gambling sites.
- Youtube: You create videos and use them to promote online casinos.
NOTE: Both Facebook and Youtube have been cracking down on gambling content and affiliates lately, so be careful if you go that route.
All methods of acquiring new players have pros and cons. And as you grow your affiliate business you can certainly combine them to improve your longterm ROI.
But the easiest and most cost-effective way for most casino affiliates to get started is by building a content-driven website that gets free traffic from search engines like Google.
That’s exactly what I’ll teach you do in the next part of this guide.
How to Become a Casino Affiliate (Step-by-Step)
Here’s how to get started in casino affiliate marketing.
- Choose a market / niche
- Plan your website
- Build your website
- Sign up for affiliate programs
- Rank and bank (SEO + conversions)
1. Choose a Market / Niche
The first step to becoming a casino affiliate is choosing your target market / niche. You can choose a market based on location, type of gambling, a particular keyword, or a combination of all three.
- Location: United States, Canada, UK, Denmark, Spain
- Type of Gambling: Casino (Slots, Blackjack, Craps), Sports Betting, Poker
- Keyword: Live Dealer Casinos, No Deposit Bonus Codes, Online Casino Reviews
- Combination: Canadian Live Dealer Blackjack Casinos
So why not build a large websites that target all markets?
It can be tempting for new affiliates to see the biggest casino affiliate websites and think they need to be another casino website that targets a hundred different countries and has 1000+ casino reviews. Don’t fall into that trap.
Some of the most successful affiliates I know started with very small niche gambling websites.
Smaller niche websites:
- Are easier to start, build, and maintain
- Are easier to get traffic in the short term, which allows you to test a market / niche for profitably
- Allow you to learn casino affiliate marketing, SEO, etc with less investment
Licensing & Compliance Requirements
In some cases, such as the legal US casino market, you need to be licensed by each state that offers legal online gambling before you can promote licensed casinos and sports betting in that state. This can be an expensive and lengthy process. The alternative is to promote offshore casinos that accept US players.
2. Planning Your Website
What to look for in a casino affiliate program
There are many things that make a great casino affiliate program. Here are the big ones:
Integrity – You want to rest easy knowing that you are partnering with a well-respected gaming operation that holds all of its partners and players in the highest regard.
Speedy Payments – You want to make sure that every month, like clockwork, your commissions will be processed in a secure and timely manner.
Responsive marketing team – Look for programs that are well known for having responsive and helpful affiliate managers and support staff.
Recommended Casino Affiliate Programs
We have put together a list of those casino affiliate programs that we CasinoRankings.com recommend. All of the programs listed, we at CR have worked with for a number of years. In addition, we have provided succinct reviews of each program that is recommended, detailing the pros and also cons if any, As a result, several if not all of the online casinos they represent can be found in our dedicated casino reviews section of the site.
Choosing who to promote on your website is a challenge in itself. Therefore the programs we recommend you can be sure are trustworthy and transparent. Otherwise, we would most certainly not be working with them, let alone recommend them.
Tools and Utilities for Webmasters
Here at CasinoRankings.com we are great believers in “Paying it Forward”. After all we have been recipients of helpful advice and tips from our fellow casino affiliate webmasters over the years.
Therefore our ‘Tools and Utilities’ resource is a compilation of some of the great software we have used, not only to help rank CR within the search engines. But also to enable us to provide a great website for our visitors. Both players and casino affiliates.
Within these pages you can find what we personally recommend for webmasters to use to help them strive to create a top quality casino portal and iGaming site.
iGaming Directory is a comprehensive website analysis tool and utility, providing comprehensive data on all sites that operate in the iGaming Space.
Owned and operated by Michael Corfman’s Casino City Press. iGaming Directory provides the user with detailed traffic information on all iGaming Sites.
Information you are able to glean by subscribing to the service includes but is not limited to, business owner and executive contact details, licensing jurisdictions and of course individual site traffic metrics.
Developed by Casino City several years ago, with the professed aim “to be the world’s most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to the online gaming industry. ” The site is full of useful information, which casino and iGaming Affiliates, B2B operations, Operators and anyone working in the iGaming space will fully appreciate.
iGaming Directory states: “Every month for 15 years, we have used services like Alexa, Hitwise and SimilarWeb to find new sites that those services consider similar to the sites already in our database. Our dedicated research team manually examines and classifies these new sites, effectively leveraging the millions of users comprising the panels used by those services as their eyes and ears. “
GPWA Forum Members Offer
iGaming Directory is a subscription service, however if you are a member of the GPWA Forum you are able to gain access to the wealth of information available. This is thanks to the continued sponsorship of the site from the British Bookmaker, bet365.
If you haven’t come across iGamingDirectory before it is definitely a site that you should visit and bookmark.
To visit iGaming Directory click here.
Tips for New Gambling Affiliates
Easy Money is a Myth
The idea of registering a domain name and slapping on a few pages on a shiny new website and sitting back to await the money rolling in, is a complete myth.
To be successful as a casino affiliate, takes a lot of hard work and time. This is more so, if there is only one person juggling all the work that entails creating a successful iGaming Portal.
First off, you need to know your subject matter and this applies for any industry that you dedicate your time to affiliate online in and not just the iGaming space.
Things have certainly changed since CR was registered way back on 18th August 2004. Back then the US market was open and the UIGEA had not been passed – Indeed that was two years away. The US Market was most certainly the most lucrative for affiliates.
Pretty much overnight when the UIGEA came into being, countless affiliate programs left the US space, leaving only a few US Casinos for US residents to play at. As a result, many many affiliates decided to leave the space with the ones left competing against each other in those markets and territories where iGaming was in the least a grey area.
Write with your Target Audience in Mind
Ensure you do your research and write articles with your target market ( the players ) in mind. To this extent here at CR we are a portal which is written and managed by players for players. Whilst, CasinoRankings.com receives a revenue stream, we do warn our visitors of operators to avoid such as with our Blacklist Casino section. Unlike many casino portals we are extremely selective as to who and which operators we work with. If they are not player friendly, we won’t recommend them.
Ensure you regularly update your content, if slot games are the main focus of your site, ensure you keep the content fresh with news of the latest slot game releases. Likewise, share your knowledge you have gained whilst playing online.
If you have expertise in a particular area, of use to players, then publish it and share with your visitors.
Network Network Network
Now you may have an absolutely outstanding site, chock full of useful content which most site owners would die for, but if you have little to no traffic, then it won’t be serving you well.
This is where networking becomes of paramount importance and key to your site’s success. It is imperative that you at least peruse the numerous webmaster forums dedicated to the iGaming Sector. By signing up and participating this also enables you to network with your peers.
From there relationships are born and as such some very good link partners could be created, with fellow ‘webbies’ that share the same ethics and understanding of the industry.
This is certainly the steps I took when CR was in it’s infancy. Whilst I knew several people at some of the biggest operators, what with working for Ladbrokes and living in Gibraltar, it was still essential to network with my webmaster peers.
Since 2004 I have made some great friends in the industry among individuals who are or were my direct competitors. The likes of Bryan Bailey from Casinomeister and Ian Sims from Rightlander are two of my closest friends in the industry. Ian even attended my wedding in 2006.
As a result, you have individuals who you can share ideas with, exchange links to relevant content on each others sites and most importantly create life lasting friendships.
Additionally you may also want to attend one of the many iGaming Events and Conferences which are held annually. Not only does this enable you to build relationship with the ‘Casino Affiliate Programs‘ you work with, but they also allow you to network with your peers. Further enhancing your status and standing with your peers and your fellow webmaster.
Should you follow the above course of action outlined and are prepared to dedicate many hours of every day to your site, then you may just be able to forge a career in this very competitive but extremely rewarding industry.
For further information on a whole host of tools and utilities which will help your site, check out our Tools and Utilities for Webmasters resource.
Negotiating Better Deals
One of the keys to success in affiliate marketing is finding good affiliate deals. Another, often overlooked key to making good money with affiliate marketing is negotiating better deals. Now that you’ve established a market and signed up for one of the top paying programs above, it’s time to start thinking about your next step – negotiating higher commissions and new deals. Affiliate marketing is highly competitive, so your programs will want to be at the top of your rankings list. Once you have one program in place and have sent some quality traffic you can leverage it to negotiate better affiliate deals.
Gambling Affiliate Webmaster Forums
Since CasinoRankings.com no longer has a forum, which was discontinued and sent to the ether in the sky several years ago, we have decided to provide webmasters with the next best thing.
Therefore on this page, CR provides our webmaster visitors with an overview and links to the very best forums available for iGaming Webmasters. Many of which Dave Sawyer from CR is a member of and posts on going by the user handle ‘Webzcas’.
Forums for iGaming Affiliates are a good way to pick up tips and find out need to know information. Furthermore, the forums listed on these pages, provide you with very real opportunities to network and networking is an absolutely crucial part towards making your site or sites a success.
Indeed, by partaking in any of these forums, allows you to strike up real friendships among your peers. CR has in turn met many webmasters at numerous affiliate conferences after having first got to know them via the medium of posting on affiliate forums.
Affiliate Guard Dog
For any existing casino affiliate or an individual looking into becoming a casino affiliate, then you need to visit and bookmark the Affiliate Guard Dog website.
Unlike several other forums which profess to have iGaming affiliates’ interests as their core objective, Affiliate Guard Dog or AGD actually does.
Continually monitoring the terms and conditions of all gaming affiliate programs, Affiliate Guard Dog does not hesitate in highlighting any predatory changes made by the programs, which adversely affect the revenue and the bottom line made by their affiliate partners.
A respected authority in the iGaming sector, Affiliate Guard Dog’s work has ensured that many programs that have turned south have reconsidered predatory changes made to their terms and conditions.
As a rule CR will not work with any program that is deemed rogue by Affiliate Guard Dog. Several of the blacklisted casino affiliate programs listed here on CR are also deemed Rogue or Predatory on AGD.
If you are a webmaster in this sector, AGD is an invaluable resource, fighting for the rights of affiliates.
Affiliate Guard Dog
Casinomeister Webmaster Forums
Player Advocate and popular player community Casinomeister also has a dedicated section of the forum for budding and seasoned webmasters alike.
If you are serious about providing the best information for your visitors, then you should at least be aware of what Casinomeister is and does.
Furthermore the Webmasters Corner of the Casinomeister Forum allows you to discuss a whole variety of topics that affects iGaming Affiliate Webmasters.
Casinomeister Webmaster Forums
GPWA – Gambling Portal Webmasters Association
The GPWA or Gambling Portal Webmasters Association is one of the oldest and arguably most active forums available dedicated for iGaming Affiliates.
Established in 2001, GPWA was sold to Michael Corfman’s Casino City Group in 2006, after a previous change of ownership saw it’s activity decline substantially.
Corfman has utilised the power of Casino City’s network of sites to breathe new life into the GPWA and as such, the forum in particular is well worth a read. Even if you decide against opening an account there.
With the GPWA Times Magazine also being published on a quarterly basis, the GPWA also has a presence by the way of a stand and most iGaming Affiliate Conferences.
GPWA – Gambling Portal Webmasters Association
Blacklisted Casino Affiliate Programs
Unfortunately like in every sector and industry online, there are also programs in the online gambling industry which webmasters should steer clear of.
Indeed due to the lucrative and competitive nature of the gambling industry, there are many operators who do not treat players or affiliate webmasters as one should expect.
In conjunction with our Rogue Casinos Page, we have also a dedicated Blacklist Page for the worst of the casino affiliate programs.
On this page, listed are those programs who either rip off affiliates by implementing tactic such as ‘shaving’, use unethical cross marketing techniques or other dubious underhand methods..
In addition the programs behind some of the worst online casinos from a player perspective are also listed. This is very important, as the properties you promote as a webmaster, should be upstanding casinos who put the player first.
Online Gambling Affiliate FAQ
Thinking of becoming an online casino affiliate? Well if you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Take a look at our below list of frequently asked questions to help you find what you are looking for.
What is a casino affiliate program?
A casino affiliate program is a partnership program where you earn commissions based on the wagering activity of players that you refer to an online casino via the use of banners, text links, and other approved methods of content delivery.
What does a casino affiliate do?
Affiliates place their unique tracking IDs on their website or other marketing campaigns in order to drive referrals to online casinos. This can be done with simple text links, banners, popups, and so on supplied by the casino’s affiliate program. Then, all you have to do is get traffic to their website and then refer those visitors to the with those unique affiliate links.
Does it cost money to join an affiliate program?
No, joining casino affiliate programs is free. If any program tries to charge you money to join, it’s not legit – run.
How do I join an affiliate program?
Most casinos have a link at the bottom of their website labeled “Affiliates” or “Affiliate Program”. Simply fill out our application form and you will be contacted regarding your acceptance into the program. If your application is accepted, you will receive an email containing your unique affiliate ID and login credentials. Using the provided login credentials you will have access to all our affiliate program’s resources in addition to online reporting.
I don’t have a website. Can I still apply?
It’s definitely easier to get accepted with a casino website. Most programs will still review potential offline campaigns on an individual basis. You’ll probably need to submit an offline marketing plan outlining your target market, scope, potential, demographic and any previous marketing campaigns you have experience with.
Can I participate in more than one affiliate program?
Of course. Most affiliates partner with dozens to casinos in order to target various markets more effectively.
Am I guaranteed payment for placing the casino’s banners on my website?
No. You will earn commissions on the Total Net Revenue from each player you refer after they join and deposit. Simply promoting a gambling site does not guarantee payment.
How many links can I have?
You can have as many links to the UC Affiliate program as you want. The more links you have, the better the likelihood that visitors will click through to the UC Affiliate program brands.
Where do I get banners and content?
Once we’ve accepted your application, we’ll set up your account and send you unique login information for your new affiliate account. Using your affiliate login you can retrieve banners and content in addition to online reporting.
How do affiliate programs know that a player came from my website?
Some gambling sites offer unique bonus codes that you can use in offline campaigns or on your website as an alternative way of getting credit for players.
Do I earn commissions on my own deposits or wagers?
Not usually. Most gambling sites say that you cannot earn commissions on your own account. If you sign up an account through an affiliate program as a referral of yourself, your account will be removed from your referral portfolio.
What is negative carryover?
Negative carryover means that if you have a negative balance, it carries over to the next month.
What are the different types of Commission plans?
Net Total Revenue
$0-$7,500 Net Total Revenue – 20%
$7,501 – $15,000 Net Total Revenue – 25%
$15,001 – $30,000 Net Total Revenue – 30%
$35,001 – Upwards Net Total Revenue – 35%
# of Players Per Month CPA rate
Minimum deposit: $50
For CPA commissions to be triggered, players must meet one of the following criteria:
- Deposit a certain dollar amount ($25, $50, $100, etc)
- Wager a certain amount in the casino
How is Total Net Revenue calculated?
Total Net revenue is calculated as follows: Total net losses from players minus charge-backs, fraud, processing fees and promotional items.
What is a charge-back?
A charge-back occurs when a depositing Customer requests a refund from their credit card issuing company after they have deposited money, and in most cases, have wagered that money.
If I have a player who signs up but they aren’t one of my referrals, can you change their referral ID to my account?
We handle these on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your Account Manager for further help.
How often am I paid?
Commissions are paid out once per month and are processed by the 15th of the month following your earnings month (for example; August’s earnings are paid in September). They are paid to the name that you used on the registration form by the payment method chosen on the registration form.
Is there a minimum I need to receive a payment?
Minimum Commissions and other restrictions per payment method are:
Payment Method Minimum Commissions (USD) Cost
Wire transfer $1000
Max $2500 per check (if commissions are more than $2500 multiple checks will be issued) FREE!
Player Account $100 FREE!
How can I see my statistics and earnings?
Using your unique login information you will be able to login to the affiliate backend to view your statistics and current earnings.
Can I view my traffic stats such as the number of clicks and conversions?
Yes, by logging into the affiliate backend you will be able to view impressions, clicks, signups and depositors, amongst other key performance indicators.
If I sell my website can I sell my affiliate account too?
When a ownership of a website changes, the ownership of that website’s sheet of players does not necessarily follow suit. Most affiliate programs will allow you to sell your account. Just make sure to contact them in advance to be sure.