Read any affiliate forum and I will guarantee you will find at least a few threads that discuss the virtues of CPA v Revenue Share. I have discussed this topic many times over with many affiliates over the years. This though is a topic though that will rumble on for years to come as there are many variables that affect the outcome. Remember I’m based in the UK where online gambling is legal so my views on this debate will in many cases differ from those based in America.
Let’s first look at the type of sites I like to promote. I know most Americans know about Bet365, Party and Ladbrokes but there even better UK sites to promote that perhaps I will post about in more detail at another time. One thing that really puts me off Bet365 is that they do have a negative carry over policy. I know chances are slim that one of my players may win big but I like to play things safe so I’m never going to make Bet365 one of my main sites while they retain their carry over policy.
I always prefer to promote UK sites with joint wallets. I’m of course referring to sites with poker, sports book, casino and even bingo. From experience I will tell you that poker players will also dabble with sports betting, casino games and yes even bingo. The same can also be said for casino, sports book and bingo players.
UK sites in general do a great job marketing to their player base. A player that has signed up to a poker room will get not only emails regarding poker promotions but also on big UK sporting events such as the Grand National, The Derby and of course football. We love our sport in the UK with popular betting sports including football, horse racing, greyhound racing, cricket, rugby, motor racing plus many others. As you can imagine a player who signs up to a UK poker room may go on to generate more revenue for the affiliate from sports betting than from poker. Also don’t forget that many poker players may go on a degen session playing slots or blackjack which could generate thousands of pounds for the affiliate.
The main gambling portals in the UK are rock solid. Many have been around for over a hundred years prior to launching online gambling sites. We UK affiliates simply don’t have to worry about the UK sites we are promoting going bust or trying to not pay us. Add to this the high brand loyalty in regards to gambling sites in the UK and you should start to realise that I’m simply never going to trade revenue share for CPA.
I think many affiliates fail to break away from their own demographic. This is defiantly something I have been guilty of but I plan to work on this during the summer months. On the whole many of the sites that allow American sign ups are not even close to the standard of UK gambling sites. Of course Poker Stars & Full Tilt are quality sites but the same simply can’t be said for other sites. I have lost count of how many sites that do allow US sign ups have gone bust or have screwed affiliates. Many don’t have anything other than poker plus many are dam right poor quality sites. For these sites I would simply not have the confidence to accept revenue share. The chances of gaining decent traffic and revenue then seeing a site fold or screw me out of commission are simply too high for my liking. For these type of sites I would simple try and get the highest CPA possible and at the first sign of trouble bail out at fast as I can.
The trouble though is even if you get a decent CPA deal then in regards to your players you are still going to look bad when or if these site go down. Even if I was based in the US I would simply promote UK sites to build up a stable and secure player base on revenue share. It is clear to me that when gambling is legalised in the US, the UK sites are going to be in prime position, with other sites, that have in effect been sticking two fingers up to the US government having little chance of obtaining a license.
So for me it is revenue share all the way, working with quality UK sites, generating traffic from the UK plus emerging markets in Europe.