Ever since the passage of UIGEA in 2006, it has become more and more difficult to make a living as an online gambling affiliate. As mentioned last week, despite the saturated nature of today’s online gambling affiliate market, I think there are three areas where online gambling affiliates can still make a significant chunk of money: Asia, mobile and Bitcoin.
We’ve already covered opportunities for affiliates in Bitcoin and this week we’ll focus on Asia, or more specifically, Asian gamblers.
We already know Asia breeds big gamblers, making the region the ultimate goldmine of the gambling industry. Online gambling companies with the resources and knowledge to tackle Asia are far and few between, but there are also opportunities to reach Asian gamblers outside of Asia.
A tangible example of targeting Asians in the UK can be found at London’s Hippodrome Casino, located in Leicester Square, just on the border of Chinatown. To attract Asian gamblers, the Hippodrome Casino has specifically designed an entrance on the Chinatown side for Asians, leading to a separate casino floor that has also been designed for the Asian gambler.
Online gambling affiliates are keen on cracking the Asian market as well, although “affiliate marketing” does not exist in Asia as we know it in the West, not to mention the enormous language barrier. A much easier way for Western affiliates to reach Asian gamblers would be to work with affiliate programs targeting Asians living in the UK and Europe.
138.com is fully licensed online gambling operator (and soon to be land based) with a core focus on Asians who are living in the UK and regulated European markets. Its easy to spot 138.com at the affiliate conferences taking place throughout the year, namely because their casino and sports offerings have an Asian twist, unlike the other affiliate programs on display.
“The European market is saturated with operators that look and feel the same. 138.com gives affiliates the opportunity to have a unique offering on their site that truly stands out above the rest”, said Stephanie Wynters, 138.com’s Head of Affiliates UK. She added, “Affiliate acquisition has been easier then expected- I am thrilled to see the affiliates’ curiosity for the 138.com brand”.
In addition to the appeal of a unique offering, affiliates should like that the Asian gambler has a higher average deposit and more frequent casino action than the European gambler. “About 10% of Asians in Europe account for 60% of the Euro market profit. We are happy to take the lead in this niche”, said Wynters.
So what if you’re an affiliate with European traffic, but not specifically Asian European traffic?
“Even affiliates that have the ability to do keyword targeting will not get 100% Asian European traffic”, explained Wynters.“It is important that affiliates know that the 138 brand is for them as long as they can deliver UK and European traffic overall. We will provide the right tools and direction for the rest”.
138.com’s core market may be Euro Asians, but the website itself is designed to welcome Europe based players with all sorts of backgrounds.
“You don’t have to be Asian European to play at 138.com. A large percentage of our players are not Asian anything. Asian handicap odds are attractive to any sports bettor, just to have that extra edge to win is a huge plus. Asian live dealer croupiers are also very appealing to all”, Wynters accurately pointed out.
138.com’s football partnerships with Newcastle Utd and Watford FC have also appealed to an audience wider than the Asians.
“138.com wanted to get well involved and established in the U.K market. These sponsorships show credibility and stability for the 138 brand- it is important for affiliates to know that 138 is here to stay and that we don’t mind investing on advertising wherever there is value”, said Wynters.
It is important for affiliates to have trust in the brands that they are promoting, especially when they are testing out new markets and audiences. Targeting Asians in fully regulated markets can be a comfort for affiliates, but so can VIP nights out.
“I should mention that my favorite part of these [football] sponsorships is that we have many free tickets and hospitality hotel stays throughout the year to giveaway to our affiliates and partners that desire to watch any of these teams at their home stadiums”, Wynters added.
So how can you, as an affiliate, get moving with the Euro Asia market and other new niches?
“Its important to get involved with reading industry news and to connect with other affiliates to see what’s working for them”, advises Wynters. She also advises- and I agree- to take advantage of industry conferences and study all the programs on offer- take a look and see what stands out from the rest.
“Affiliate conferences are a great branding exercise. It is essential for affiliates to see that the brand they promote has a good presence at these events”, Wynters said.
A solid presence at conferences is a sign of a healthy affiliate program and identifying new niches to promote within those programs will bring results faster. I think Wynters summed it up perfectly when she said, referring to the Euro Asia market, “This is a golden opportunity for affiliates to offer something different and get paid more then expected”.