In our first article covering key messaging (in the March/April issue), we talked about the role of affiliates when it comes to responsible gaming. And we talked about the importance of bankroll management for end users. Most importantly, we must make sure that those who identify as problem gamblers and those who ultimately are looking for help can find the resources and contact information quickly, and easily, in multiple locations within websites and ecosystems. However, from a key messaging standpoint, there is more affiliates can do to ensure the wellbeing of their end users than just posting the required responsible gambling information.
Misleading or Directional Language
Marketing when done properly in any industry can be the most effective sales tool a company can have. As affiliate companies in the sports gambling space, we tow an interesting line. Affiliate business revolves around those who want to gamble on sports. The more people who find value in affiliate products, the more successful affiliate companies are.
However, the grey area in all of this is how affiliates choose to communicate with end users, and how much they use language to direct customers into making decisions they may not have made on their own.
As an affiliate, you must be aware of the power that language and keywords can have. Affiliates must recognise the value of strategically suggesting to customers that the key to successful sports gambling is to play more often and give yourself more chances to win. This convinces people to spend more money gambling.
It is not wise to do that. Gambling affiliate sites should be a destination for those who have decided sports betting is for them. However, unlike in the fast food industry, affiliates shouldn’t look to upsize a customer’s fries at the end of a transaction.
Staying away from directional language, or misleading language that may result in users spending more money or time on sports gambling than they originally intended, should be a best practice we all adhere to as well.
Promoting Legal and Licensed Sportsbooks
Whether you are a sports betting consumer deciding on which sportsbook should earn business, or an affiliate deciding which operators you should target for partnerships, you should always be looking at only those who are licensed and legally able to be doing business.
As many of us are learning, the value of an affiliate partnership can differ greatly from operator to operator. The reward for partnering with some is greater than with others. This is true whether you are talking about offshore sportsbooks or those that are licensed and legal.
Many offshore sportsbooks see great value in affiliate relationships and are willing to pay very competitive rates for those who can drive business to their sites. However, as affiliates, we have obligations to our customers, our employees and our neighbours, to only be working with those who are legally allowed to operate as a sportsbook.
Each US state has established detailed licensing requirements to ensure consumers are protected and game integrity is maintained. Offshore sportsbooks are not being monitored to ensure they follow responsible gaming best practices. There is no system set in place to protect consumer funds and no privacy laws to follow, to ensure personal data is protected.
In a worst-case scenario where an end user is in disagreement with an operator or unable to withdraw their funds, there is nowhere for a consumer to turn.
Even when an offshore sportsbook is providing a quality product, it is not contributing to local and federal taxes. This helps grow affiliate communities.Being a successful affiliate company can be a very rewarding business or career. However, we believe that those who are truly successful over time are those who take into consideration the best interest of the betting community; and are not just singularly focused on the easiest way to make a profit.