Rakeback really should be a four letter word. Although I feel like this is so 2005 and there really is nothing new under the sun when it comes to gaming brands attracting new players this topic still draws some heat. I posted a thread about Doyles Room Poker coming back to the US market and all of a sudden there was a fire started at CAP over the rakeback issue. Thanks to my buddy Karim from RaketheRake.com the conversation took a major turn for the crazy and affiliates took their sides.
I know it really sucks that a player can be lost to another affiliate once they have registered under you. Some of the great poker affiliates I have worked with still are against rakeback and continue to do well. (Nick Kisberg) However, I have to tell you why so many programs allow this practice and why so many affiliates promote this offer even at a much smaller profit margin (MGR).
When you are a smaller to medium size poker room you have to really struggle to gain new players. In order to attract some actual rake producers you have to really incentivize them to join your site. The bigger players know what a poker skin is and realize they have some power in commanding the best deal. Likewise, successful players know that receiving their rake back acts like a second income and makes up for bad beats. Allowing rakeback gives new rooms and growing networks a way to attract new players and this isn’t going to change.
If you think the larger sites like PartyPoker, Stars and the rest don’t allow rakeback then think again. Chances are if you have a player earning $10k a month in rake (it’s doable) then the rooms themselves are going to offer it directly in order to keep them happy. If a poker room offers their affiliates 30% commission but allows rakeback they are most likely going to be losing 10% right of the top from the extra payout. (30 player/10 affiliate)
Casino affiliates have their business models are well as poker affiliates. I would suggest even some bingo affiliates who have Slots whales under them offer something back in return as well. Like it or hate it, rakeback is a big deal and many poker room that aloe rakeback are seeing that their RB affiliates are responsible for a significant percent of their total gross. When I was an affiliate manager 6 out of the top 10 affiliates I was working with promoted rakeback. That fact alone makes it hard to walk away from if you are an operator or a network.