Can you think of an entertainment event or sport that has grown in popularity like Poker has in the past five years? It is no surprise the poker is hot and like any new trend or cultural phenomenon people are looking to be a part of the action. Knowing this puts you in the position to make money off the buzz and cash in from poker yourself – away from the tables!
Flashback September 30th, 2006 in Washington DC; the United States Congress passes the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This new list of regulations was basically snuck in as a ‘rider’ to the real law, the SAFE Port Act. Here is the text that is the important to you as an affiliate:
PROHIBITION ON ACCEPTANCE OF ANY PAYMENT INSTRUMENT FOR UNLAWFUL INTERNET GAMBLING.
Now that we have the obstacle identified it’s time to discuss if taking up a new ‘project’ is a good idea when it comes to developing a gambling portal/affiliate website.
Certainly there is a buzz right now when it comes to gambling, especially poker. Just think back five years ago and look at the travel industry to Las Vegas. While LV has always been a hot place to be never has it been so ‘cool’ and attractive to the average American. These two words will sum it all up for you when it comes to identifying why this changed have occurred; Las Vegas, Poker and Gambling have become SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE. Once our population as a whole decided it was alright to spend money on gambling and play cards the boom happened. From a marketing perspective it sounded like an atomic bomb exploded and the fallout was dollars hitting the ground. Life was grand for affiliate marketers and poker rooms were looking to rent storage just for a place to store the money. Besides demand (obviously generated from the mainstream exposure of poker), players had a plethora of ways to get their accounts funded and start tossing the chips on the table (virtually of course). Now we are faced with a different situation. While demand has stayed high, solid payment processors like Credit Cards, PayPal and Neteller have gone to the wayside. Also most major search engine companies do not accept PPC campaigns for gambling related terms.
Do not despair yet, there are still ways a people can play and more importantly there are still players playing!
A good place to start is simply reading on message boards where players post their concerns, tournaments and praises. Don’t worry about understanding all the details of then to fold pocket queens and the technical jargon. Look more for which poker rooms (affiliate programs) the players are talking about and playing in. The best place to find these players is 2+2. When it comes to looking at marketing these rooms there are plenty of good forums designated for gambling as well as land based conferences. Once you have decided this may be a good new project/product to invest some time into choosing a smaller niche (not just online poker) and developing content accordingly. Like all areas of affiliate marketing there are plenty of good resources, tools and SEO staples that apply to traffic and player acquisition. Another nice attribute is most credible affiliate programs will pay you about $200CPA for each player that makes a deposit on their sites. Once you can narrow down a nice traffic stream, and find a CMS that keeps your niche new fresh and entertaining you can be on your way to diversifying into the wild world of affiliate marketing – Vegas Style!