Following hot on the heals of Sky Bet who recently closed their affiliate marketing programme due to pressures of keeping affiliates in line with regulations, LeoVegas are clamping down on affiliates as well.
An official statement on the LeoVegas.com website notes that they have been in consultation with the UK Gambling Commission in recent months to ensure affiliates promoting LeoVegas games and promotions remain compliant.
However, it would appear that controlling all their affiliates may be a task too big and as a result LeoVegas are choosing instead to continue to only work with a small number of affiliates who satisfy their compliance standards and can guarantee to continue to comply with them.
It would appear that the mounting pressure to keep on the right side of the UKGC, the ASA and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and to be responsible for affiliates is too much. With operators being slapped with multi-million pound fines for non-compliant advertising performed by their affiliates, they are calling time on affiliate programmes in the UK.
At the recent SiGMA conference in Malta, What Online Casino attended a session at the iGaming Academy where the Head of Affiliate Managers for one operator estimated that 75% of their traffic (players) came from their affiliates.
Switching off a marketing source as large as 75% will have a drastic effect on any business. If operators are eradicating their affiliate programmes, they will have to replace this shortfall by dramatically increasing their own marketing activities. If all operators jump onto the same bandwagon of PPC and SEO, it is going to make it a very competitive and expensive marketplace to compete in.
What Online Casino recently became certified by Google to perform Google AdWords PPC campaigns in the UK. Anyone who wishes to promote a gambling related site on AdWords must do so.
Is it time for a set of compliance standards, or form of framework, to be created for affiliates to join and be vetted and controlled by a governing body? This way, operators would have some form of reassurance that they were dealing with certified affiliates.
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