Affiliate Opinion: Navigating compliance in your affiliate business

Continuing on with our theme of compliance this week, we understand that compliance is not just centred around the promotions and campaigns. It’s vital that affiliates look for guidance to build internal policies and processes to ensure continued growth.

Why do you need to be compliant?

When it comes to compliance, there are a number of different areas that impact your affiliate business. Compliance touches every aspect of your business, from the accounting procedures you have in place to the way that you upload content to your affiliate site. It also touches on the data you collect and store, and the information you write on your pages to promote operators.

The responsibilities of affiliates and operators differ in terms of compliance but they are equally important. On the operator’s side, there is an obligation to ensure that the player is protected. Measures around responsible gambling are being discussed and implemented as the industry matures. Affiliate managers are tasked with ensuring that the promotional material on affiliate sites is always correct. 

While affiliates don’t have a fiscal responsibility to these player regulations, they do need to be responsible for what they promote. As an affiliate business, if you don’t comply with relevant marketing codes, the operator could be severely fined. This is impactful as you could risk being terminated from the affiliate program and losing your future life time earnings all together.  

The tides are turning quickly in the igaming industry and we can only expect more regulation and tighter rules. Affiliate compliance is a requirement – not a choice.

How should you approach compliance?

Get expert advice. Specialist compliance companies like SMP Partners can assist you with understanding exactly where and how to get your affiliate business compliant.

Compliance planning can be time consuming, so consider outsourcing it if it’s not your area of expertise. Regularly checking banners and landing pages for factual errors or outdated information can take a long time if you’re doing it manually, but there are tools in place to assist. Making sure that your banners click to the right landing pages and that your reviews are kept up to date is also key to being compliant.

Making sure everyone in your organisation understands the code and regulations is key, even down to which phrasing is used in your site content. Some of these are pretty easy to miss, like the suggestion that gambling would have a guaranteed profit or could be used as a means of escapism. Even the use of imagery to show older persons not appearing to be under the age of 25 as an example.

With the industry changing quickly, you have to make sure you keep up your personal and employee education too. Subscribe and check in with various agencies to find out who’s been fined and what for. This will show you the points the UKGC are targeting and will help you to tailor your strategy to avoid the same mistakes.

Take action now, if you want to continue earning revenue

Compliance requires a large investment of your time, it can also have an incredibly big impact to your revenue earnings.

Building a compliant affiliate business is the only way to ensure you create a sustainable income with larger brands as operators simply wont work with sites that don’t follow this requirement going forward. This is the only way that the affiliate industry will continue to thrive, as if we don’t regulate our industry, there are substantial risks. The UKGC tolerates affiliates at the moment and passes the burden onto operators, however this could be set to change. 

If you want to keep abreast of the regulatory and digital change taking place in igaming, make sure you visit our events page to attend the next AI Bootcamp 21-22 March 2019.

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