Working together: What operators look for in an affiliate partner

James King, Chief Marketing Officer at Conquer Casino UK, talks about what operators look for in an affiliate partner when it comes to compliance.
The operator/affiliate relationship has come under increasing pressure over the past 12 months driven by the UK Gambling Commission’s clamp down on responsible marketing.
Some operators have opted for the nuclear option and closed down their programmes entirely. Others still see huge value in the channel but understand the need for change.
Here at Conquer Casino, we believe that affiliates are just as important now as they have ever been, and remain a significant driver of new player traffic to our site.
As a small brand looking to compete with the industry giants, affiliates provide a quick and cost-effective way of ensuring Conquer Casino is heard above the noise.
That said, we also understand the need for us to be compliant, and that we are ultimately responsible for the content our affiliate partners use to promote our brand.
This has forced us to look closely at the way we work with our partners, and to find new ways of ensuring the affiliates we work with are complaint.
This is what we look for in an affiliate partner:

  • Exactly that – a partner

We want to work with affiliates that prioritise compliance as much as we do – we must both be singing from the same song sheet, if you like.
While the operator is ultimately responsible for compliance breeches, we want to be certain that our affiliate partners understand the need for everyone to play by the rules.
This requires a highly collaborative approach to ensure that both parties continue to benefit.

  • Publish high-quality content

Affiliates that publish high quality content are the ones that we like to work with best. These publishers tend to be thorough, accurate and responsible.
This is highly reassuring for operators as we know that they will do their utmost to ensure they are publishing information that is correct and that meets regulatory requirements.
Taking this a step further, in some instances our affiliate partners have been happy to share reviews and other content featuring our brand for us to check for compliance.

  • A clear understanding of their audience

It is vital for our affiliate partners to have a clear understanding of where their traffic is coming from and whether they can play on a UK-licensed online casino.
For us, it is very much about quality of traffic over quantity of traffic. There is no point in the affiliate sending players from a restricted country – that’s a waste of everyone’s time.
Those that can show they understand their audience and how they can drive relevant traffic to our site top the list of those we like to work with.

  • Take a responsible approach to their own readers

What we really like to see in an affiliate partner is that they also care about their readers and take a responsible approach to the information published for their consumption.
Those that have guides to bonuses and how they work, including terms and conditions and wagering requirements, are certainly on the right track.
While the UK Gambling Commission requires bonus terms and conditions to be no more than one click a way, we also like to see affiliates include them within their reviews.
Those that are willing to do this prove to us that they take compliance seriously.
These are just four things we look for when partnering with affiliates and publishers and by no means are the sum total of our affiliate compliance efforts.
That said, they go a long way to ensuring that the relationship we have with our partners is founded on best practice and that we are all working towards the same goal.
By doing this, we believe that the operator/affiliate ecosystem will continue to grow while also ensuring that consumers are fully protected – and that is a win win for everyone.
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