When you start your career in the affiliate casino business, one of the first dilemmas you face is choosing a traffic monetization model. This article is written to help you overcome your conscience and help you to make a decision. I will analyze all the existing reward models in detail, reveal their pros and cons, and give some advice from personal experience. Let’s get started!
Revenue Share, or RS, is probably the most common monetization model used by gambling affiliate programs. By working on this model, you get a certain percentage of the casino’s net income (in rare cases of the gross income). It works like this: you invite players, they make a deposit and play games, thus generating casino revenue. If they lose, the income will be positive, and if they win, it will be negative. This means that you can also have a negative income, but more on that later.
The size of the partner’s commission varies from 10 to 60% or even 100% in very rare cases. But I urge you not to rush to preference the affiliate program that gives the highest percentage. For example, sometimes, a program that offers 25% of Revshare will be more profitable than one that offers 40%. This is because each program has its own formula for calculating net income, which may include many deductions, and charges a service fee of 10 to 90%. And the hard truth is that you can’t be 100% sure of the formula’s accuracy and the size of the admin fee, even if the affiliate program provides this information on its website.
Here is a case from my affiliate practice. Our site worked with Wild Blaster Affiliates, who stated that their program did not have administrative fees. After some time, their brand was acquired by Fast Pay Affiliates and transferred to its affiliate program. And our FastPay manager shared information from the Wild Blaster Affiliates backend, and it turned out that we had 50% admin fees! Therefore, I strongly advise you to check if possible these nuances and, for example, ask the manager to screen your statistics from their backend, even if they claim they have no admin fees.
Gross gaming revenue vs. Net gaming revenue
If you have questions about what exactly these forms of income are different, I will explain now.
Gross Gaming Revenue or GGR shows the difference between the total amounts of bets and the total amount of wins, so the formula looks like this:
GGR = bets – wins
When it comes to Net Gaming Revenue, GGR will be just a part of this income calculation. The average NGR formula looks like this:
NGR = GGR – bonuses – jackpot contribution – admin fees – taxes – other deductions
Depending on the affiliate program, they can add or remove some parameters from the NGR Calculation formula.
The vast majority of casino affiliate programs calculate the partner’s commission from NGR, but there may be cases when the commission is charged to GGR. Unfortunately, our database does not yet have programs that work on the model of GGR Revenue Share.
If your players win, the casino, and accordingly you, lose money. You may be thinking, “And what should I do in this case? Reimburse the money to the casino?” Of course, you don’t have to pay anything in this case, but there are some pitfalls.
Each program has its policy in this regard and can offer you one of the following options:
- Carryover the negative balance for the next few months until you close it with new earnings. These programs are called Negative Carryover Programs.
- Reset the negative balance at the end of the month. Next month you start with zero balance.
Obviously, option 2 is more attractive, but the first has its advantages. For example, Pin-Up Partners offer a higher commission if you work with a negative carryover. But I prefer No Negative Carryover programs after a few big players ruined 2 of our affiliate accounts, driving them into the negative balance for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If you are promoting multiple brands from the same program, you may be wondering how your commission will be calculated in this case. And there are also two options offered by affiliate programs:
- Bundle the commission on all brands. In this case, if you have negative earnings for one brand and positive for another, your commission will be equal to their sum.
- Calculate the commission for each brand separately. In this case, the negative earnings of some brands will not affect the positives of others.
As with the transfer of negative balance, it is unnecessary to preference affiliate programs that do not have bundling. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, non-bundling programs usually also pay a commission for each brand separately, and you need to wait until the minimum payout is reached at each casino.
Cost Per Action (CPA)
CPA is the second most common form of monetization of gambling traffic. Working on this model, you get a fixed fee for each new player who makes the first deposit in the casino. This payout is one-time, i.e., you receive it when the players first deposit money in the casino, but you will not receive anything for their further activity.
This model is suitable for those not set up for a long-term relationship with an affiliate program or for those who generate non-gambling traffic. For example, most arbitrage specialists prefer this monetization model.
If you choose to work on the CPA, you will not care whether your players win or lose. You will receive your reward in any case. But if you get a High Roller, who deposits tens of thousands of dollars, you will bite your elbows.
The CPA commission rate offered by the affiliate program mainly depends on the player’s country and ranges from $50 to $500.
Although the CPA model seems transparent and straightforward at first glance, one attribute is worth paying attention to. When you negotiate an agreement on this model, it will have a baseline. This is the amount of the player’s minimum deposit that guarantees a reward. If the player deposits under a baseline, you will not receive a commission. But you can ask to configure the accumulative CPA, and if this player returns and makes another deposit, the reward will be credited.
The hybrid deal is a combination of Revenue Share and CPA. That is, you will receive a fixed commission for the player’s first deposit and a certain percentage of the casino’s profits. This monetization model is the most balanced but you will have to sacrifice the reward size. For example, a standard deal could be $30 CPA + 20% Revshare. But under certain conditions, you can negotiate a 40% RS + $150 CPA deal.
Working on this monetization model, the partner receives a fixed sum of money for the casino promotion before even starts sending traffic to the casino. This model is very rarely used on its own. More often, it is supplemented by RS or CPA. In this case, the affiliate program pays a fixed fee for placement on the site or for a top position or advertising banner, and then the partner works on Revshare or CPA.
In its pure form, this model is most often used by casino streamers when they receive payment for a stream.
Alternative monetization models
The models below are still quite rare. They can even be called exotic, and I’m sure many have not even heard of them. Some of them are pretty interesting and may be used by other programs more often.
Cost per Click (CPC)
This monetization model is not typical of gambling affiliate programs, but lottery affiliate programs sometimes offer it. I can’t tell you much about this model because I’ve never worked on it. Affiliate programs that use this form pay for each click on your tracking link. Unfortunately, I do not know the rates for each click, but I can assume it’s around $1.
Cost per Lead (CPL)
CPL guarantees a reward to the partner for each new player registration in the casino. This model is suitable for those who have so-called no-deposit traffic, which is poorly converted into deposits. Depending on the casino and the player’s country, you can receive $5 to $15 for each registration.
Finally, we have probably the most interesting form of monetization. By working on this model, you will receive a certain percentage of the total bets of your players. That is, it does not matter to you whether your players lose or win; the commission is calculated from each bet made by them.
Wager Share is probably the only monetization model where the partner is interested in the players winning because it usually increases the number and size of their bets. But of course, there are drawbacks, namely the scope of this commission, which varies from 0.1 to 0.4%. But with sufficient wagers, even this small percentage can bring significant earnings.
Currently, the wager share is used in several crypto affiliate programs. And since the popular features of cryptocurrency casinos tend to apply to fiat operators, we are waiting for this model in more affiliate programs.
I hope this article has helped you figure out which monetization model is best for you. If you still have or have additional questions, you can always contact us directly through the “Contact Us” section.