Biggest Opportunity For US iGaming Affiliates In The Past Twenty Years

Biggest Opportunity For US iGaming Affiliates In The Past 20 Years. VP for Sales and Growth at Intelitics, Allan Petrilli shared his views. (Image by Lee Thomas from Unsplash)

The constant diffusion of the European iGaming market implies that just like other major stakeholders in the industry, affiliates are always hunting for new growth prospects. Many people are excited about the possibility of US expansion because many states in the country are almost the same size as many European countries. However, with fragmented affiliate license requirements, regulatory frameworks with some states signing new bills while others have not, and a high degree of inexperienced and uneducated online bettors, this version of the US takeover is threatened.

In an interview with the iGamingFuture, Vice President for Sales and Growth at Intelitics, Allan Petrilli shared his views on the advantages of the explosive US market and what potential affiliates of the US iGaming sector need to consider in ensuring a successful penetration into the market. Below is an extract from the interview:

What potential does the opening up of new markets in North America hold for the affiliates and how can the community ensure that they enter these markets successfully?

Over the past 20 years, the US regulated market holds one of the best opportunities for iGaming affiliates despite the disjointed approach to licensing (state by state). Most states are as big as or even bigger than some substantial market in Europe with a rich population and variety of channels to get traffic. So, SEO presents a challenge that affiliates have to overcome as it is competitive and affiliates who try to employ only SEO in building a business might not be successful. This is why publishers have to look into paid media which holds a lot of opportunities because an increasing number of tier 1 advertisement platforms are gradually becoming friendly to sports betting and online casino.

Currently, most of the affiliates are not well informed about these developments, so they have been sluggish in comparison to the market which has grown quickly. This implies that affiliates can still seize the first-mover advantage and they have to be creative to gain it. Sometimes, this could require them to build their sustainable audience in upcoming and regulated states or buy traffic in untapped places.

North America is special because it requires affiliates to get a license to operate and many people have called for the same framework to be employed in Europe. What is your take on this? Are you in support of or against such calls and what impact do you think it will have on the growth of the sector in the future?

I understand why affiliates in the US have been mandated to get licenses especially with the past experiences of rogue affiliates as well as issues operators face when ensuring that their partners comply with the market and stay responsible. But the question is whether other countries will follow suit because affiliates are not licensed in many other industries. There are merits for licensing publishers because it reduces the burdens of operators and holds affiliates responsible for their actions.

Of course, there are always some bad apples that tarnish the affiliates’ reputation, but the industry at large has come a long way. Right from the days when affiliates were just webmasters, some of them are now bigger than even the operators they promote. The major concern is that licensing will deny some quality affiliates entry into the online gambling industry when it becomes widespread. Like aforementioned, licensing is not regular in any other industry where affiliates work, so enforcing it will proscribe affiliates that are active in other markets from extending into the iGaming area.

What kind of content do you think is best suited in North American Regions? From a player perspective, how will online betting impact the kind of content that is being produced in the US as most consumers are still new to the concept?

The top affiliates will be creating educational content to sensitize consumers on how to bet and what betting entails but they will do it in a fun and creative way. They must also undertake a huge learning process to ensure that players and consumers know regulated online gambling, how to recognize trustworthy and reputable sites, and why brands need social insurance numbers. Affiliates are very knowledgeable in their line of work and many of them will look into their player databases before creating content such that they can now build communities they can later monetize.

This is proof that affiliates must operate at a top level if they want to succeed in the United States market and even other markets across Europe and beyond. For instance, affiliates that offer the best odds will not win if they do not have more engaging content. In the US market’s early stages, a large player percentage will have little or no experience with gambling and online betting, so they have to be led through the process. This is why affiliates need to come up with powerful content that is of real value to the consumers. Already, there is a lot of competition from media companies to betting brands and also competing and tertiary products. So, affiliates must provide and create contents that stand out from the competition.

Within the United States of America, which jurisdictions do you consider as the most exciting this year and why?

This question is quite a tough one because it is exciting to see the larger states open up but you also have to put the requirements and rules of each state into consideration because of the huge impact it has on the opportunity available for affiliates. Similarly, you should also consider the number of licenses offered in the state. New York, for example, is potentially launching what will amount to a duopoly.  This will imply that affiliates will not find it as interesting as states that have massive competition among operators with many offers to promote.

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