How to Manage Difficult Casino Affiliate Partners
Learn how to get your commission, not be bullied and escalate issues
If you are trying to earn a living with marketing online casinos, you may be struggling with managing the Casino Affiliate Partner relationship. It’s a difficult relationship to navigate, because more often than not, the Affiliate Partner is in control of tracking deposits, calculating commission and making payment to you – which means they hold the upper hand.
Though the process is simple and easy, it’s the Affiliate Managers that make life difficult. They can be arrogant, aggressive, rude and unresponsive. They can delay payment with fictitious excuses and make you jump through red tape hoops.
We discuss, how you can improve your relationship with Casino Affiliate Managers and ensure you get paid the commission you are entitled to.
Don’t know who to trust? We’ve compiled a list of Trusted Affiliates here
The online casino landscape has changed tremendously in the past two decades. Becoming more and more competitive, online casinos have been popping up like the proverbial sunflower in a field in South East Asia.
While each online casino attempts to attract new players directly with the “best bonuses and promotions” they are still very much reliant on marketing through Casino Affiliate Partners.
Casino Affiliate Partners have not evolved like online casinos with technology advancement (which has been a boon for players). As an example, online casinos have expanded into live casinos, something that could not have happened during the early days of the internet. In contrast, the affiliate partner distribution channel hasn’t changed one iota, except maybe with the improvement of their customer relationship management software (which is debateable since most CRMs are rubbish).
Beyond the impact of technology, what has changed with Casino Affiliate Partners is their behaviour. In the early days of online casino affiliate marketing, there could be a reliance on a hand shake agreement. There was a level of trust that could be assigned to the relationship.
And, although contractual agreements were sometimes signed, were these contracts actually enforceable in any court of law?
No they weren’t. Because if anything went pear shaped, there was no recourse in the court of law.
Hence, still to this day, there is a lot of good faith placed on Casino Affiliate Partners to do the right thing. There is an expectation of honesty, being paid the correct amount, being paid on time, and being responsive.
Sadly, the days of a trusted Casino Affiliate Partner are long gone.
What is now common is: deceit, unfair terms and conditions, deliberate payment delay, calculation errors, constant follow ups, underpayment and a raft of other issues. Though some may consider these issues as minor, as a collective it all adds up to one big headache.
As a customer of a Casino Affiliate Partner, you now unfortunately need to treat them like a Used Car salesman. Always think through, what controls you can put in place to protect any Player deposits that you pass through to the affiliate partner.
Let’s discuss in detail what you can do to protect yourself against unethical Casino Affiliate Partners.
“They were very friendly, but now becoming annoying”
If an affiliate partner has reached out to you, they are naturally going to be extremely responsive. They want your business! Some have the etiquette of a “fish slap to the face”, and ask straight up: How much traffic can you bring in? What are your geo’s? and a whole other raft of questions that they feel entitled to know, even though nothing has been said from your end.
With these affiliate partners, ignore them. They are green shoots who think that they can bully you. At times, you may want to let off some steam and tell them to “piss off”, but then you could be burning bridges, and anyways, it’s just not the nice thing to do.
So, unless you know you will never deal with them again, just ignore them. It can be hard, but it’s the best avenue to take.
For those Casino Affiliate Partners that are more adept at flirting with you, the responsiveness flows seamlessly until you get to the sticky points. Some are very good at responding in a timely manner. These, you can tell, are experienced Affiliate Partners. Some respond slowly, depending on the question asked.
There’s no hard and fast rule, however, the responsiveness will give you an indication as to whether you can trust an affiliate partner.
Assessing the responsiveness of a Casino Affiliate Partner, will give you an indication as to whether you can trust them. It is sometimes hard to tell, so don’t feel disheartened if later you discover the affilate partner is being a dick and is not replying to your messages.
Payment Terms and Conditions
“They didn’t tell me I had to provide an Invoice!”
This is a very difficult area to assess an affiliate partner with. More often than not, a deal is a deal. Whether you choose revenue share or CPA or hybrid, normally after the terms and conditions have been struck, then your account is approved and you can obtain your affiliate links.
There’s usually no problems per se with this, because it is what it is. The issues stem further down the track, if payments are calculated in error, delayed, or not even paid.
But to help you with your discussion for terms and conditions, make sure you raise some of these aspects.
Invoice – You should always find out in advance whether you need to provide an invoice to receive payment. Often the need for an invoice is a delay tactic that affiliate partners will throw out at you. If you do need to provide an invoice, ask that the format of the invoice and the details are sorted out first. If they decline, and say this can be done on the first payment run, you know you are going to have a rough time.
Withdrawal Threshold – Find out what the withdrawal threshold is. Some will have an excessively high level and it may vary according to the payment. If the threshold is extremely high, ask if it can be lowered. If not, you may want to give the affiliate partner a miss. There’s no point passing traffic, if you cannot reach the threshold to make a withdrawal.
Payment Methods – speaking of payment methods, these will vary wildly from one affiliate to another. Some prefer Bitcoin while others want to pay you with Neteller or Skrill. Make sure, they can pay you with your preferred method, and not the other way around. You want to make sure, that you can be paid and not find out later that you have to scramble with jumping through hoops to create new digital wallets.
Aggregate or Single – some affiliates have several brands that they promote. Calculation of commission can therefore be based on the aggregate of all casinos or on an individual basis. Ask what the calculation of commission is upfront.
Terms and Conditions, whilst can be agreed upon, need to be discussed at length. Do not be afraid to ask all the questions under the sun. Even questions that you may think are dumb. Because it’s better than appearing to be smart and get paid zero down the track.
Frequency of Payment
“They didn’t tell me they only pay adhoc!”
Payment calculations will form part of the Terms and Conditions, so in this section, we discuss more about the actual process of getting paid.
You should ask, how often they process commission to their partners, and whether they pay on time.
Regularity of Commission Payment – commission should be paid at least once a month, during a regular period. If they advise that they make adhoc payments, or that the window of payment is super wide, this should ring alarm bells. Casino Affiliate Partners should be paying every month on a consistent basis.
Timely payments – The response speed of an Affiliate Contact will indicate whether they can be trusted. We covered this in a previous paragraph, but it’s worth mentioning again but specifically in regards to timely payment. Ask them straight up, “have you ever had a delay in making commission payments to your partners?” If they are slow to answer (when previously they were fast), you will know they are lying through the skin of their teeth.
Unless you want to deal with the hassle of following up and chasing for payment, give the flick to affiliate partners that appear to be avoiding the question of making payment on time and when payments are made.
Delay of Payment
“They haven’t paid me for several months!”
Dealing with Casino Affiliate Partners that delay payments is always a pain in the arse. You want to be on the front foot as soon as a month has passed. Do NOT wait for several months before chasing up, because they could either go bankrupt (as we discuss in the following paragraphs), or they will simply just not pay you because “records” go missing.
When chasing up, do NOT be afraid to:
- Ask for payment politely
- Ask when commission will be paid.
- Ask what is the hold up.
- Double check that they don’t need anything else from you.
Don’t let them bully you. You want to be firm, and if delays keep occurring do NOT hesitate to tell them that it is unacceptable that delays keep happening. And for them to make payment.
Be on top of your payments, and don’t be afraid to ask for your money.
Escalation of Delay of Payment
“They haven’t paid me! What do I do now?”
Do not despair. Although it’s not a great situation to be in, there is an avenue of escalation that is available. Sites such as Affiliate Guard Dog or AskGamblers can help contact the Casino Affiliate Partner on your behalf and escalate payment. They have the ability to damage the reputation of the Affiliate Partner by keeping other participants in the industry informed of their unethical behaviour.
Escalation of delayed payment should occur as soon as you have any doubts about receiving payment. You will need to provide your Username or account details.
This escalation service is free for all users.
Do not be afraid to escalate if you believe you will not receive payment.
Diversify Casino Affiliate Partners
“Oh shit, my key Affiliate Partner has gone bust!”
Not everyone can do this, however don’t place all your eggs in one basket. If you are passing the majority of your commission through one casino affiliate partner, you are prone to a substantial loss if the partner is unable to pay.
As an example, Genesis Affiliates was one of the most trusted casino affiliate partners on the planet. Many online casino review sites had struck agreements with them, funnelling a tremendous amount of traffic to them. For several years, they were deemed reliable, honest and trusted.
But this all fell apart starting July 2022, when payments became delayed and long time affiliate contacts jumped ship. In December 2022, Genesis Affiliates was officially declared bankrupt, with even employees experiencing unpaid wages.
As you can imagine, significant losses were suffered by many online casino review site owners, including big names like AskGamblers and Latest Casino Bonuses.
Easier said than done, but if you can diversify and spread traffic among different affiliate partners, this will help with mitigating the risk of being exposed to a potential failure by a partner.
There’s a lot to be careful about when dealing with affiliate partners. Ultimately, it will come down to experience, and building a rapport with the contact. But hopefully, if you can ask relevant questions upfront, you will be able to sort out the weeds from the wheat.
The questions to be asked include: timeliness of payments, calculation of payments, withdrawal thresholds, and payment methods.
Though these questions won’t guarantee safe passage (because at the end of the day a lie is a lie and you could be fooled), try to diversify your affiliate partners. Spreading the risk will help alleviate the pain if one affiliate partner fails to pay commission.