On Monday the betting industry were hit with the shock news that SkyBet & Gaming, one of Britain’s leading gambling companies were closing down their affiliate programme.
It comes as pressure is piling up on the bookies to regulate their practices more strictly. Just last week 888Sport were hit with a record fine of £7.8 million over ‘significant flaws’ in their social responsibilities.
The bookies use affiliates as a way of marketing and to ultimately gain new customers. They’ve played a huge role in the industry over the last few years.
The bookies give each affiliate a unique link to promote. Every time a purchase or sign up is made through this link the affiliate receives a certain commission. Affiliates could earn up to 25% commission through the SkyBet Affiliate Hub. However, it seems some affiliates have become greedy, profiting from people’s losses.
Dodgy Affiliate ‘Tipsters’
The Guardian recently shed light on ‘tipsters’ who were profiting from punters’ losses who signed up through their affiliate link. The tipsters were deliberately suggesting long-shot (unlikely) events to readers through social media and ‘tipster’ websites. These tipsters were making up to 30% commission on these losing bets due to their affiliation with the bookies.
Matt Zarb-Cousin, from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, hit the nail on the head, saying: ‘Affiliate sites disguise themselves as tipsters, but when they earn a percentage of customer losses they are clearly only pretending to be on the side of the gamblers.’
Overall this move by SkyBet & Gaming has caused a huge stir in the industry. It’s likely that most affiliates work in an ethical manner but it only takes a few to bring the ship down. Many websites out there are built around affiliate sales. With this revenue stream looking dicey many companies may be on the brink of going bust.
Are more Bookies Going to Follow Suit?
It’s widely predicted SkyBet & Gaming have made this early move to stay ahead of the curve and out of trouble. With the Gambling Commission, the betting industry’s watchdog, stricter than ever it’s likely only a matter of time before other bookies do the same.
Here is a statement from SkyBet, suggesting regulatory changes are on the horizon for the betting industry. ‘The regulatory landscape in which the industry operates is developing and maturing and operators are experiencing increased obligations regarding their regulatory responsibilities and level of compliance.
‘In order to operate in a compliant manner, we feel that operating the affiliate programme is no longer viable and that managing the output of affiliates presents a significant risk to our business from a regulatory perspective.’
SkyBet will undoubtedly have much greater control over their marketing efforts. However, they’re likely to see a sharp decrease in the number of new customers after this change.
Ladbrokes Coral are another gambling company that are taking extra steps to govern their own affiliates. The chief executive, Jim Mullen, told eGaming Review: ‘We’re bringing our affiliates very much closer to our own group policy before they can represent us and that’s one of the improvements that you’ll see.’
Is Matched Betting Affected?
Thankfully for us matched bettors we aren’t involved with any affiliate programmes. Therefore, we can still use this awesome method to make money online. We profit from the free bets and promotions the bookies use to entice new and existing customers. Currently, matched betting is at it’s most profitable thanks to the fierce competition in the betting industry. This is set to continue for a long time.
If you’re unsure about how you can make money online using this brilliant technique read some of the articles below. Here at The Sure Bettor, our aim is to make matched betting as easy as possible. If you need any help don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
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