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Sportsbook Affiliates

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What types of sports bettors are affiliates targeting with their content and website? Let me ask a couple of affiliates about how they get to know more about their segment. The mission of sportsbook websites has always been geared toward the informed, serious, and professional (if there is such a thing) sports handicapper. Unlike most sports forums out there, I try to encourage handicappers (like myself) who know sports handicapping as a quantitative analysis, rather then a logical or dart throwing guess. Unfortunately, the dart throwers do happen to find their way onto the forum. We try to keep them low key and they are highly moderated.

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These three types come with the territory, but with adequate moderation they can be kept in check. Not to mention a good IP Ban.

I feel a mission and model like the one adopted by TCF, can offer a great deal to affiliate sportsbooks. Personally, I tend to be very conservative on who and what book I put on my forum for advertising. Currently, I have 7 all SBR A-Rated books. I tend to drive good traffic and quality users to the books which I represent. In addition, it helps to have a good working relationship with the affiliate managers. This has been increasingly hard since the passage of UIGEA. Sportsbooks I once relied on for a steady income are no longer as active because of one reason or another. Bodog is a perfect example of this. Once the cream of the crop when it comes to online sportsbooks, Bodog has fallen on hard times because of processing problems. I can still generate Bodog traffic but nothing like before.

The sportsbooks who have done well with serious handicappers are companies such as 5Dimes, Diamond Sportsbook, and Bookmaker. All three have payouts via Western Union or MoneyGram, within 72 hours of the request. This is becoming more and more desirable for online sportsbook users. Additionally, they offer the all-coveted echeck deposits after they have a working relationship with a given player; another important quality of an online book. Most gamblers don’t want to wait months for their payouts and have to travel to Western Union or MoneyGram to make a deposit whenever they need to re-up.

Concerning Trend

Since the passage of UIGEA’ I personally have seen a concerning trend with some sportsbooks. It would appear that most sportsbooks fall into one of two categories.

My forum is built on the quality of the sport handicapper, most of which play a higher limit then the average fly by night gambler. In respect to the sportsbooks with slower processing times they seem all too happy to work closely with affiliates. The problem I face is unlike most websites who may review and advertise sportsbooks, as a forum, I tend to have a personal relationship with my users so I tend to not steer them in the wrong direction. For instance, one of my users has waited over 2 months for a payout from sportsbook. I received a large amount of Private Messages from him to intervene and help him get his check. That puts me in a precarious position between my users and the books I represent. My personal feeling is if I steer them wrong once, why should they ever trust me and let me represent them again with another book. Thankfully, I have only had a few problems and they were quickly resolved with an email to my Affiliate Manager.

I look at my position as a referee. I try to create an informative, non-controversial environment between users of the forum as well as the books I represent At times this can be quite challenging. Throw in the reparations with the passage of the UIEGA and at times, it seems impossible. Unlike most websites where a book may upset a player, the webmaster may get an email or two. With a forum, the webmaster and other members will hear about it so it’s in the interest of the Administrator to help resolve the issue, because any issue can and will become public in a very short time. When it comes to dealing with seasoned handicappers and users who have been at it for a while, they have little tolerance or understanding for the challenges which the UIGEA has presented to the online gambling business. I, as the Administrator, try to educate them and continue to work with my affiliate manager to resolve any issues. Unfortunately, finding sportsbooks who are 100% upfront and forthright is becoming tougher and tougher.

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