The iGaming industry is a dynamic and ever changing one—particularly when it comes to affiliate marketing. We’ve seen many types of affiliates enter the industry and ultimately not be able to stay afloat because of several different factors. On the other hand, we also saw many affiliates experience success and growth over the years. From our experience, it looks like there was one major commonality between them all: they were able to keep up with industry trends and adapt.

Below, Erica Anderson discusses major trends observed in the iGaming space in 2019, in addition to expectations for 2020. The full article is available online at iGB Affiliate. We’re also presenting the article here in two parts, with the first part available below. Stay tuned for the second part which will come out next week.

According to a July 2019 report from Statista, there were nearly 34 million active online gaming accounts in 2018 in the UK. Another report, released in September, forecasts the global value of the online gambling market to reach over USD $94 billion in 2024. This figure represents almost double the current market size, with casino and sports betting verticals funneling a large segment of that revenue.

With the rise of digitisation, affiliate marketing practitioners have access to new tools which support operators and affiliates in maintaining relevancy by delivering enhanced user experiences. A deeper assessment of marketing strategies, technology and industry developments can further aid affiliate managers in positioning their clients for success. Heading into 2020, attention must be paid to trends influencing iGaming’s shifting landscape, as well as tactics that directly contribute to improving products and responsiveness to consumer needs.

An Evolving iGaming Landscape

In the US post-PASPA environment, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are playing an important role in the market’s growth and strategic evolution. For example, in October, Flutter Entertainment announced its plans to acquire The Stars Group, owner of the world’s largest poker site PokerStars, aiming to create the world’s largest online betting and gaming operator.

Another example of M&A’s influence is Better Collective’s acquisition of US sports betting affiliates VegasInsider.com and ScoresAndOdds.com last summer. The transaction positioned the developer to potentially become the market-leading sports betting information company in the US, specifically in states with regulated online sports betting.

Emerging markets are also poised to maintain their role in the changing industry landscape. Latin America is one such region holding great potential.

Based on BtoBet’s November 2019 report on South America’s iGaming industry, Argentina’s mobile penetration sits at 135%, well above South America’s 109% average, pointing to a potentially expansive player pool. A similarly telling report from Statista reveals that as of January 2019, Argentina has the highest internet penetration of any Latin American country with 93% of its population of 45 million considered to be active internet users. The next highest among Latin American countries was Paraguay at 89%. According to Statista, that figure put Argentina in close proximity to the UK, which is anticipated to be at 95% penetration by 2021.

On building connections with top affiliates and employing strategies for player acquisition, PASPA’s repeal opened many doors on the product side. For state lotteries, this means entering new verticals. In October, Oregon Lottery released Scoreboard, a mobile app and desktop game allowing consumers within the state to place wagers on professional sports. Notably, Oregon Lottery doesn’t own an iLottery product or run an affiliate programme. Two weeks after the launch, Oregonians had bet over $4.5 million on Scoreboard.

Focusing on market opportunities, diversified revenue channels and strategic partnerships will be instrumental in enhancing acquisition strategies and expanding affiliate portfolios.

Keep an eye out for the second and final part of our iGB Affiliate Article on iGaming marketing trends in 2020, where we will discuss different digital marketing trends, technology and user experience.