The UK iGaming market is among the largest and most competitive in the world, making it a tricky proposition for operators and affiliates to find their footing. With that in mind, we reached out to Mark McGuinness (MMcG), Head of Casino at The Pools (operator), and Kyle MacIsaac (KM), Account Manager at Leadstar Media (affiliate) to provide insights and clarity on the market.Earlier this month, we released Part 1 in this series, which focused on the intangibles for a successful operator/affiliate relationship, along with the largest opportunities and challenges from both viewpoints. Click on the link below to read more!
With Part 2 of this piece, we’ll look to breakdown what emerging trends those in the UK market need to keep tabs on. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 led to many changes in the industry, notably the widespread closures of land-based casinos and betting shops. In turn, this led to an increase in the use of online casino and sports betting sites, and undoubtedly, operators and affiliates have had to adjust and find ways to adapt to the newest emerging trends in the industry.
Some notable trends that operators and affiliates need to lookout for:
- The Metaverse: The metaverse has been a large talking point over the past few months in the iGaming world. It can be defined as what’s projected to be “the next iteration of the Internet, where physical and digital worlds come together.” It’s known to be made up of AR and VR technologies and has the potential to really add value to the iGaming industry. MMcG touched on this, saying that “the Metaverse has an incredible amount of money being invested in Web3.0, crypto and so forth. This is the new form of digital entertainment and provides an opportunity for both affiliates and operators to meet the needs of this growing consumer demand.”
- New entrants to the market: As the UK iGaming scene is a quite popular one, we see lots of new entrants, both on the affiliate and operator sides. KM shared that “Lots of new brands have entered the market over the last year, but there are a lot of crossovers between them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a further step away from the days when there was a real tangible difference between each firm and the odds that their traders would provide.”
- Transparency on admin fees and deductions: As mentioned in Part 1, transparency is key in building a lasting operator-affiliate relationship. That being said, it’s becoming more and more common for affiliates to request an operator’s NGR calculation, or their fee deductions. MMcG touched on the idea, saying that “we all need to come together on this, as unfortunately costs within the supply chain aren’t going down. The cost of delivery, operating an online business, and that of the affiliate partner needs to be transparent as everyone needs to make a margin. Conversely at times, both parties need to recognize that it may not be commercially viable to continue, which doesn’t mean it failed, just that the economics weren’t aligned.”
As one of the most competitive markets in the iGaming industry, the UK requires operators and affiliates to have a well-thought-out plan to attract an audience that has multiple, similar options available to them. By looking at these emerging trends, both affiliates and operators may find a new way to stand out and reach prospective users in the area!