One of the most common questions I am asked by new casino affiliates is whether or not to choose revenue share or CPA. When you are a poker affiliate this can actually be a tough question to answer, and depends on a variety of factors. However for new casino affiliates, I consider this one a no brainer.
Let’s first state exactly what revenue share and CPA is…
Revenue Share: You get a percentage of all the revenue the casino makes, for life(theoretically!). So if a player signs up at Rockbet Casino via your link, deposits $500 then loses it, you would get a percentage of that. The percentages are different at every casino, but are in the 20%-60% range.
CPA: Short for Cost Per Acquisition. You get a flat fee for all real money players that sign up via your affiliate link for a casino. So if someone goes through your link, signs up and deposits, you will get one flat fee, regardless of whether they win or lose. CPA deals can range from $100-$300, and more if you bring in high volume.
As a poker affiliate, revenue share vs CPA is a very tough decision. There are lots of pros and cons, with lots of variables. Things that you would factor in before deciding on revenue share or CPA are does the poker room accept US players? Is it on a network? Are players allowed to play at other rooms on the network? Does it offer rakeback? What are the traffic figures like on that network? Just some, of the many many variables you have to consider when deciding on revenue share vs CPA when it comes to online poker. You can read about revenue share or CPA for a poker affiliate in this article: Poker Affiliates: CPA or Revenue Share?
When it comes to online casinos – I’m sorry, but there is no debate – it’s revenue share all the way.
There ARE of course reasons as to why you should choose CPA over revenue share. There are often lots of swings when it comes to revenue share, especially with chargebacks, bonuses and just general casino play – see my Prepare for the Swings article for more information on that. Also the casino may not have a good reputation for player retention, so CPA makes sense in circumstances like that.
However you’ll forget all about CPA when you get your first whale.
A whale is the term used for players who like to bet large amounts of money, and they are plentiful. Even more importantly – they are generally loyal to a casino, and will happily lose money there month after month, while continuing to play. I have had many whales in my time, and based on my stats 90% of all whales will play at the same casino for at least 6 months.
There are many reasons as to why revenue share is better than CPA – but the one major deciding point is the whale. This isn’t like poker, where you get a high raker but have to rely on them playing regularly, putting in at least 30 hours a week etc. This is online casinos – where a whale can signup via your link while you’re sleeping, deposit and lose $10k within an hour, and have you waking up to a nice $4,000 bonus.
Believe me I’m speaking from experience here having did CPA deals in the past – sure there are lots of swings with revenue share, and you never know just how “for life” it is – but looking at my stats at every casino I promote – unless you’re getting in excess of $500 for CPA, then it’s something I wouldn’t even consider in the slightest.
I’ve made the mistake of going for CPA. When I began promoting one casino, I was focusing mostly on the bonus and getting a lot of bonus hunters in. As I didn’t think they would be high revenue generators, and as I had a feeling many of them would win, I opted for the CPA, which was $100.
I sent that casino about 100 players, which was $10k commission. And sure enough – lots of those players played, and won, or lost their initial deposits and didn’t come back. Out of that 100 however, the casino got two whales, both of whom in the last 3 years have lost over $200,000 at that casino. The revenue share rate at said casino? 40%, meaning I’ve lost out on at least $70k worth of commission.
Also one thing I should note – if it wasn’t for those two whales, I might not have been paid at all. Many people abuse the CPA policy – signing up as affiliates, getting family members to deposit and lose $20, then pick up $100 CPA. Due to this online casinos are a lot stricter than poker rooms when it comes to actually paying out the CPA, and I’ve heard stories on many occasions of affiliates not being paid what they are owed.
To put it simply – don’t make the mistakes I did. If you’re a serious affiliate take revenue share – the swings will be rough, but when that first whale comes in, you’ll never regret the decision.