Some big time UK gambling operators are taking threats by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to crack down on casino affiliate marketing quite seriously and have begun cutting ties with their UK facing affiliate marketing programs. The move was announced in an email sent to affiliate partners of Paddy Power Betfair and 888 earlier this month, according to a report on CalvinAyre.com.
888 Holdings’ Ufilliate program partners received an email from the company stating that as of January 29, they must stop targeting UK residents and IP addresses. The email further states that company will no longer pay out on new UK players. This does not mean that UK affiliates are out of the picture entirely, only that they can no longer target their fellow countrymen. The move does not impact revenue from UK players converted before January 29.
Over at Paddy Power Betfair, a similar email went out to UK partners sent out a similar, but more severe notice, that severed ties with UK affiliate partners entirely. According to the email, the company is hoping to, “reduce our number of active affiliate accounts.”
Both companies are reacting to a recent crackdown, and promised crackdowns in the future, by the UKGC on everything from misleading bonus offers to ads that target underage players and operators who fail to bar self-excluded players. Last year, 888 Holdings paid out a multi-million dollar fine for exactly that and the industry is clearly expecting more of the same in the months ahead.
It’s pretty clear that the purge of casino affiliates is part of larger effort to reign in control of brand messaging and marketing to stay ahead of major problems with gaming regulators.
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