Now that the smoking ban has come into force in England, one aspect of the ban will be the effect is has on bingo halls. Since the ban was introduced in Scotland, some bingo halls have closed and online bingo has taken advantage of this by promoting itself as an alternative for smokers. Later this year, Bullet Business will run their second bingo conference and many well known bingo operators will be there to discuss how bingo online is booming.
I was there last year, commenting on bingo and affiliate marketing. Due to other commitments I’ll not be at this year’s conference but I hope that this year the section on affiliate marketing is listened too and understood as quite frankly bingo and affiliate marketing is not exactly booming. It’s more bumbling! This year’s session is headed up by Jess Luthi (Astro Bingo) and includes Simon Collins (Foxy Bingo), however disappointingly this year there’s no representative of an affiliate who has not previously been employed by a gaming or bingo site and perhaps isn’t afforded the luxury of insider info.
One point I raised last year was the lack of information provided by bingo merchants for their affiliates. Has it changed? Well, no! Name any major bingo affiliate program – how much information do they offer affiliates? How many provide information about big winners? Important events? Latest promotions?
Admittedly some do try, but it’s poor fair for the most part. The information is there though, and a conscientious affiliate can find news from the bingo sites.
Things aren’t helped by the fact that the biggest name in bingo, Gala Bingo, just can’t seem to run or manage an effective program. Having sensationally dumped St Minver (and their then affiliates) to open a new site and subsequent program through Tradedoubler, the program has been beset with payment issues and ever changing commission offers (here, here and here for example). The program is on batched payment too, so affiliate’s never know from month to month if they’re getting any revenue share!
The new program offer is either 35% for the first 6 months of your customersâ€™ life or a bounty scheme starting at just Â£10 a sign up! Affiliates should be aware that a player joining Gala Bingo can play at Coral Games, Casino and Sportsbook using their same login details – however, as far as I’m aware affiliate’s won’t earn any revshare from these parts of the site.
Gala though aren’t the only culprits! It doesn’t matter if the program is run through a network or independently, the situation is pretty much the same right across the industry. Bingo merchants are not talking to their affiliates or communicating on a regular basis – and by regular that means a more than once a month standard newsletter!
Hopefully the boom in online bingo will soon reach the affiliate industry as things do need to improve at least in terms of communications, improved creative and up to date offers, especially in light of forthcoming changes in the gambling advertising rules. If you think you can help, and are interested in discussing bingo affiliate issues on a more than once a year basis, then why not join the online bingo affiliates community over at A4U?
Bingo operators and merchants are most welcome – you might even find that your affiliates will work so much better with your support, input and improved affiliate-merchant relations.