Income Access Suggests Educational Role For Affiliates In Regulated iGaming Markets

With Caesars Interactive Deal, Income Access Increases Influence In U.S. Regulated Online Gambling Industry

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On July 30, Income Access announced it would be taking over Caesars Interactive Entertainment’s online affiliate program in regulated U.S. markets.

The partnership will see Income Access implement a new affiliate program for CIE’s Nevada and New Jersey-facing real-money online gaming brands, including in both states, with Income Access taking over CIE’s affiliate platform and management as well.

Income Access’s pivotal role in iGaming

Income Access plays a critical behind the scenes role in the online gaming industry by providing iGaming operators and affiliates a streamlined and proven management system. The company has walked away with the Affiliate Software award at EGR B2B Awards three years in a row.

Boiled down to its most simplistic terms, Income Access acts as the middle man between the operators and affiliates, providing both with a transparent way to track their players and gauge the success of their marketing efforts.

The company works with operators and affiliates in virtually every market across the globe, and was keen on getting into the new U.S. regulated markets on the ground floor.

“We see New Jersey as a burgeoning opportunity in the U.S. and we wanted to lend our experience and insight to help New Jersey be what it could be,” Income Access CEO Nicky Senyard told Online Poker Report.

Caesars and Income Access

According to Senyard, the partnership with Caesars was a long time in the making.

Income Access was already very active in the New Jersey market with both operators and affiliates, Senyard explained, and in constant conversation with all of the operators whether they worked with them or not.

Recently, Caesars reached out to Income Access to see if they could work with them in the U.S. markets, as they wanted to take their affiliate program in a new direction.

“What I think happens with operators is they focus on different things at different times,” Senyard indicated. By choosing to work with Income Access, Senyard believes Caesars felt it was time to put more emphasis into its affiliate program.

“What we try to do is a very quick spot analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats,” Senyard stated. “We look at the relationships in place, the deal structures, and where we can engage further with the affiliates.”

Based on the press release, Caesars seems to agree that this new emphasis was needed.

“As a technology solution, Income Access has an excellent reputation for streamlining and improving player acquisition via the affiliate channel for online poker and casino brands,” said Marco Ceccarelli, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at CIE.

“When their affiliate management expertise in the U.S. market is also factored in, we’re looking forward to seeing our affiliate program have a major impact on our brands’ growth in the New Jersey and Nevada space,” he continued.

The affiliate conundrum in regulated markets

One of the unnoticed deficiencies in the regulated online poker and online gaming markets in the United States has been on the affiliate front.

For affiliates, the barriers to entry in regulated markets are many, and the rewards, at present, are few.

Additionally, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement recently clarified its policies regarding affiliates, creating a bright line date after which affiliates would have to make the difficult decision between the regulated and unregulated market.

“The rules in New Jersey have made it very clear,” Senyard said. Affiliates must now choose between foregoing regulated U.S. markets in perpetuity, or rejecting the currently more lucrative unregulated sites.

In Senyard’s opinion, affiliates have to do a bit of soul searching.

“Affiliates have to decide what business they’re in,” Senyard said. “You need to decide what the end goal of your business is. Is your end goal to make a nice living for the rest of your life? Is your end goal to sell this asset? And I think that’s the conversation affiliates are pragmatically having with themselves.”

Many have chosen the unregulated market.

Whether it’s the substantial licensing fee, the thorough vetting process prospective licensees must undergo, or the tough decision of foregoing the (currently) more lucrative offshore sites to promote licensed sites, many affiliates have decided the U.S. regulated markets simply isn’t for them.

This spurning of regulated markets has to two self-reinforcing issues:

  • A lack of affiliate marketing for the regulated sites.
  • An offshore market with a strong affiliate presence (making unlicensed, offshore sites far stronger competitors than they should be).

Senyard believes this coupled with the newness of the U.S. regulated markets, has created a void in “digital real estate” in New Jersey and other regulated markets in the U.S. that doesn’t exist in Europe.

With so few sites educating people about online gambling, Senyard feels there was a lack of accessibility to information for the consumer, but she also considers this to be improving.

According to Senyard, the U.S. market had a second disadvantage. There was never a question about legality in Europe, which was not the case in the United States.

Putting all of these things together, it’s easy to see why there are so many confused consumers. A robust affiliate market could educate these customers.

Image Chris Jenner /

- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.
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