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I just don’t get it

By Sue Schneider

Having monitored the interactive gaming industry since the fall of 1995, I continue to be amazed that the United States just doesn’t get it.  There are now some 89 governments around that world that permit internet gaming operations in their jurisdictions.  Granted the regulations range widely, but they’re sanctioned in some way, shape or form by those governments.  And those governments benefits by having those companies operating there in terms of taxes, licensing fees, improved technical infrastructure and jobs.

      If you’d asked me 10 or even seven to eight years ago if the US would embrace this industry.  I would have said, “ Yes, eventually.”  But, it’s taken far longer than I would have ever expected!

There are now millions of gamblers who play online poker

Is the tide turning?  If you review the major media in the United States like the recent Time magazine article, one might assume that a change is in the wind.  The media is clearly calling into questions the US position that it’s evil.  They’re being rational and asking why are we running talented entrepreneurs out of the country to other parts of the globe when we can take advantage of their successful endeavors.

There are now millions of gamblers who play online (thanks in many ways to the popularity of poker).  It has become mainstream so the media is now beginning to question why the US has taken the approach it has over the past decade.
But, at the same time, a small contingent of US Congressmen are posturing to reintroduce prohibitions measures to try to stop online play in the U.S I’m sorry but I just don’t get it.  Many other governments have found ways to deal with the issues of fairness of the games, underage and compulsive gambling (measures best enforced through good regulation).  They may not be foolproof but, guess what, they’re not foolproof in the terrestrial world either.


The ironic thing is that there’s been a de facto prohibition in the US for the past few years.  The credit card companies have been enforcing the “now-low”  for years already through the coding process.  The major issuing banks in the US have cut off transactions so Congress has already accomplished what it’s wanted to accomplish without a prohibition law on the books.
Now, the prohibition effort is raising its ugly head again and invoking terrorism and money laundering to boot.  In the 60 Minutes piece, Sen, Jon Kyl stated, “it has frequently been demonstrated that there’s a lot of graft and corruption in this.”  Perhaps in the 10 years of covering the news in this industry, it just slipped by me; but I’d appreciate someone pointing out any proof of these evils to me .. particularly the charge of supporting terrorism.  That’s just offensive!

So, how do we stem the tide of this draconian attitude in the US?  It’s easy …activate the player.  The Interactive Gaming Council has done that successfully in its past lobbying efforts and The Poker Players Alliance  (www.pokerplayersalliance.org) is preparing to do it again.  They need the support of the industry in this effort.

The bottom line is this…policy-markers in the United States listen to voters.  And voters are playing online in record numbers.  They are my neighbors and the neighbors of many folks throughout the US.  Let’s ban together and make ’06 the year that we put this to rest for the last time.

Maximizing Customer Acquisition in the Affiliate Business

As the online poker industry continues to envolve, it is important that poker affiliate programs continue to cater to the new needs of affiliates, which will subsequently unfold.  As new parts of the world discover the online poker business, it is becoming increasingly important that affiliates are equipped with the extra tools necessary to ensure that they too can reap the full rewards of this development.


      Whilst having the best poker site to promote is a good foundation for an affiliate it is by no means a guarantee of success.  There are many other aspects that come into play, and the affiliate program itself needs to be at least as good as the site, or sites, it is promoting
      Not are huge commissions a guarantee of higher earnings.  A massive CPA or revenue share does not equate to bigger payouts without the necessary backup and tools to ensure that this can happen – that the poker site can be marketed in the first place in the best way possible. 


      For this reason it is vital that the Affiliate Program itself offers you the all the tools support you need and then continues to follow through with much more.  So what does the ideal affiliate program have, and how can affiliates use these features to their advantage?
At PokerAffiliate.com we recognize the extent to which it is our affiliates themselves who have helped to make PokerRoom.com the hugely successful poker site that is it today.  Affiliates are as such regarded as partners and it is this mindset that has ensured that our program continues to improve and evolve.  It is this partnership that has been our formula for success 0 counterbalance between Account Managers and affiliates working side by side.
Affiliates do not necessarily need to know anything about poker in order to promote it, and this is where the Account Managers step in and assist.  It is certainly a benefit to understand the ins and outs of poker, but many successful affiliates work within entirely different industries altogether.

  What sets the Poker Affiliate.com Account Managers apart is that they all not only have a thorough understanding of marketing but also are poker aficionados themselves ensuring insight from both the players and affiliates side.

“Whilst having the best poker site to promote is a good foundation for an affiliate is  by no means a guarantee of success”

      Quality of site content is paramount, and an affiliate program should always have the marketing tools to maintain this.  A large Seller selection of banners work for different target audiences so you need to ensure that you pick the banner that is best suited to your potential players.  It is also important to create a number of trackers in order to accurately gauge what works and what doesn’t.  text links have proven to be best used in conjunction with banners and it is important to rotate your material over time.  Other features such as the inclusion of an executable file so that players can immediately  download the software and XML, and RSS tournament feeds are other features which can be incorporated.

     

With Poker Affiliate.com you can promote not only different features suited to different audiences suited to different audiences but also different poker sites, which are all dedicated to different audiences.   This allows greater scope to recruit players from all over the world
      PokerRoom.com offers not only the premier poker experience, but also a vibrant, full-scale casino, and affiliates can also earn from revenues made in blackjack and Caribbean Pirate Poker.  EuroPoker.com uses the same gaming platform as PokerRoom.com but the site is available in English, Spanish, German, Russian and Polish.  It also provides local language customer support and payment options. eCardroom.com is the world’s first Chinese poker site and allows for the opportunity to tap into a diverse and relatively untapped market.  HoldemPoker.com is a site especially designed for beginners and includes a comprehensive poker school and is the ideal choice for those new to poker.


      As the poker industry show no signs of a bating, the choice of promoting between several brands means that you will have the unique opportunity to choose to promote the brand which best suits the profile of visitors to your site.  By being able to selectively focus on particular audience niches, you can simultaneously promote several brands from within the same affiliate program.


      Together, the combination of promoting the leading online poker brands in the industry, backed up by an equally impressive affiliate business forward.  In an industry that is growing as fast as online poker it is vital for affiliates that the affiliate programs adapt to the changes and provide a greater range of marketing tools, more detailed statistics, and a direct line of communication as prerequisites for success.  PokerAffiliate.com, for example, has been re-launched again, each time after taking feedback from partners and adapting to the industry changes to ensure that the best for our partners.


      Maximizing customer acquisition requires symmetry-between promoting the best brands, with the best marketing tools, by hardworking affiliates, through the optimal affiliate program- and not least with the backup and support of skilled Account Managers.

 

 

 

 

 
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