The second-quarter results of the listed affiliates were eagerly awaited as they were expected to provide a clear picture on how this sector of the gambling ecosystem had been impacted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
By and large, the results showed that affiliates had fared relatively well thanks to the heavy focus on casino among the large affiliates. In fact, rather than simply managing to cope with the crisis, the latest results shows that some thrived during it, with year-on-year revenue increases for almost all of the companies covered. The big exception was Better Collective due to its strong skew towards sports betting.
With sports having resumed across most of the world, there are already signs that the situation is returning to pre-crisis levels, with both casino and sports betting revenues moving back towards more historical norms.
There is also some optimism that the pandemic caused a greater portion of the gambling market to move online, and that this will be of long-term benefit to the industry.
One thing affiliates are perhaps less optimistic about is the increasing inevitability of affiliate licensing in European jurisdictions, especially the UK. But as several commentators opine in this report, this can bring benefits for affiliates.
The same is true of the gambling advertising restrictions that seem to be spreading across Europe. As the experience of some affiliates in Italy shows, even with restrictive measures in place there are opportunities for affiliates.
It’s harder to find the positives in bonus restrictions, however, with even the Swedish regulator conceding its Covid-19 induced bonus crackdown had possibly taken things a step too far. Add in the new bonus bans in Spain and it’s understandable that concern is mounting over the future of what has long been one of the most important tools in the affiliate toolkit.
Editorial director, iGB
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