iGaming: what is it and how to monetize the opportunity

The online gaming industry captivates a broad audience, encompassing various areas and categories. Among these, gambling games stand out, having been consolidated into a distinct vertical known as iGaming. This segment, while challenging to navigate for affiliate marketers, especially those new to the scene, presents a lucrative opportunity. As such, even those new to affiliate marketing are drawn to the iGaming industry, willing to take the risk for the significant rewards it promises. This guide dives into online betting, one of the most profitable and evergreen avenues within affiliate marketing.

What Is the iGaming Vertical

The iGaming vertical is a specific niche within the online gaming industry that focuses on online gambling. It includes offers such as online casinos, poker, slots, sports betting, and numerous other games involving real money. The players themselves prefer to use the term iGaming, as it falls under a more liberal category compared to traditional gambling; it doesn’t necessitate concealing activities from financial institutions and regulatory bodies. However, it’s important to note that gambling affiliate marketing falls into a gray area. Gambling promotion is either outright prohibited or heavily regulated by laws in many countries, and numerous traffic sources explicitly block advertisements for online casinos. As a result, in media buying, affiliate programs related to online casino games are conveniently called an iGaming vertical.

Participants in the iGaming market navigate several significant challenges:

  1. Verifying the age of users who download apps or register on platforms is a persistent issue. Due to age restrictions, launching applications in the iGaming niche has traditionally been difficult. Nevertheless, developers have devised solutions to overcome this hurdle, successfully allowing gambling products to make their mark on the stock market.
  2. The prohibition of Internet casinos in many regions and the stringent regulation of their activities where they are permitted pose considerable obstacles. Challenges come not only from blocked advertisements but also from measures like banning credit card deposits. As the niche’s revenue grows, so does the level of regulation, further complicating the development of the gaming industry, albeit without the power to halt its progress entirely.
  3. Serious competition within the iGaming vertical forces advertisers to increase investments in attracting new players. This intensifies the challenge for affiliate marketers, though it also presents an advantage since companies are prepared to pay well for traffic. High payouts in the online casino vertical mean affiliates must work harder to maintain a competitive edge.
  4. The issue of gambling addiction is particularly acute in online gaming compared to traditional, land-based establishments. With 24/7 Internet access and a smartphone, players are at an increased risk of developing gambling addictions, casting a shadow over the reputation of gambling companies and prompting stricter governmental regulations of the sector.
  5. Wherever significant sums of money are involved, fraud is a near certainty. Maintaining a fraud-free environment remains challenging, but technological advancements offer companies new solutions and better means to combat fraudulent activities.

iGaming and Gambling – How Do These Two Verticals Differ?

The difference between Gambling and iGaming, while subtle, is indeed significant. Gambling encompasses both offline and online betting activities. This broad category includes cloud gaming and physical establishments like slot machine venues, poker rooms, casinos, and bookmakers.

Internet gaming is a niche for exclusively virtual gambling. Simply put, this is a sub-vertical of gambling and betting – narrower and “lighter” as possible.

iGaming, on the other hand, is a niche for exclusively virtual gambling. It’s essentially a sub-vertical of gambling and betting, making it more niched and a bit “lighter.” 

Profitable Niches in The iGaming Vertical

The iGaming niche includes any gaming in which bets are made using electronic payment systems. Looking at this vertical from a broader perspective reveals numerous niches and subjects. Notably, it includes software developers for online casinos and gambling platforms, who play a crucial role as providers or suppliers of software for the iGaming industry.

But we are more interested in products that can generate profitable iGaming traffic. So, the online gambling niche includes the following groups of offers:

  • Online betting, where winning is a purely random event. These are slots, scratch cards, roulette, lotteries, and lotto bingo;
  • Crash games have been a recent trend in the iGaming vertical. Crash games feature a simple mechanism. An object moves along a trajectory with a coefficient that increases the player’s bet for one round. The player aims to secure their winnings while the object is in motion and before it falls;
  • Skill-based online games require the player to possess specific skills and logical thinking;
  • betting on sports events, fantasy sports, or e-sports;
  • card games (poker, bridge, blackjack);
  • dice, backgammon, chess.

Debates continue regarding the inclusion of online games from the latter category within the iGaming vertical. However, in practice, representatives from these niches are regularly seen at iGaming events. For affiliate marketers, the technical categorization is less critical than the game’s popularity and the potential profitability of its links. Understanding the nuances of the niche and effectively promoting such online games can result in significant revenue from media buying. 

Technologies Powering the iGaming Industry

The iGaming industry’s remarkable growth can be attributed to the evolution of digital culture and improvements in online payment systems. This niche leverages a variety of technologies to enhance user experience and operational efficiency, including:

  • Real-time servers are used to process a large amount of data that comes from players from different regions. In any online game, the responsiveness and speed of the gaming process are vital.
  • Databases that store information about players, their interests, account status, etc. This data is used for analysis, targeted advertising, and personalization of user experience. Data sets are often unstructured, so solutions such as NoSQL and the like are used here, providing good performance.
  • Security systems are needed to protect users’ personal and payment data through encryption, authentication, and tools to protect against cyber attacks.
  • Payment systems for quick account top-ups and withdrawals of winnings. These are online payment systems, credit and debit cards, and electronic and cryptocurrency wallets.
  • Blockchain technologies are used in the gaming industry to verify game results without intermediaries, which makes the platform transparent and increases user confidence. Cryptocurrency today has also become an object of betting; players can deposit not only their own or the fictitious currency of an online establishment but also Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, etc.
  • VR/AR technologies also expand the capabilities of the iGaming industry. Virtual reality allows players to feel like they are in a real casino and immerse themselves in the gaming process right at home. By the way, SlotsMillion has already presented a full-fledged VR casino. Augmented reality (AR) technologies help make the game more exciting through interactive elements and further adapt it to the gaming vertical.

Payment Models for the iGaming Vertical

Affiliate programs for iGames are an effective tool for attracting quality traffic to gaming offers. The advertiser prioritizes the acquisition of active players over mere lead generation. Therefore, the following payment models are relevant for the iGaming vertical – CPL, CPA, RevShare, Hybrid:

  • CPL – This model rewards affiliates for each lead generated, where a lead typically involves a user registering or downloading an application and logging in for the first time. The affiliate earns a commission for these initial actions.
  • CPA is a more popular payment model, where affiliates are compensated for specific user actions, most commonly known as the first deposit (First-Time Deposit). The affiliate may receive a percentage of the deposit or a fixed rate set by the direct advertiser or affiliate network.
  • RevShare is a long-term format for generating income from iGaming traffic. Partners who bring active players to an online casino receive a percentage of the amount they spend as long as they remain active on the platform.
  • Hybrid – this pricing model allows you to combine earnings from RevShare and the CPA model.

How to Drive Traffic to Games in the iGaming Vertical

Successfully directing traffic towards games catering to the gambling audience involves a strategic approach, starting with selecting a suitable offer bundle. We would like to remind you that it’s important to start by choosing the right GEO for the offer and selecting a gaming affiliate that aligns with the selected GEO.

In the iGaming niche, it is easier to make money on offers with the following criteria:

  • a short and clear form for registering a new player;
  • landing and pre-landing in a local language provided by an affiliate network or direct advertiser;
  • bonuses, promotions, and free spins;
  • a simple application that loads quickly and easily and does not contain technical errors;
  • the ability to “push” users who installed the product but did not complete the target action.

Most affiliate networks are open to various creative strategies for promoting iGaming offers and typically allow traffic from different sources. One of the key benefits of using classic and inPage push notifications is the direct and transparent advertising method. 

Advertising Creatives for iGaming Offers

Most traffic sources are relevant for offers with online betting. Online betting offers are generally applicable across most traffic sources, yet direct advertising of iGaming offers is often restricted, and some channels may not yield efficient returns on investment. For instance, while contextual advertising can attract targeted traffic, the associated costs might outweigh the benefits.

The exception is advertising networks such as TacoLoco, where you can buy quality traffic from more than 200 countries at $0.001 per click.

Different formats are suitable for promoting iGaming offers through advertising networks:

Push marketing, when paired with iGaming, has consistently delivered impressive results over the years, standing out as one of the niche’s simplest and most effective investment strategies.

The following approaches work well in advertising creatives for promoting online gambling:

As icons, use the logo of the promoted brand, icons of a new message from popular instant messengers or social networks, and images of slots.

A successful visual starts with a high-quality, well-thought-out picture – it should interest and encourage you to pay attention to the accompanying text and then click to go to the next stage of the funnel. Therefore, in the main image, focus users’ attention on:

  • promotions, welcome bonuses, free spins;
  • limited offer availability period;
  • strong emotional reactions from winning;
  • attributes of a luxurious life – money, cars, beautiful men and women;
  • memes, game characters, and images of simply happy people.

The text component of your creative should resonate with the target audience by including references to regionally relevant events and well-known local figures. Combining such tailored content with a high-quality pre-lander featuring compelling storytelling can significantly boost your link’s conversion rate.

Opt for a straightforward and engaging title. Intrigue plays a lesser role in this context; it’s more about clearly communicating the offer’s benefits to the user.

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When leveraging your landing pages without ready-made options from the gaming affiliate, incorporating game widgets like a Wheel of Fortune or slots can significantly enhance user engagement. Motivating users to take the desired action with the promise of bonuses, free spins, and other incentives is a powerful strategy. To further engage your target audience, consider using a pre-landing page that tells a compelling story about an ordinary individual – be it a housewife or an office worker—who struck it rich by playing the game. The allure of someone else’s success can be highly motivating, prompting people to chase after the same thrilling experience.

Working with different types of traffic, launch separate advertising campaigns for mobile and desktop traffic. The bids for them are different. The audience parameters and approaches to PC and mobile device users are also not identical. By dividing campaigns, you can spend your advertising budget more efficiently and optimize your bundles more easily.

Why is It Worth Promoting iGaming Offers?

The allure of promoting iGaming offers is often attributed to the pandemic’s push toward online platforms in 2020. The journey of online casinos began three decades ago and evolved in sync with technological advancements.

  • In 1994, the first iGaming licenses were issued in Antigua and Barbuda. Concurrently, Microgaming launched the first-ever software for online casino games, setting the stage for the digital gambling industry, and two years later, the first bet was made at InterCasino.
  • In 1998, the first online poker room, Planet Poker, opened its doors.
  • By 2000, global online gaming industry revenue exceeded $2 billion, and the number of players reached 8 billion people.
  • In 2003, the 888.com project was launched – one of today’s most popular gambling platforms.
  • In 2010, there were more than 860 online casinos worldwide, and the number of bets from mobile devices began to grow rapidly (more than $10 billion).
  • In 2022, the revenues of the online gambling industry amounted to $63.53 billion. At the end of 2023, it will be $92.9 billion, and by 2032, it will reach $184.28 billion.

This forecast justifies the desire of affiliates to join this particular vertical despite all the difficulties it might have.

Prospects for Mobile iGaming

Today, not only land-based gambling establishments are slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past. The landscape of gaming is transforming, with mobile platforms taking the lead. In 2019, there were approximately the same number of bets from PCs as from mobile devices. This ratio is now clearly dominated by mobile betting, and by the end of 2024, desktop will account for just over 38% of bets, and mobile will account for almost 62%.

The reasons behind this shift are clear. Online gamers, constrained by the need to be mobile, cannot remain tethered to their computers. The convenience of a smartphone, with its omnipresent internet access, perfectly caters to the needs of the active player. Mobile applications enhance this convenience by streamlining gameplay and simplifying the deposit process through easy payment card linking.


We looked at iGaming, a vertical that continues to surge in popularity and investment and drive the development of new technologies. The niche is promising and beneficial for all participants. Despite facing challenges, the iGaming industry’s trajectory suggests these will likely be resolved in the near future. For an affiliate marketer well-versed in the nuances of iGaming and its revenue potential, neither competition nor advertising restrictions pose insurmountable obstacles. Now might be the perfect opportunity for you to try your luck in online betting!

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