Jeremy Enke, founder of Poker Affiliate Listings, leads the debate on future forecasts for a regulated US market from the affiliate perspective.

There has never been such uncertainty amongst gambling affiliates and operators as there is now - after the US Department of Justice shut down and seized the domains of the world’s top four online poker companies. There is a great deal of speculation about what the landscape of online gambling will look like in a highly regulated and technologically advancing iGaming industry.

This uncertainty is especially concerning to both poker and casino affiliates trying to plan a long-term strategy moving into the New Year. Many of these affiliates have spent years building their affiliate businesses and rely on the revenues they earn through the various poker and casino affiliate programs in question.

There is no question that US regulation would undoubtedly legitimise the online gambling industry. However, the potential impact on affiliates remains unknown. Most affiliates believe that in a regulated environment, US land-based casinos will play a much more significant role.

In fact, several US casinos have already begun positioning themselves for a future regulated online gambling market and, more specifically, online poker.

For example, South Point Casino has launched an online poker room, however, only for play-money at this point. Likewise, we are starting to see more alliances between the powerhouses in the online gambling space and the larger land- based casino companies. Recently, casino operators MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming also unveiled a plan to partner with online gaming company bwin. party (Digital Entertainment).

With the inevitable emergence of bricks and mortar casinos entering the online gaming space, there is no doubt that the role affiliates play in the industry will be significantly changing. Unlike many start¬up online brands in the past, these newly regulated online gambling destinations backed by the world largest casino operators will have powerful marketing departments supporting them. Not to mention, most will have an existing robust customer database to market to both online and offline.
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