ROMANIA AND THE AFFILIATE OPPORTUNITY


Move your visitors from awareness to action.


ROMANIA has a long-standing gambling heritage, beginning in 1906 with the formation of the national lottery, Loteria Romana, right through to 1990, when gambling in Romania finally achieved legal status (the first casino opening a year later). Today, the country boasts two dozen large scale casinos and over 25,000 gaming machines found in arcade halls, coffee shops and other prime locations. Sportsbetting is also fully legal with high street betting shops commonplace in most major Romanian cities. Romania's gambling culture has matured quickly and although regulation is fairly new, the strength of the industry serves as a robust platform for a promising future.

With 22 million inhabitants and an Internet penetration of more than 40 percent. Romania has the potential to become a goldmine for online businesses. Currently, the online gambling market is worth more than Ђ600 million - this is how much an approximate 300,000 Romanian users gambled online in 2010 alone, emphasising just how the Romanian market has boomed in the past few years.

The continuous growth of affiliate marketing in Romania

The growth in the market in recent years has been stark, with more than 10,000 websites and blogs related to gambling appearing on the Internet. The majority specialise in three areas: sportsbook (mainly football and tennis), casino (blackjack, roulette, etc) and poker, while skill games such as backgammon and rummy are very popular and are well-searched terms on Google.

Most of the webmasters in Romania are men aged between 18 and 50, with 90 percent of them conversant in English. Indeed, a number of Romanian webmasters are recognised as among the finest in Europe, constructing quality websites and blogs with modern, stylish design and layout combined with good content. Nevertheless, a degree of education and direction is still required on their parts in relation to building traffic and increasing conversion rates.

Based on a personal analysis of the Romanian affiliate marketing, it can be categorised in the following four ways:

• 1) A large percentage of Romanian webmasters are likely to attract more traffic from Google by applying a good SEO strategy to increase organic results, or by using link building strategies that improve search engine rankings from good quality sites. Such affiliates are fanatical about ranking first in Google and invest a lot of money in buying the traffic needed to achieve supremacy. This is worthwhile investment, as they will potentially achieve a high ROI.

• 2) Secondly, many webmasters are beginners using different social media channels to achieve a high public exposure with minimum investment. This is done via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln and YouTube, helping their community to grow as the contacts spread the word. Writing good content keeps existing followers curious and ensures they come back.

• 3) Some affiliates own databases of gaming-related email addresses which, together with an attractive bonus for their players and the right email marketing software, results in high conversion rates - in gaming terms, this popular method is called 'Kit-emailing'.

• 4) Finally, combining some or all of the three methods listed above.

As previously mentioned, the majority of Romanian affiliates are English speaking which makes it easier for them to construct their websites according to international market standards. English equivalents to gambling-related terms in Google (the most used search engine in Romania) are:

Sportsbook

'Pariuri sportive' (sportsbetting); 'pronosticuri sportive online' (sport picks online); 'biletul zilei' (ticket of the day); 'biletul zilei pariuri' (betting ticket of the day); 'pariuri sportive online' (online sports betting); and 'bonus pariuri' (bonus bet).

Casino

Free casinos games, along with no deposit casino.

Poker

'Poker online' (online poker) and 'free poker' (poker gratis).

Sportsbetting (namely football or tennis), poker (Texas Hold'em) and casino games such as blackjack and roulette are the most common online gambling activities in Romania and are played regularly by the Romanian people. This suggests to all operators and affiliates considering
Romania as a potential market that focusing on these three products will return the highest results.

Google holds the majority of search engine market share in Romania. Based on a 30 day analysis carried out on one of the top Romanian sportsbook sites in the midst of the football season, the number of Google searches looks very interesting:

Keyword Number of searches

4) 'Pariuri sportive' (sports betting) 120,000
2) 'Biletul zilei' (ticket of the day) 100,500
3) 'Biletul zilei pariuri' (betting ticket of the day) 15,100
4) 'Pariuri sportive online' (online sports betting) 8,600

• Total: 244,200 searches over 30 days resulting in and average of 8,140 visitors per day.

If a Romanian site can rank in Google's top search results using one of the four keywords mentioned above, it can achieve around 5,000 unique visitors per day, with a CTR (click through rate) of two percent. In the case of sportsbetting reaching an average of 100 betting players per day, a webmaster's potential daily commission earnings can sit anywhere between Ђ800 and Ђ1,000.

Opportunity for foreign operators to invest in the Romanian market

The Romanian market holds plenty of opportunities for foreign operators. Many gambling brands currently provide websites in the Romanian language, directly targeting local consumers.

Although online gambling is not yet regulated in Romania, there are moves afoot to bring legislation on board, which will underline the country's suitability as a desirable market for any expanding online gaming company. The new entrants should look at the ways Romanian people use the Internet to search for gambling-related subjects and implement a search engine optimisation strategy that make their sites visible and more user-friendly.

Having the opportunity to invest in and enter this promising market together with a professional team that understands its specifics, supported by a sufficient budget allocation and sound strategy will potentially result in a decent return on investment and ultimate growth in this region.
 
printer friendly create pdf of this news itememail to someone
  Login to rate