The Bookmaker.eu Affiliate Program promotes Bookmaker (formerly Bookmaker.com), a very big Costa Rica-based betting company that faces the American market. You will see many big affiliates do promote them, but they are not the best choice for new, small or even medium-sized webmasters.
Bookmaker has a mixed image among affiliates because they have not always played fair. In this honest review of their affiliate program we will merely state the facts, so you can decide if you want to risk promoting them.
Negatives of Bookmaker’s Affiliate Program
- This firm requires that you have 10 active players per week (not month, but week) before requesting a payout. Now to get 10 active in one week could take a very long time for a new affiliate starting from scratch. You might need to refer over 100 players in a relatively short time to get that many to stick around for a while and play. Bear in mind, if you want to get paid then this level needs to be maintained every week. There is not a single other affiliate program with such a draconian term as this.
When Bookmaker.eu first introduced this criteria in 2008, they changed their terms and conditions retrospectively, doing smaller affiliates no favours at all. There had previously been no minimum and you did get paid on all your referrals, however few they were. Then they raised it to 10 required a month and now it is 10 active a week.
One affiliate we know had $14000 owed to him at the time they made this retrospective change and was not paid. That is little more than theft. They claimed those affiliates caught out should promote harder and then they would pay them. The problem is those affiliates took fright at this devious behavior, so many just waved goodbye to the money that was owed to them by the Bookmaker.eu affiliate program. Some affiliates accused the company of a scam.
- Then in early 2011 Bookmaker retrospectively removed all their poker players from affiliate accounts. These players were no longer tracked to affiliates. So if you had referred poker players to Bookmaker.com (as it was known then, before their .com domain was confiscated by America’s Department of Justice in May 2011) they would have been removed at a whim. A lot of affiliates accused Bookmaker.eu of being thieves.
- In July 2011 Bookmaker.eu upped their devious antics and started closing down active affiliate accounts and retaining the money owed to those affiliates. They also retained the players those affiliates had referred, ignoring the contractual obligation of lifetime earnings. Bookmaker took this action on the basis that the affiliates concerned “were not producing the way we had hoped.”
- This firm does have a history of being rude and inflexible. Their emails are unprofessional and, if you question them, they will become abusive. We experienced this first hand, albeit not from their affiliate manager but from someone higher up the food chain.
- If you do have 10 active players a week then affiliate payouts can be requested at the end of a month. They are now paid by Bitcoin only.
- In September 2016 the processing fees that are deducted from your affiliate monies due for a particular week (as their stats run from week-to-week despite now only paying calendar monthly) were raised to 16% of deposits. This makes it much harder to make any money from this program. This is a retrospective change as it negatively impacts on your entire player base.
- Bookmaker unlink referred players from affiliate accounts. If a player does not deposit within 60 days then that referral is removed and untagged. You can literally see your player base shrink on their rudimentary stats. That particular term exists in their terms and conditions, but a daily tracking of our own affiliate account suggests that players drop off even more readily than this. We know their affiliate manager actively tracks ‘removed accounts’ as this was visibly open on her computer screen in a screenshot she sent us about another matter.
The way the wind has been blowing with this program, everything has been getting more anti-affiliate, and not just against the small affiliates. Bookmaker.eu seems to see affiliates as a soft target when it comes to bolstering their profit margins, with a succession of changes that impact negatively on their partners.
Why do some big affiliates promote Bookmaker.eu?
Many affiliates have invested a lot of time and money marketing and promoting Bookmaker. They joined when Bookmaker.com was fairer in the way they managed their affiliate program. Since joining they may have sent them thousands of players over many years. These affiliates are not in a position to argue with the way heavy-handed way Bookmaker manages their affiliate program.
If the affiliates disagree too strongly or complain too vociferously then they risk falling out and losing all the players tracked to them. That is why so many affiliates can’t afford to say how badly they have been treated. We recognize, understand and appreciate the Catch 22 situation these existing affiliates are in. We don’t blame them as there is no other way forward. They just have to cross their fingers and hope that Bookmaker.eu does not scam them going forward.
That said, some of the largest affiliates should know better and continue to make exaggerated claims, for example SportsbookReview rates them A+. We find this disturbing, because while Bookmaker is just about fine for their clients at the moment, these large affiliates know full well that Bookmaker.eu has abused small and medium-sized affiliates and taken funds with dishonest and retrospective changes of terms. This fact alone, while not impacting on player experience, does send serious warning signals because if they can act dishonestly towards affiliates then the players are at risk too. To know that and still rate them A+ is disingenuous.
Should You Join The Bookmaker.eu Affiliate Program Now?
The positives are that Bookmaker.eu do play fair with their client-base at the moment. So if you refer players to them then they will not be ripped off. In fact Bookmaker take bigger bets than almost any other USA-facing sportsbook, which can be a big positive to an affiliate’s bankroll.
Other positives are that they accept clients from all US states and the only restricted nations are Costa Rica (where they operate from) and France.
You will have to consider that you will not get paid until you get 10 active players a week. That is a target that most affiliates could never achieve. Meanwhile the money owed to you could mount up to many thousands of dollars, but you would not be able to get your hands on it. So our advice would be that you only even consider promoting them if you already have incredibly good traffic.
There is also the issue of whether they will let you promote them at all. We read recently on a forum one very big USA-facing affiliate stating he can’t promote them as they don’t want him. It is as if their affiliate program is a closed shop at the moment. It is strange that they don’t really want new affiliates, but true. That really is just another reason to steer clear.
Ultimately the choice is yours, just go into any relationship with the Bookmaker.eu Affiliate Program with your eyes wide open and aware of their dubious actions. In our view, when looking at it from a new, small or medium-sized affiliate’s viewpoint, this is not a firm that can possibly be considered, so here at BettingAffiliatePrograms.com we have blacklisted them.
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Do not promote Bookmaker.eu. They are against nearly all affiliates. They only want huge affiliates and heaven help them if their traffic dies. Do not trust this sportsbook.