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. There had previously been no minimum and you did get paid on all your referrals. 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. They claimed those affiliates caught out should promote harder and then they would pay them. The problem is those affiliates took fright at this 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 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. We experienced this first hand, albeit not from their affiliate manager but from someone much higher up.
- If you do have 10 active players a week then affiliate payouts can be requested in the first week of the following month. Payments are by Bitcoin only, which is becoming the norm for US-facing sportsbooks.
- 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 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.
The way the wind was blowing with this program, everything had been getting more anti-affiliate, and not just against the small affiliates. Bookmaker.eu seemed to see affiliates as a soft target when it came to bolstering their profit margins, with a succession of changes that impacted negatively on their partners. The good news is that things have settled down recently.
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 has historically managed 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 poorly 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 fine for their clients, these large affiliates know full well that the firm has caused hardship to small and medium-sized affiliates in the past. This fact alone, while not impacting on player experience, does send 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. 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.
As touched upon, lately things have settled down and there have been no more nasty retrospective changes. If you do meet the criteria then they pay out monthly in a regular and reliable fashion and you can certainly earn good money with them. Their affiliate manager is responsive and helpful.
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.
Reading this review, you may be surprised to hear that we do currently promote Bookmaker, but our client base is now up to a point where the criteria of 10 active players a week isn’t a factor. Nevertheless, we are always worried because we know they have a horrible history of changing the rules.
So, back to the point, should you promote them? 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 amount 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. Otherwise it could be a long wait to achieve the levels needed to get paid and you might never get there – leading to unnecessary stress and frustration.
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.
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 questionable past 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 really 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.