AFFILIATE SPOTLIGHT: ARE WE SEEING A DECLINE IN ONLINE CASINOS IN THE UK?
The amount of UK Casinos appear to be decreasing in the UK. After a run on brands closing their UK casino offerings we take a closer look with the help of casino industry expert New-Casinos.uk who have shared their casino data here.
To start with, we looked back on the site to see just how many casino reviews have been added in 2019, and compared it to their overview of content updated in 2018 and saw a decrease of 22% year on year.
So should affiliates be worried at the decline of new brands?
While the year is not yet complete, we can already see worrying signs that the UK market is slowing down for new brand launches and this is attributed to market saturation and tighter regulation. Last year alone New Casinos UK had covered 87 new brand releases. This year only up to 68.
Firstly was 2018 an anomaly, with 96 new casino brands launching in a twelve month period or is it a trend that cannot continue due to market forces that limit brands and regulation more strictly?
A deep dive into the statistics from 2017 to 2019 gives more context
To make sense of the overall trends, or at least get a bit of context, we looked into the overall data for all the three last years. The first thing we see is that 2018 saw an increase, the overall tally going from 90 in 2017 to 96 in 2018.
2019: 68 (so far)
These numbers are still fairly close, and not divergent. 68, or 75, or whatever the final tally will be, would still be worrying if the previous year had 90 releases. In that case the decline would still have been 17%, which is 82 releases at this same point, 2 years ago. Over the first 10 months this year, 64 casinos were released. This in an average of 6.4 new casinos, and would imply that the final tally of 2019 will be 76-77.
In 2018 the average was 8, in 2017 the average was 7.5. This is a difference in more than one to almost two new casinos a month. If we are indeed looking at a general decline of approximately 15-20% of New UK casinos, what consequences will this have for the affiliate industry.
What does this mean for affiliates seeking to focus on new casinos?
While fresh offers and new brands to promote will certainly impact your ability to re-monetise your audience you needn’t be worried just yet. The question actually becomes harder for operators to manage in their overall program strategy. The point is, if there are this many new casino brands launching each year, will each of them still be able to grow their revenue stream without a similar amount of new casino affiliates launching new traffic sources at the same pace to partner with?
Also how will this impact M&A – for affiliates who wish to consolidate their business and and purchase competitor brands. How will it impact pricing?
The main concern all affiliates focusing on new UK casinos must acknowledge is that a difference of 15-20% of casinos will affect some of their products. It may not affect actual revenue or user interaction just yet as the margin is very small, but it does mean your users will have less choice and need to be retained longer – so thinking about how your business can do this is going to be key.
With more brand saturation in the market, earnings may indeed decline, and we are left with new games releases having increased interest and being a stronger focus point for content marketing strategies. So re-aligning your marketing and SEO might need some tweaking too
We will not know if this is a new normal, or a balance to the increase of casinos last year, for some time yet. 2020 may very well bounce back and give us more new UK casino launches than before, or continue to decrease. Only time will tell.