Online Gaming for Profit: 1
While living in Las Vegas, I became interested in promoting online gaming. As a logical way of diversifying my adult site's revenue stream, it was an option that deserved serious consideration.
Although I had concerns over the possible legal ramifications, I couldn't help but notice that many of the most popular 'mainstream' sites were launching online gaming pop-ups whenever I visited. This practice has been going on for a long time, so these sites MUST be profiting from those ads — and doing so in a legally 'comfortable' environment:
Seeing gambling's addictive nature reflected in the faces of those habitual players seated at the slot and 'video poker' machines found at almost every gas station, supermarket, and convenience store in Las Vegas, I began thinking... Couple this behavior with the frenzied, repetitive motions of tourists pissing away their life savings in this neon wonderland and you quickly realize that online gaming may be better than porn at turning a buck in today's saturated marketplace.
While I am not into gambling, I am not totally immune to its appeal either. One night my new wife and I strolled happily down Fremont Street, enjoying a couple of tasty ice cream cones, and the overhead light and music show. I pulled a shiny quarter from my pocket, and wandered into one of the many small casinos lining both sides of the street. Slipping the polished metal piece into a glowing 'one-armed bandit' I pulled the handle down, and the wheels of fortune began spinning. Lights flashed, bells rang, and the magical sound of money falling into the payout slot announced to the world that I was now $40 richer than I was a few moments ago! Welcome to Paradise:
Several 99¢ Margaritas and a few hours of play later (sometimes winning, most times losing, but all the while enjoying the process) we went home, and I was still $10 richer than when I had gone out that night. Damn, no wonder some people like gambling so much... If only there was a way that I could profit from all this: If only there was a way to share this level of excitement with my site's visitors. "Why don't you add a casino to your site?" my sweet gypsy girl inquired. Hmm: Now there's an idea! But HOW?
Fate once again intervened with the arrival of the next morning's email. There in my inbox was a colorful little mailing from CEN promoting their "Casino Traffic" program. Talk about great timing. With a variety of sites to promote, this hot program pays up to $75 per signup (there is a pay-per-click option, but I usually prefer per-signup). One program that I found especially appealing was their Lotto site, as one concern that I would have as a lotto player is the voracity of the program: How do I know that it's legit? Well, the winning number is the same as drawn by the NY Lottery, meaning that you can easily verify the actual winning numbers, eliminating any potential for fraud! With a million dollar weekly payout, sales should be easy, and so I signed up for this program.
Could it really be this easy? Could I just slap up a few banners and FPA's and suddenly be a profit-making part of the multi-billion dollar gaming industry? Perhaps, but I wanted to know more. So I thought that I would dig a little deeper into online gaming for profit:
I wanted to approach the issue of online gaming from the viewpoint of my potential customer. What was the prospect first exposed to when he or she made their first tentative steps into this uncertain world? To find out, I typed "? Online Casinos" into MS Internet Explorer's address bar, and began following several of the links resulting from my query. I was quickly overwhelmed by the variety of options available to me, and looked for a little guidance. http://www.onlinecasinonews.com was the first site that seemed it could help, and indeed it did. A reasonable reference guide for both "players" and webmasters alike, it provided my first real glimpse at this burgeoning industry and the various factors affecting it today. A wide variety of free "play for fun" games are readily available here (and you thought MS Window's Solitaire was a time vampire!)
My next stop was http://www.casinostrategy.com, a revealing look at some of the messages targeted towards gamers and the psychology of marketing to these prospects. These folks market a guide to increasing your odds at Internet casinos and they seemed to have hit upon a \sound concept. Once again, these people are not just promoting their casinos of choice, but are also offering a "value added" product to losers who really want to become winners. A psychologically powerful approach and great "out of the box" thinking that should pay off handsomely for them.
Hitting the jackpot
I then found the gaming site that seemed to be exactly what I was looking for: Casino Ranking. This valuable resource site not only provides lots of useful information for gamers, but extensive webmaster resources designed to educate you and help you profit from online gaming promotion. They provide information on all types of online gaming programs, rank the top casinos, and offer help for WebTV, Mac, and AOL users. A wide variety of free "play for fun" games are readily available here (and you thought MS Window's Solitaire was a time vampire!) as well as many other features. I recommend that you visit this site before you begin promoting online casinos. What you learn here may be the difference between success and failure.
While there are many factors involved in promoting online casinos as well as other forms of Internet gaming, it is clear to me that it is a profitable venue worth exploring. I'll be taking a much more in-depth look into the various opportunities that web gaming presents to adult webmasters, and the best methods of integrating these opportunities into your current marketing mix. In my next installment, I will show you several of the different types of gaming programs available, and how to choose the best sponsor.
Remember: 'Vegas wasn't built on winners,' but YOU can be a winner if you incorporate online gaming into your marketing mix. Give it a try, and see for yourself! ~ Stephen