Media Affiliate Gaming License Cost in the US

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The increasing interest in the booming legal US online gambling has led foreign investors to seek affiliate gambling licenses. This enable them to direct traffic to US-based gaming operations and receive a significant reward in return.

Entering the US market as an affiliate can be challenging, due the unique licensing requirements from state to state. However, obtaining a license is just one aspect that affiliates should consider.

For those interested in participating in an online casino and sports betting market, affiliating is the quickest and easiest option.

This article aims to provide information on the licensing requirements and procedures for online gaming affiliates. Is particularly viable in states that have already legalized online gambling or will do so within the next 12-18 months.

We can help you obtain your Gambling License

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Independent operators who refer new customers to established gambling websites are known as gaming affiliates. You can receive payment for promoting the casino’s gaming through your own website and direct marketing campaigns, whenever someone clicks on a link that has your unique identification.

What is the primary draw for affiliates?

Affiliates get a chance to participate in the massive boom in online gaming occurring in the US. Right now, there are just the eight states that have already established online gambling operations:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia.

,and more states open to this field.

Another 23 states are on the brink, with legislation either waiting for approval, or investigations underway for drafting the required laws.

Considering the size of the US in terms of both population and spending power, the potential for affiliates is huge, and the number of foreign participants looking to climb aboard the American market will increase exponentially.

This makes it important to get a foot in the door as early as possible.

How easy is it to become an affiliate from outside the continental US?

There are many obstacles to overcome, which is why you need to get professional help from experienced consultants.

Corporate requirements

In the licensing process, as in chess, it is critical to think several moves ahead. By filing a state gaming application, you are submitting yourself/your business to the jurisdiction of that state and the requirements for conducting business in that state.

While the gaming regulations and applications in various states may not specifically spell it out, conducting business in each state entails compliance with a host of non-gaming specific requirements, including those related to foreign qualifications and registered agents.

Failing to accurately and comprehensively meet these obligations can impact your gaming licence process in one or more states, your ability to sell down the line and much more.

Gaming licensing requirements

While this is the chess piece most affiliates understand the best, tackling gaming licensure submissions in a highly organized fashion is key to speed-to-market and the long game.

Seeing the whole board requires affiliates to be keenly aware of requirements well beyond the application stage, particularly relating to notification and renewal requirements.


Affiliates must also understand their tax reporting obligations vis-à-vis their sports betting and online gaming operations in each state.

Conducting business in a state often necessitates certain tax reporting obligations in that state, even when you owe no tax.

Further, there are US federal tax reporting obligations associated with a marketing affiliate business.

What are the principles of affiliate programs

Affiliates work to promote activity for US-based associates by posting material on:

  • their own website
  • through social media

promoting online gambling that will channel potential gamblers through to the service portal of their associate.

With our assistance, you will be able to get an affiliate gaming license in the state that you choose in the shortest possible time and at the lowest cost.

How do media affiliates license holders get rewarded?

Companies that have negotiated gaming affiliate or media affiliate licenses with US-based casinos generally agree on receiving reward for the traffic in one of two possible ways:

Cost per acquisition (CPA) pays a fixed fee once a new customer who has been channeled through to the gaming portal signs up and follows through with specified actions. Typically, these actions are making a deposit of a minimum amount and making a certain number of bets. The purpose of these steps is to prevent customers from making new accounts without taking any actions. This costs the casino the CPA, and the free games that are offered to new accounts as incentive to onboard.

Revenue sharing is calculated on the profit that the gaming site earns from the wagers placed by the channeled customer. The media license holder earns for as long as the customer remains on the gaming sites books. It is similar to the gross gaming revenue (GGR) taxation system that most jurisdictions use to tax online gaming companies. The affiliate’s proportion of the GGR is fixed by the agreement between the casino and the affiliate.

What is an Online Casino Affiliate license?

In the states where online betting is legal, affiliates require a license issued by the state’s gaming or gambling board. Other states do not require media affiliate licenses. Let our experts here at Szilaghi Consulting help you find out all the requirements for the state of your choice.

What does a gambling affiliate license cost?

Almost all gambling affiliate programs can be joined without up-front payment to the casino. However, in some states, licensing fees are charged. At the start of 2022, these states are:

StateProcessDescriptionRequired forCost
ArizonaApproved, awaiting further action by regulatorsSports betting regulations require all affiliates to apply for licenses to promote online sportsbooks. The Arizona Department of Gaming requires applicants to start the licensing process by completing an inquiry form for all levels of event wagering licenses.  After the Department receives the inquiry form it will send the ‘ancillary suppliers’ licensing form to the prospective affiliate. The Department of Gaming charges a $1,500 initial licensing fee and $500 renewal fee for affiliates.Only sportsbooks$1,500 initially plus $500 for each renewal
ArkansasOnly physical sportsbooks permittedThere is no online wagering in the state.  
ColoradoFull mobile betting with multiple optionsSports betting affiliates are required to apply for one of two types of licenses from the Limited Gaming Control Commission. Affiliates who provide marketing services for operators on a CPA basis must acquire a vendor minor license which involves filling out a relatively simple form and paying a $350 registration fee. Affiliates who wish to provide marketing services on a revenue share basis must acquire a vendor major license. The Division of Gaming bills applicants $77 per hour spent by investigators for conducting background checks along with all expenses incurred by investigators during the investigation. The vendor major license costs $1,200 licensing fee plus a $10,000 background check deposit.retail and online sports betting, fantasy sports (DFS)CPA (vendor minor) license –  $350 – Revenue share ( vendor major ) – $1,200 &  charges for background checks
DelawareOnly physical sportsbooks permittedDelaware’s lottery-run sports betting market still prohibits online betting  
IllinoisFull mobile betting with multiple options (in-person sign up required)Illinois will require sports betting affiliates to acquire licenses. State law does not specifically state that affiliates need to be licensed but regulations outline five different types of licenses needed for operators, suppliers, and other key employees. Among those five types is a Supplier License which can be applied to any other purveyor of goods data or services to a master sports wagering licensee. No licensee may enter into an agreement with a third party to conduct advertising or marketing on behalf of or to the benefit of the licensee when compensation is dependent on or related to the volume or outcome of wagers  
IndianaFull mobile betting with multiple optionsIndiana licenses sports betting affiliates for CPAs through a simple application criminal background check and a $500 application fee. Indiana may introduce a second licensing tier for affiliates who wish to promote betting sites on a rev share basis.vendor registration formCPA license –  $500 – Revenue share not yet available
IowaFull mobile betting with multiple optionsIowa legalized retail sportsbooks and mobile betting in 2019. State law does not address marketing affiliates. In response to an inquiry the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission said this: Currently the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) is not licensing marketing affiliates or payment processors.  However licensed operators need to provide a list of companies they are partnering with to IRGC and the licensed operator may be required to submit qualifying contracts to IRGC for approval.  Certain services on the platform may also require lab certification. $45,000 for the first year to get an initial license and a renewal fee of $10,000 annually
Louisiana  Sports bettingFree – subject to issue of a non-gaming supplier permit
MichiganFull mobile betting with multiple optionsLaw establishes two licensing classes for affiliates. Affiliates who receive compensation on a flat fee basis must register with the state as vendors. Vendor registration includes filling out an application and submitting a nonrefundable $200 application fee. Registrants must also certify that they do not promote or market illegal online sportsbooks to Michigan residents. Affiliates who operate on a revenue share basis must hold sports betting supplier licenses. Supplier licenses include a $2,500 nonrefundable application fee background check, $5,000 licensing fee and $2,500 annual fee.Sports bettingCPA registration $200 Revenue share – $2,500 registration & $5,000 for first year, $2,500 for renewal
MississippiRestricted to “In-person online” betting.The state technically has mobile wagering, but you can only place bets while inside a casino. The initial retail sports betting legislation was passed as a corollary to a fantasy sports bill at a time when the federal ban appeared unlikely to be lifted.  
MontanaRestricted to “In-person online” betting.Montana officially started taking bets in March 2020 with a sports betting app run by the company that runs the state lottery. This government-run monopoly keeps out other top sportsbooks and can jeopardize competitive prices. It also only works in licensed gaming properties.  
NevadaFull mobile betting with multiple options (in-person sign up required)Mobile sports betting is limited by in-person registration which hampers the effectiveness of online marketing. Meanwhile the online poker market is limited to a single operator The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) at one point stated it would require online poker affiliates to apply for licenses. Caesars Affiliates allows affiliates to promote WSOP Nevada on a CPA basis after filling out a simple online application.  
New HampshireRestricted to one mobile betting optionDraftKings is the sole mobile operator in the state  
New JerseyFull mobile betting with multiple optionsIf you’re wanting a revenue share you need to get an Ancillary CSIE license which requires significantly more information about the affiliate and incurs a non-refundable $2,000 fee.CPA – casino vendor license – Revenue share – casino ancillary license.CPA registration –  free (application being made by a registered casino) – Revenue share $2,000 application fee
New MexicoOnly physical sportsbooksNo bills have been passed, but Native American tribes have interpreted that sportsbooks are legal at tribal casinos under existing state-tribal gaming compacts.  
New YorkOnly physical sportsbooks; online launch pending in 2022New York has retail sports betting at a handful of upstate commercial and tribal casinos  
North CarolinaOnly physical sportsbooksthe state is expected to consider statewide mobile wagering in 2021  
OregonOne mobile betting optionThe state lottery could begin taking bets without a separate act of the legislature. The state lottery app took its first bet in 2019, but with only one legal mobile wagering option  
PennsylvaniaFull mobile betting with multiple optionsLike NJ there are two licensing models in Pennsylvania – one for CPA and one for revenue share agreements. In both cases affiliates are required to get fingerprinted and go through an extensive background check. Affiliates who wish to promote PA sports betting and gambling sites must apply to become a registered gaming services provider. This comes with a $500 application fee, an additional fee of $60 for each direct and indirect owner of 10% or more and a $2,500 registration fee (renewable every 5 years). Registering to become an approved CPA affiliate in Pennsylvania is a much more in-depth process than doing so in New Jersey and more expensive. Affiliates who wish to apply for licenses to promote PA gambling sites on a rev share basis must become a certified gaming services provider. This involves a more in-depth and expensive background investigation than what is required to promote on a CPA basis. Becoming a certified gaming services provider involves larger fees: $2,500 application fee, $500 for each of the applicant’s holding companies, $1000 for each key employee or principal, $5,000 initial licensing fee.CPA – gaming services provider’s licenseCPA registration –  $500 application fee (plus  $60 for every shareholder owning 10% or more of the company) & $2,500 registration fee, renewable every 5 years
Rhode IslandOne mobile betting optionHas legal sports betting since 2018 when retail sportsbooks opened at its two commercial casinos.  William Hill (now owned by Caesars) is the only legal retail and online sportsbook in the state.  
TennesseeFull mobile betting with multiple optionsSince it has no casinos, Tennessee is the only state that has online-only sports betting. Tennessee requires affiliates to fill out a Vendor Registration Form and pay a $500 fee to cover the cost of the investigation. The Vendor Registration Form asks applicants for basic information such as name and address, business name, summary of intended services to be supplied to operators, information on any other gaming permits held by the applicant, criminal history, bankruptcy or insolvency history, ongoing litigation and copies of the businesses articles of incorporation or other legal documents related to the formation of the business. Tennessee requires affiliates to fill out a Vendor Registration Form and pay a $500 fee to cover the cost of the investigation.Vendor registration for sports bettingLicense is free, with $500 application cost
Virginia  sports betting, fantasy sports (DFS)$500 on application – renewable every 3 years
West VirginiaFull mobile betting with multiple optionsSports betting affiliates must apply for a supplier license and pay a $1,000 registration fee payable to the West Virginia Lottery. Applicants must also acquire a WV State Tax Department Business Registration Number and a WV Secretary of State Certificate of Authorization both of which can be applied for online.sports betting$1,000 on registration

Despite federal law prohibiting online gambling in the USA, individual states have their own laws and regulations for granting online gambling licenses to casinos. The aforementioned states have established a strong foundation of online casinos and sports betting operators, who are actively seeking to attract players through the use of affiliate marketers.


What are the necessary legal requirements for starting a gaming affiliate website?

The requirements for obtaining an online gambling license as an affiliate vary between states in the USA. In most states, the affiliate must be an incorporated legal entity, with an address within the state. However, some states have additional requirements. In New Jersey, the affiliate must register their website as a complementary or ancillary casino service industry enterprise (CSIE).

Similarly, Pennsylvania has regulations for their affiliate gaming license that are similar to those of New Jersey. The affiliates choosing the CPA option require a gaming services provider’s license, and affiliates choosing the rev share require a casino ancillary license.

In Louisiana, affiliates earning over $200,000 must obtain a Non-Gaming Supplier Permit from the Board. If you’re planning to start an affiliate gaming business, you can benefit from our services in setting up your operation. We have a highly experienced team specializing in this sector, with years of experience.

What are the steps to begin a casino affiliate website?

Before your affiliate website can begin operating, there are several steps that you need to take. Firstly, you should select a specific gambling operator that you want to work with. Then, you need to comply with the legal requirements for setting up a company in the casino’s home state and obtain any necessary licenses, permits, and documentation.

Once you have completed the legal requirements, you can focus on building your online presence. With a website you will attract gamers and incentivize them to click on your promotional links to the affiliated casino. Marketing for gambling websites follows the same principles as other internet campaigns. It should emphasize elements such as lead nurturing, mobile optimization, social media marketing, and engaging content.

What is an online gambling affiliate?

An online gambling affiliate earns rewards when a visitor performs a click-through action to a gambling website. To do this, the affiliate must promote gambling on its own website and through direct marketing campaigns.

The rewards from the gambling website can be a fixed amount for each new click-through (Cost per acquisition) or a percentage of each customer’s total revenue for the casino.

How can Szilaghi Consulting help you start your online gambling business?

Choosing a gambling licensing jurisdiction is quite difficult, to begin with. Given the sheer number of factors that need to be considered by gambling operators, the choice can be overwhelming.

Szilaghi Consulting has been providing services to the online and offline gambling industry for over 19 years. We have helped our clients to make the right choices, realize their visions, overcome obstacles, and, above all, to succeed. We offer transparency and efficiency and we commit to always act only in your interest.

Our experience in obtaining online and offline gambling licenses differentiates us from the competition. Szilaghi Consulting can assist, from incorporating the company, creating fiscal and compliance structures, to obtaining the gambling license.

Our consultants invite you to schedule a consultation with us. We like to communicate with our customers, troubleshoot their problems, and offer solutions. We invite you to contact us today to discuss this with one of our agents. Let us help you take your business to the next level.

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