For some time now analyst have been predicting consolidation in the UK bingo sector, with good reason. The last quarter of 2009 saw significant developments in the UK online bingo market, and it was followed by Party Gaming plc announcing it had acquired the owners of Foxy Bingo, Cashcade, for close to a hundred million pounds, and then of course there was 888’s acquisition of the UK online bingo company Wink Bingo. Other acquisitions included Bwin’s acquisition of the Italian online gambling operator Gioco Digitale, Mangas Gaming’s acquisitions of online gaming sites Betclic, Expekt, Bet-at-Home and a 60% stake in Everest Poker and of course many others.
Regardless, the UK online bingo sector and many of the leading online bingo brands are increasing their advertising budgets to gain high profile exposure on UK TV.
One company has already pulled out the big names to increase its profile. Jackpotjoy is running a multi million pound TV campaign which is backed by the uber popular UK actress Barbara Windsor. Recently, Foxy Bingo, Party Bingo, Red Bus Bingo, Virgin Bingo plus most others in the online bingo sector have been running ads on UK commercial TV stations.
With advertising dollars on the rise, and competition getting fierce, it’s almost inevitable that new online bingo startups that don’t have the capital to compete with the large advertising budgets of the established online bingo operators aren’t going to be around doing business for very long.
Differentiation and ingenuity with products, services, but most importantly, with promotions has been the norm. Mecca Bingo, one of the oldest UK bingo sites, ran a promotion where they are offering players to submit their Mecca Moments — if the player’s Mecca moment was the best, they will win £100.
As the numbers go, Bingo adverts on UK TV are outnumbering those from other gaming sectors, including sports betting, which for years dominated the boob tube until the bingo bully came along.
Granted, the UK is the without a doubt the center of the iGaming universe, but clearly it is also the capital of online bingo and the stomping grounds for bingo TV advertisement. It seems if bingo operators want to keep pace, they better find ways to get air time on the small screen.
It must be tough to compete with Barbara Windsor though, especially when she’s calling for all the boys to show their balls…Yes ma’am.