Lillian Grey from BingoSites.net says bingo is booming and that operators should leverage its popularity to drive player acquisition and retention
Online bingo participation has been on the rise in the UK over the past few months and that trend looks set to continue.
The growing opportunity presented by the bingo vertical has been seized upon on by big name operators such as PlayOJO, which recently launched PlayOJO Bingo.
The vertical has also seen a raft of new brands enter the fray since the start of the year, including Mint Bingo, Bingo All Stars and Dinky Bingo all looking to claim their share of the thriving market.
The sector is appealing to operators for many reasons, from driving additional engagement and retention with existing players to targeting entirely new demographics and boosting cross-sell.
The regulatory climate in markets such as the UK is also forcing operators to consider adding bingo to their game portfolios because it is less bonus-led and is played with lower stakes.
But where there are opportunities there are also challenges, and operators face a competitive market where they will have to put their money where their mouth is in order to succeed.
Below, I talk about why operators should consider launching bingo products, some of the hurdles they will need to jump over and they can make sure they clear them.
Players primed and ready to play bingo:
Most online casino operators have a player base that is primed and ready for bingo games. When OJO launched its bingo site, it said that 25% of existing players went to other brands to play bingo.
This provided the operator with a significant opportunity to better retain players, drive brand loyalty and substantially increase its share of wallet – something other operators should look to replicate.
If they don’t, not only are they losing out on additional revenues players are spending elsewhere on bingo, but there is a significant risk the rival brand offering bingo will tempt them away for good.
The addition of bingo also allows operators to potentially grow their player base and target new demographics, and in particular females between the ages of 35 and 55.
This is a lucrative demographic in terms of cost per acquisition, loyalty to a brand and because of the cross-sell opportunity to other casino games, especially slots.
Bingo better aligns with safe gaming efforts:
As rules and regulations continue to tighten in markets such as the UK, bingo offers operators a vertical that better aligns with responsible gambling efforts.
Unlike online slots and sports betting, bingo is not as bonus led when it comes to incentivising players to sign up to a bingo brand, and bonus T&Cs are less strict and problematic.
For example, it is not unusual for an online casino to offer a welcome package of a deposit match bonus in excess of 100% plus a large number of free spins.
Both parts are usually subject to high wagering requirements – sometimes in excess of x65 – which often leads to players wagering large amounts to unlock bonus winnings as cash.
Bingo, on the other hand, has welcome offers like “deposit £10 and get £20” to spend on bingo tickets with wagering requirements usually between 4x and 10x.
Then you have the differences in player stakes and bets – online slot players can wager upwards of £100 per spin while bingo tickets cost as little as £0.05
With the UK government and the Gambling Commission looking very closely at making a raft of changes, including imposing stake limits, bingo will be less impacted by the tightening of rules.
Bingo offers plenty of cross-sell potential:
Operators that add bingo to their content offering will also benefit from the huge cross-sell opportunities that arise when engaging bingo players for the first time.
Bingo players are much cheaper to acquire than casino and slots players, but a high percentage go on to play slots and table games once they are familiar with the site they are playing at.
If you look at high value players at online bingo sites, their value does not come through their bingo play but through their slots play. All the operator has to do is effectively cross-sell them.
Bingo also allows operators to diversify their player base, especially in the case of online sportsbooks that tend to skew towards a higher percentage of male players.
Again, bingo allows them to do this at a much lower CPA cost than with other verticals such as casino and liver dealer.
Don’t think bingo is an easy win:
While expanding into the bingo vertical offers tremendous upsides, operators should not see it as an easy win – bingo is competitive and to succeed they must offer a top-rated experience.
Those that have established their brand in other verticals such as casino and sport will know what this takes, but they need to be mindful of how bingo player preferences and expectations differ.
This includes bonusing, loyalty and reward schemes, the community aspect of bingo and of course how players are marketed to in the first place.
But those that get it right will be able to capitalise on the resurgence in online bingo and drive sustainable growth at a time when the wider sector is facing increasing uncertainty.
Author bio: Lillian Grey is head of content at BingoSites.net and is considered a thought leader on all things online bingo.