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When one thinks of bingo, typically they picture big halls of dedicated fans, all stamping their bingo cards and going for the big jackpot win. Despite being a well-known method of gambling and one that’s been more widely accepted than others in the past, how has that translated to gambling online?
The reality is that it has translated quite well, as Bingo was actually among the first versions of iGaming, showing up online as early as the 1990s. It was very popular during this time, before experiencing a slight decline when sports betting, casino and others hit the market.
However, it’s growing rapidly again, with online bingo’s global market reaching a market share of $60 million USD in 2022 and that number expected to increase to $145 million USD by 2030. This showcases how bingo has had resurgence in the iGaming world and will continue its ascent over the course of the next decade.
To gain added insights into the vertical, we spoke with Andrew Housego, Head of Operations at First Leads to get their thoughts. They have two bingo products, with Bingoport.com for the US which is a free-to-play bingo site, while they also offer Bingoport.co.uk for the UK, which is an affiliate site that encourages players to join and play at UK bingo and casino sites. This gives Andrew a unique perspective in the industry, understanding both operators and affiliates. If you’d like to connect with his team, click the link below.
Bingo iGaming Overview
What can be a little confusing about the bingo vertical is that it seems like it can be folded into the lottery one, as it’s a similar game of chance to others like keno for example. Despite that, it’s long been considered its own vertical, as bingo has more social elements than other games that allow it to stand apart.
We asked Housego to breakdown the vertical and he provided a detailed comparison to lottery. Housego said “online bingo draws on it's land-based roots as a social game. Bingo players enjoy interaction with others and players invest their time as well as their money into playing bingo. As a result, it will always have a much smaller audience than lotteries, which require little time to play and are purely transactional in nature.”
As a type of gambling that’s been around since the 1530s, where a similar game was being played in Italy called "Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia”, it’s more accepted socially than other verticals, as many families may play bingo around the holidays and don’t associate it with the same things as other types of gambling.
From a more statistical perspective, CPAs of bingo players are often considered lower than other verticals. Additionally, it offers a strong cross sell potential to other lottery-style products as bingo games take longer, meaning players stay on the app longer and will hopefully be interested by other products.
Suggestions to Operators
Ensure a Fun Experience
One of the more exciting aspects about bingo is that it typically comes with big jackpots, which makes it vital for brands to promote these big winners and show potential new users how much they can win and have fun doing it.
While the big jackpots are fun to market, that won’t be the experience for all users, meaning brands should offer users incentives to revisit their app, particularly if they lose their first game. Offering a free game or other perks can help them feel like their first experience playing wasn’t for nothing.
Housego further emphasized these points, saying “at Bingoport.com, our US free bingo site, we focus strongly on community. Our players see Bingoport.com as a second home and their fellow players as their extended family. Community is what makes bingo such a unique vertical in the gaming industry.”
Many of the bingo offerings available to users, particularly in UK and Europe, are very similar to one another, making differentiation such a vital aspect for operators in this vertical. Housego echoed this, saying “despite there being hundreds of bingo sites operating in the UK and Europe, there are only a handful of genuine operators or software providers. The bingo vertical, much like the casino vertical, is awash with white labels or skins. They look different on the surface, but there is little differentiation between games, promotions and the product in general.”
Having a product that can stand out from competitors can make all the difference.
Cross Selling and Promos
On top of that, cross selling can be another vital tool, as users on average spend more time on a bingo game than similar ones, which means they’ll spend more time in the app and hopefully interacting with other products as well.
As one of the more fun, social games available in the iGaming world, gamifying things further can lead to increased retention and keep users engaged. Promotions like offering users a free credit if they play four games during a specific time can keep users coming back for more. And as a more social game, offering features focused on that would be prudent as well and can help with retention. Features like a chat box or the ability to connect with friends can take your product even further.
Bingo has traditionally been a female focused vertical and been the demographic that operators and affiliates tend to focus on, using branding and colours more geared towards female users. For example, in the UK, it’s estimated that around 80% of bingo users are female. Operators should take this into account when deciding on they’d like to market their products in the space.
The bingo vertical is rapidly growing and shows no sign of slowing down. Operators looking to take advantage of this growing space will need to focus on marketing the exciting aspects of the game, cross selling their other products to users and, quite simply, ensuring that their games are fun for users. No other vertical is as focused on that aspect and bingo products should be made to feel like a grand event for players. Brands that can ensure that kind of fun atmosphere have a much better chance of succeeding.
Thanks again to Andrew Housego and the Bingoport team for their support on this article. Click on the link below to connect with their terrific team!