Bingo! The very word evokes images of people dabbing in rooms and competitively splatting pens on squares of paper to try to win the grand prize, as an emcee rapidly reels off rhyming slang for numbers. But that’s the old bingo. The new bingo is the kind that has people of all ages, all backgrounds, glued to their computers as they try to win the big prize. The content can come in all shapes and sizes, and that might be the reason for the growing rise of bingo in iGaming. But is bingo really the next big revolution in online gaming?
Online gambling is increasing in traction – reports from the Gambling Commission reveal that in 2016 the internet-based industry was responsible for 33% of all gambling revenue. And £153million of that came from online bingo. The European figures are even more prosperous – with online gaming contributing $15billion of the $87billion market value of the gambling market. So, it’s no surprise that bingo continues to innovate in order to attract punters away from land-based casinos and other forms of online gaming.
The linking of bingo with quality content is also an important factor in judging how far it will go. From the days where bingo was a box of numbers, developers are constantly trying to revolutionize to ensure that the audience – whose attention span needs to be constantly indulged – are receiving the content they need. Choosing the game they want to play can be daunting but, with franchises, film connections, and pop culture playing a role, bingo can become an extension of the player’s interest. Such games can be easily found on online bingo sites, which allow potential customers to choose something they already follow in order to better connect with the bingo game.
Augmented Reality (AR) seems to be the buzzword for bingo – and with good reason. The AR sector is developing at a fast rate – expecting to drive the VR/AR market to $108billion by 2021. Much like Virtual Reality, which places images in front of the viewer to interact with and supplement the game, Augmented Reality will be more applicable to real life as well as gaming. And that’s where it will marry with bingo in order to launch into the future. By adding AR features to a standard bingo game, players will be able to experience the technology of the future in a relatively familiar way.
More Ways to Play
Perhaps one of the most telling factors of the success of online bingo – and the harbinger of how successful it will become - is the processing power of mobile phones. Smartphone improvements can lead to faster hardware to switch from desktop computers to mobile phones in order to game more easily. By changing the mode of gaming from a sit-down, conscious gaming session, to a quick mobile version of the game, more people are likely to take time to see if they might enjoy becoming full-time fans. The ease at which the game can be picked up and played will increase as mobile technology, processing power, and battery life will all likely increase mobile gaming on the whole.
Segmentation and Targeting
Now for the marketing-speak. Market research in 2016 found that 80% of bingo players were women. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to play online poker and various other games such as Minecraft, World of Warcraft, or Earth Empires. But with 85% of bingo players playing online, the scope to target a greater proportion of the demographic looks to enable bingo to advance. As it's already popular, and by choosing the target demographic with careful segmentation, bingo will be able to reach players who might not have considered playing before – especially combined with the other factors. And this can be done by marketing bingo in its new format, as a modern game away from the bingo callers and more a game of skill and chance that can be played by anyone.
Whatever the future holds for bingo, it is definitely going to have a bright one. The advances in technology, the change in how customers consume, and the scope available for cross-platform developments means that bingo can reach a larger proportion of the online gaming population. Bingo has moved far from the bingo halls of yore and into the future and will likely continue to develop.