What an evolution: From the stereotype of old ladies and church socials, bingo has grown into one of online gaming’s hottest trends. Today’s online bingo player is young, savvy — and largely British.
“The U.K. is the world’s most developed online bingo market,” writes Joe Saumarez-Smith for Bloomberg, explaining that, while ladies remain bingo’s biggest fans, the demographic range has shifted to reach players in their 20s.
The UK Gambling Commission estimated in 2008 that about 500,000 British residents play online bingo each month. In the larger gaming industry, companies like PartyGaming have used online bingo’s strong returns to smooth over online poker losses.
Good times vs high stakes
How is marketing to bingo players different than casino gamers or poker players? Online bingo isn’t any more or less gambling than any other casino game — you stake your money to win other peoples’.
All the same, internet bingo has an entirely different aura. It appeals less to professional gamblers building a bankroll and more to casual, social gamers looking for:
• Fun and entertainment. Big wins aren’t always the priority — but are certainly chased! The slogan for 888ladies.com is simply “Enjoy the Game.”
• Novelty. Take the unique niche marketing of 888 Ladies Bingo, for example.
Online Bingo Summit and Awards
All this was validated by a panel of online bingo players at last week’s 6th Annual Online Bingo Summit in London. The event offered a party atmosphere called “boozy” by CalvinAyre.com’s Becky Liggero: “No old ladies in this place, clearly!”
A panel of 20 bingo players offered advice on why they play bingo online — and, more importantly, where. One of the lessons: Online bingo sites that can afford to advertise on TV seem more trustworthy to players. Check out Becky’s rundown of the other bingo player preferences here.
All major bingo brands and developers like Dragonfish, GTECH, and Abberant were on hand, too, and Microgaming dazzled with its introduction of the new Bingo+ Plus software. The new system is unique, customizable, and highly adaptable, so it’s easy to picture lots of operators signing on.
The affiliate angle
Despite all this good news, the online bingo industry hasn’t been entirely insulated from the U.S. online poker shutdown.
Last week, it was reported that the World Bingo Network (WBN) closed its network of bingo sites after almost ten years in operation. WBN was based in the United States and offered about 20 bingo sites, including USA Bingo, Bingo Workz, Bingo Tropic … and yes, Desperate Housewives Bingo (pictured).
Despite this bad news, bingo does remain the gaming affiliate vertical offering the least legal risk to U.S. affiliates, as gaming expert and law professor I. Nelson Rose recently explained to CasinoAffiliatePrograms.com.
Above and beyond that, bingo may just be the online gambling niche with the most SEO potential, particularly now that other gaming verticals like poker and casino have largely matured and are far more competitive.
The final word is yours
What do you think of bingo affiliate marketing? Have you tried it? Do you intend to? Would you like to see more coverage of the online bingo industry at the Casino Affiliate Programs blog? Leave a comment and let us know!