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The State of Online Bingo

Online bingo isn’t the flashiest corner of the igaming industry but it’s a steady earner with a very reliable player base and practically no regulatory drama.
Along with it high degree of reliability, online bingo is also one of the more flexible igaming products. Over the last decade or so it’s made a major dent in the land-based business and is transitioning very well to social and mobile formats.
If you’ve been wondering whether bingo is a good fit for your affiliate portfolio, here is a quick look at the current state of the online bingo industry.
Reliable Demographic Base
Bingo players tend to fit into a relatively narrow demographic profile, which makes marketing online products to them a lot easier. Even better, the bulk of online bingo activity takes place in the UK, which makes it a great fit for English-speaking affiliates.
So what does the average online bingo player look like these days? The biggest slice of bingo’s demographic pie has long been made up female, English-speaking players.
Vipin, an affiliate manager at Gambling Wages says that profile is on the money, though it’s slowly changing:

Our data show that at Bingo Knights the average bingo customer is likely to be a female between the ages of 34-55. The data is trending upward for younger women, and to a lesser extent, men as well.

While middle aged women are core bingo customers, the game does still have appeal to younger audiences. Around a third of the bingo audience is between the ages of 18-25. “Despite of, of because of, its established history, bingo continues to cross generational boundaries,” Vipin added.
Perfect Fit for Social
Whether it’s played on land or online, bingo is an incredibly social game and that’s made it a perfect fit for social gaming operators.
Vipin says bingo is, “…a one-of-a-kind social experience. Whether or not you are playing alone, the sens of community is never far away,” and that seems about right.
That’s why it should come as no surprise that over the past few years, major social players like Zynga and DoubleDown have embraced bingo and are offering Facebook-based real-money products to the UK market. These products are still in their infancy, but both have incredible potential.
The social media connection opens online bingo to massive new audiences and should help it to remain a viable gaming product for many years to come.
Long-Tail Revenue
Online bingo is, and always has been a get-rich-slowly corner of the gambling affiliate world. There aren’t a lot of whales in online bingo, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not a lot of profit there. founder Phil Fraser touched on the lifetime value of bingo players in a CAP webinar and pointed out that while bingo players don’t drop a lot of cash, they’re very loyal. That makes them a great fit for affiliate programs with lifetime revenue share models.
A bingo player who spends 25 pounds a month, every month, year-in-and-year-out, is the kind of player you’ll be happy to have.
Part of the reason for bingo’s long-tail revenue stream is that bingo players don’t really consider themselves to be real gamblers.
In a recent BBC News article about online bingo Mark Griffiths, a professor of gambling studies at Nottingham Trent University described bingo as, “soft gambling.” As a result, bingo players don’t have the same boom-and-bust cycles that poker and sports bettors experience.
The Future
Besides the social aspects, bingo’s other big appeal is that it’s an incredibly simple game to play. That simplicity also makes it a great fit for mobile gaming.
Not surprisingly, bingo operators and affiliates are playing to that strength with a host of new mobile-friendly products as Ace Revenue’s Dan Strohl explains:

The future of bingo is headed for mobile and browser-based technologies. Speed – not with reference to the game itself, but the entire sign-up, deposit, and cash out process – will take prominence in the years to come.

The state of online bingo is very good for affiliates who can deal with something slow and steady. And in a world of Black Fridays and other outside ugliness, that’s probably a pretty good thing.