Gregory Anderson looks at the rise and rise of mobile bingo.
The German word ‘Zeitgeist’ is the word used to describe the ‘spirit of the age’, which means the general overall intellectual, moral and cultural climate of a particular period of history. The Zeitgeist of the 1960s for example was one of counter culture, anti-establishment and hippie values.
The thing with a Zeitgeist though is that it is easy to attribute one to a previous time, but almost impossible to apply one to the present. What is the Zeitgeist of the 2020s? We just don’t know, and we won’t for a couple of decades.
Something else that is similarly tricky to categorise is a present day social trend. If it were easy to predict trends, there would be nothing but successful companies, politicians and sports teams.
There are however, certain companies that always seem to find themselves in the right place at the right time when a trend kicks in. 888 are one such company.
In this article we analyse whether their burgeoning mobile bingo app – 888 Ladies – is on the cusp of gaming’s newest trend – mobile bingo.
888’s Trend Track Record
In the introduction we referenced 888’s track record of consistently being ahead of the curve when it comes to gaming trends. Before we begin to analyse whether or not the company could be right about mobile bingo, let’s take a look at some of the trends they’ve gotten just right in previous decades.
In 1996 the world’s first online casino was launched in the United States. Whilst it did attract large numbers of players, most of the early customers were novelty players who didn’t stick around for the long run.
It therefore makes the decision to form 888 Holdings as an online casino specialist in 1997 seem like a blind leap of faith. Whilst many companies were busy revaluating their plans to expand into the online market, 888 Holdings were busy getting a head start on their competitors.
Their founders had complete and utter faith that online gambling would take off, and that faith was repaid handsomely.
888 Holdings is well known for its gambling sub-brands, one of its most successful being 888 Ladies, an online bingo site targeted predominantly at women. A 2020 study by WhichBingo found that on average, 78 per cent of online bingo players are female, and 888 utilised this research to target the main audience.
The site offers various bingo games as well as many slot games to keep players entertained. 888 Ladies offer a wide range of promotions to its players including free bingo, allowing new players to try out the games and the site before depositing their own money.
So is mobile bingo the next gaming trend?
The fact that a company such as 888, with a proven track record in remaining ahead of the curve, is interested in mobile bingo should tell us all we need to know. Yet there is still an element of doubt as, despite having a good track record, 888 does not have an unblemished record.
Let’s take a deep dive into the statistics to get a better idea of whether or not mobile bingo is the next big thing.
How many people are playing bingo?
In the UK, there are an estimated 3.5m online bingo players, with an extra million playing most often in land-based bingo halls. That puts the participation numbers of British bingo at just under 5 million.
To put that into context, that is just under 10m fewer than bingo’s halcyon day of the 1960s when there were 14m registered players in the country. Importantly though, it’s 3.5 million more than 2002 when numbers had dwindled to just under 1 million.
In that context then, it’s clear to see that bingo is on an upward trajectory and that the vast majority of players are choosing to play online.
How valuable is online bingo?
According to Statista, between April 2019 and March 2020 the bingo industry brought in gross revenues of £910m, which was roughly 20 per cent of the remote sector’s total revenues. When you consider that the other £4.1bn came from slots, casinos and sports betting sites, online bingo’s financials become even more impressive.
Behind slots, online bingo is the largest revenue driver in British online gambling.
How many people are playing mobile bingo?
Unfortunately there are no precise figures that show us exactly how many people are playing bingo on their mobiles as opposed to their PCs or laptops – that sort of information is reserved for companies such as 888.
What we can use though to gain an understanding of the patterns of play are the reports into gamblers’ behaviour from the Gambling Commission. In 2020 the organisation found that 50 per cent of all online gambling was being accessed through a mobile device.
That was a huge increase from 23 per cent in 2015, when laptops were (61 per cent) were the most popularly gambling device. If we extrapolate these figures out, we can safely estimate that around one in two bingo lovers play their favourite game on a mobile device.
All in all, based on the industry statistics available to us and the track record of 888 it wouldn’t be outlandish at all to say that mobile bingo is the next big trend in online gambling. If you’re a bingo lover, now is the time to play. If you’re a serious investor, now’s the time to pump your money into mobile bingo and reap the financial benefits of the coming years.