The UK’s online bingo landscape is changing rapidly with over 44% now considering themselves gamblers. Though there aren’t many changes in the demographic makeup of bingo players, the number of players aged 55 years and above is increasing. Many more such revealing insights are available in the latest WhichBingo 2019 Annual Online Bingo Report.
Changing Player Dynamics
Players don’t like to experiment with brands- they remain loyal to a handful of operators. 7 out of 10 of these popular brands are currently driven by Playtech. The 5 most popular brands amongst players are- Sun Bingo, Tombola, Heart Bingo, Gala Bingo, and Sky Bingo.
Players also have a striking preference towards online slot games. They have not just increased their average deposit values in the past year but also improved playing frequency. About 88% of the people surveyed by WhichBingo suggest that they play at least once per week, half of whom play every day.
Brands are still not able to create a more unisex image of Bingo, and it is dominated by women. However, players over 55 years of age are increasing their share in the market for the first time in three years.
On Bingo sites, the most popular slot games were Rainbow Riches, Fluffy Favorites, Cleopatra, Clover Rollover and Starburst. On sportsbook sites, Starburst, Cleopatra and Age of Gods took the lead.
Changing Industry Trends
The total ad spends for online bingo category increased by 3% compared to 2017 with TV advertising rising by 15%. Operators are willing to spend more on programmatic buying than digital space. In fact, they spent an estimated 42 million pounds on TV advertising in 2018, 12.5 million pounds of which were spent by Tombola alone. It, combined with Gala, Sky Bingo, Sun Bingo, and Wink Bingo contributed to over 80% of the total ad spend of the industry.
Online searches in the industry revolved around five major keywords- “bingo,” “bingo sites,” “free bingo,” “bingo games,” and “free bingo no deposit.” Operators now have to match pace with changes in Google’s policies, including the EAT update and renewed Search Quality Evaluator guidelines. WhichBingo suggests that brands should go for a set of keywords for getting more organic traffic. Gala Bingo has championed this organic keyword growth, per the report. Falling from no. 1 to no. 2 on Google search could make an operator lose 13,000 organic clicks.
The report also highlighted the winners of the 2018 WhichBingo Awards where Heart Bingo won the award for Best Online Bingo Site and Best Mobile Bingo Experience. Gala Spins won the Best Slots & Casino Site award while Mecca Bingo won awards for Most Socially Responsible Operator and Best Customer Service.
Regulations and Setbacks
The report also paid attention to the cumbersome UK regulatory guidelines that are throwing smaller operators into oblivion.
This year’s report also featured an interview with SkyBet CEO Richard Flint who discussed his views on GAMSTOP and whistle-to-whistle gambling advertising ban during sporting events. Flint said, “Across the industry, we all need to get better at making sure that a customer does not spend more than they can afford and being able to spot this if it occurs.”
The report also features industry predictions from top experts.