Thomas Jones, Founder of BingoSites.co.uk, says that bingo is perfect when it comes to online gambling brands acquiring players and building trust in the fledgling US market.
Online bingo is hugely popular in regulated online gambling markets around the world and even in the USA where the sector is still very much in its infancy. Sure, it will never be as significant as sports betting and casino, but it does have a large and loyal player-base and this is why it is offered by operators.
In New Jersey, for example, Pala Casino, Scores Casino, Virgin Casino and Tropicana Casino all offer their online players a range of online bingo games alongside their casino and poker products. As more states look to legalize and regulate online gambling – sports betting and casino – I believe we will see more operators expand their game offerings into bingo.
Players are hungry for online bingo games. You only have to search “online bingo USA” in Google to see that there is huge interest among players in America regarding where they can access bingo games online.
For many years, this was via offshore online gambling sites that were happy to accept US players but now there are licensed alternatives for those in states such as New Jersey. As more states pass online gambling legislation and allow operators to offer legal sports betting, casino, poker and bingo, players will be able to access licensed and reputable bingo sites.
This will help to drive significant growth in the vertical and will see more operators look to add bingo games to their portfolios and lobbies.
Bingo games can help to build trust:
Legal online gambling is still very new in the USA with players unsure of whether they can access online casino, sports betting, poker and bingo from their state. This means operators must undertake a massive education exercise to ensure that players are aware of the situation in states where online gambling is now licensed and regulated.
What’s more, they are also having to build trust with these players as many remain cynical and cautious about online gambling – even with recognized brands. For this reason, we have seen online casino operators in New Jersey and Pennsylvania pack their game lobbies with popular titles found on the floors of land-based casinos.
This has really helped to foster trust among players as they feel at ease playing titles from established game developers that they recognize from the bricks-and-mortar casino.
Of course, bingo can be used in exactly the same way. It is a game that players are familiar with from the land-based gaming world and when they can play it online, it helps to build trust.
Bingo games are great at cross-selling:
Bingo games are a powerful cross-selling tool, particularly when it comes to driving players towards online casino games and especially online slots. Again, this is all about operators building consumer trust in a market or markets where players remain cynical about online gambling.
While these players may not immediately play slot games on learning that online casino is now legal in their state, they may play bingo as it is a game they are familiar and comfortable with.
Once the player has been acquired via the bingo channel and the gambling brand has earned their trust, the operator can then begin marketing other game verticals such as casino and sports.
Bingo works well on mobile:
Finally, bingo is ideally suited to mobile play. For online gambling brands in US states where the activity is now legal, this provides a big opportunity to introduce players to mobile gambling.
For many, this will be a new concept and again something they may not be entirely comfortable with. For the reasons covered above, mobile bingo could be the perfect introductory product.
Mobile will likely be the dominant channel of player for online sportsbook as the market matures and bingo provides an additional opportunity to acquire players now and build trust. Just like with bingo cross-selling into casino, bingo can also be used to acquire mobile players and then drive them towards mobile sportsbooks over time.
Of course, I am not saying that online bingo will ever be as significant as sports, casino and poker in the US market, but I am saying that it will play a vital role in player acquisition and retention.
This is certainly the case in the early days when consumer awareness and trust is low. What’s more, as legal online gambling grows in the USA, so too will the popularity of online bingo.
For the operators that offer it, this is a win win.