Online Bingo: Shares on the Rise, Expert Recommends Cross-Sell Strategy

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While many other sectors grapple with the unique challenges that the current year has presented, the gambling sector has continued to boom.

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According to a recent study by the Business Research Company, the global gambling market is currently worth more than £430 billion and is growing at around six percent per annum.

Advancements in technology have powered the boom, allowing operators to diversify their offering way beyond their land-based ventures.

Relaxation of legislation in markets such as the United States will undoubtedly keep the industry heading on an upward curve for the foreseeable future.

One of the significant areas for growth has been online bingo, with this iconic game undergoing a makeover that has helped to broaden its appeal.

Bingo has shaken off its image as a pastime for the working classes to become a game that appeals massively to adults from every background.

Read on as we take a look at some of the latest news from the bingo industry and assess how the game can drive further growth in gambling in the future.

 

888 Shares Keep Soaring

Gaming conglomerate 888 Holdings is riding high at the moment, with the company’s trading figures for the first half of 2020 increasing by 37% to $379.1 million.

Casino revenue rose 48% to $260m, while sites such as 888 Ladies helped bingo revenues increase by eight percent to $21.1m

Investors have been keen to jump on the bandwagon, forcing the firm’s share price up from 208.00 pence on September 29 to 268.50p on October 12.

That rise has put 888’s current value at close to £1bn, highlighting how well it has performed during difficult times.

Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, said: “We have performed very well throughout the first half of 2020 with robust year-on-year growth in revenue and adjusted EBITDA of 37% and 56% respectively.

“This outcome reflects the group’s continued strong levels of customer acquisition, general consumer trends towards increased use of online services especially during the lockdown period and 888’s relentless focus on product leadership.”

With further product enhancements scheduled for the second half of the year including an improved poker product and the launch of a proprietary sportsbook in the United Kingdom, the company is well-placed to continue to cash in on the gambling boom moving forward.

 

Operators Advised to ‘Cross-Sell’

Lillian Grey, head of content from BingoSites.net, has urged gambling operators to leverage the popularity of bingo to drive player acquisition and retention.

Grey believes that companies who fail to incorporate bingo into their online offering are missing a golden opportunity to generate additional revenues.

A particular attraction of bingo is its ability to appeal to a different demographic, with females between the ages of 35 and 55 providing a massive new target audience.

She says that operators who add bingo to their content offering will also benefit from the vast cross-sell opportunities of their other verticals.

“Bingo players are much cheaper to acquire than casino and slots players, but a high percentage go on to play slots and table games once they are familiar with the site they are playing at,” she said.

“If you look at high value players at online bingo sites, their value does not come through their bingo play but through their slots play. All the operator has to do is effectively cross-sell them.

“Bingo also allows operators to diversify their player base, especially in the case of online sportsbooks that tend to skew towards a higher percentage of male players.

“Again, bingo allows them to do this at a much lower CPA cost than with other verticals such as casino and live dealer.”

 

ASA Clamps Down on Rogue Advert

A significant challenge for the bingo sector is in ensuring that it meets the stringent guidelines laid down by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The organisation recently upheld a complaint against ElectraWorks, the GVC Holdings owned subsidiary who operate in the online gambling industry.

The paid-for Google advertisement was displayed for the search term ‘make money online’, falling foul of the ASA’s rules that strictly forbids firms to promise financial success.

“The CAP Code stated that advertisers must not suggest that gambling can be a solution to financial concerns, an alternative to employment or a way to achieve financial security,” an ASA statement read.

“We considered the claim ‘Earn Money Online’ suggested to consumers that the gambling system offered by the advertiser could be used to ‘earn’ money and therefore attain a regular source of income.

“We considered this had the effect of suggesting that gambling could be a way to achieve financial security.”

GVC has previously been in trouble for misleading consumers and operating illegally in restricted jurisdictions, demonstrating why it is essential for players to open accounts with reputable operators.

 

Former Blair Advisor Returns to the Industry

The announcement that Lord Jonathan Mendelsohn will replace Brian Mattingley as the designate company chairman of 888 Holdings is excellent news for the industry.

The appointment will officially be rubber-stamped at 888’s next annual general meeting in May 2021, with Mattingley officially resigning from all governance duties.

The move should help 888 to successfully navigate any legislative changes enforced when the government conducts its full-scale review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

Lord Mendelsohn’s has extensive experience within the gambling sector, having co-founded strategic M&A advisory Oakvale Capital which focuses on iGaming, entertainment and media investments.

He previously worked as a key advisor to Tony Blair, helping him execute his 1997 election-winning New Labour campaign strategy.

Lord Mendelsohn said: “I am very excited to join the board of such a world-class gaming operator. 888 is a company that I have long admired during my more than 20 years working with companies in the gaming and gambling industries.

“The Group has a number of very exciting opportunities, and I am looking forward to working closely with the Board and the management team to continue to deliver the group’s growth strategy and generate further stakeholder value.”

 

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