The world of bingo has evolved so much since traditional bingo halls came onto the scene – and was a massive income generator for affiliate marketers during the online bingo boom. It’s been a while since the product developed and the market progressed to saturation quickly due to white label operators.
Times have changed and customers are becoming more astute to where and how they play games online. Have these bingo markets been maxed out with more stringent rules and regulations in igaming? Or is there still room for bingo affiliates to make sustainable revenue?
Key moments in bingo so far
First off, let’s take a look at what’s happened so far in the world of bingo. It was legalised in the 1960s with the Betting and Gaming Act 1960, which meant that people could bet smaller sums of money. There were already over 14 million members of traditional bingo halls by 1963. There was however a game decline in the 90’s through to the 00’s.
The first online sites were launched in 1996, and quickly became a phenomenon. It revived the whole bingo industry as a whole with a rise in bingo halls being opened up again too. Many people associated this with online bingo bringing a younger, more tech savvy audience to the tables. Technology has also attributed to the rise of bingo as casino and slot side games were implemented making it easier to retain customers across multiple devices for longer periods.
Legislation and regulations
2017 was a big year for bingo in terms of legislation and regulations and we saw an all-time low when it came to new online bingo sites opening up.
HMRC implemented the free bets tax, which reduced the taxable profit that bingo operators could make on their sites. The UK Gambling Commission were also much stricter than they were previously. They decided that operators had to make terms and conditions much clearer than before, so there was no room for ambiguity.
They also had a say in how bingo sites were designed and called for the removal of anything that could be described as “child-like” or featured cartoon characters. This caused a rebrand for a lot of sites, and due to the female lead (soft gaming) demographic affected bingo more than any other sector in igaming.
Is there still room for bingo affiliates?
There is absolutely still room for bingo affiliates to build brands and earn revenue. Although there are still some challenges. If you have a good product and an innovative marketing strategy – there is still income to be made.
As technology and digital marketing trends are continuously evolving it creates new opportunities within bingo. The truth is there are a few big players, and bingo has long since been a community based activity. If you consider regulations and the demographic that plays online, along with the player loyalty this sector experiences, you can see why it’s a good bet.
Understanding how the demographic of younger players want to interact and how communities now socialise online is the key. For example, you could be the first affiliate to adopt a killer voice search strategy to find a more savvy niche of clientele. You could be the first to use influencer marketing really or really start looking at AI to augment the player experience and personalise it. The landscape of digital will never stand still, so there is always a way to be a disruptor and early adoption is one of the quickest ways to break through the noise, and stand out, but it has to be clever.
Naturally there may be a smaller amount of bingo affiliates as time progresses – however the ones that remain will be quality portals who have put together a site that is unique and of value to the players. Super bingo affiliates who launched at the optimum time when bingo was the craze will also still have their place in the industry.
The point is – you can still compete in this sector and do well with new customers who still want variety and it’s going to be interesting to see how this product starts to develop and innovate again.