IWG: Driving an important revenue stream for gaming operators

IWG: Driving an important revenue stream for gaming operators

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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Innovation within lottery games has brought about a bingo boom
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Leon Thomas, Chief Commercial Officer at IWG, spoke to TotallyGaming.com about how product innovation within lottery games is propelling the online bingo and casino markets to new heights.

The days when an online casino would offer players the limited choice between just slots and table games no longer exist. It’s a similar story for bingo sites, with its core offering now complemented by a range of additional games not typically found in a bingo hall.  

Product innovation is driving the creation of additional verticals for casino and bingo operators, with these new channels becoming an important revenue stream.

Live casino is a great example of how an offline product has been transformed to create a new vertical. It’s hugely popular with players, with the sector now accounting for 29% of all European casino gross gaming revenue, according to H2GC Data.

Another category which is becoming a commonplace for online casinos and bingo operators are lottery products, in particular instant win games. There’s a huge volume of games available from this fast-growing vertical, with more set to be added as more lottery specialists enter the commercial market.

This relatively new vertical is not only providing additional revenues for non-lottery focused operators, but they are also proving to be an effective tool in the acquisition and retention of casual players.

Boom for bingo

Given that many industry observers consider the bingo vertical as maturing, the need for product innovation is becoming increasingly important. Bingo players are far less loyal, with most typically holding more than five accounts, while there are suggestions the white-label bingo market is struggling with the pressures of regulation.

Acquisition of new players is harder too with the traditional above-the-line marketing activity, including TV commercials, appearing to be less effective. Outside of a very strong brand proposition which the tier-one operators have, differentiating on product is increasingly tough for small to medium-sized businesses.

But creating an innovative product capable of disrupting this sleeping vertical has proved a challenge. While mobile has proved to be a real driver of growth across the industry, for bingo it has restricted its core offering somewhat. The limited real estate means the chat rooms have been harder to accommodate, a feature which is very popular with desktop players.  

However, revenues continue to grow for those specialist bingo operators, largely because of slots. These games have consistently been a primary revenue stream online for the major players, even for bingo-centric operator Tombola, with its Arcade arm adding slots to some success.

And now instant win games are proving to be a hit for bingo players. Almost all the tier-one operators have separate tabs devoted to this emerging vertical, as do the majority of the major casino sites.   

Instant appeal

So what’s the success behind instant win’s growth in the igaming industry? For starters, the content fits the bill as the mechanics of the games are very similar to what bingo and casino players already enjoy. They’re fast-paced and offer instant outcomes.

Despite the success of slots, the games can be a daunting product for recreational players. That’s where instant win games differ, as they are easy to understand and offer instant gratification.

These games can come in many guises, from the basic fast play scratch cards like their offline counterparts, to the more complicated structures with numerous bonus rounds that encourage return play because of their value for money component.

Room for further innovation

The instant win sector has experienced huge growth within the commercial sector of the gaming industry, and that’s expected to continue given the scope for innovation these games allow for.

For instance, suppliers such as IWG can deliver bespoke content for operators to promote a marketing campaign, whether it’s sports, casino or bingo related, in a matter of weeks. Instant win content is an easily recognisable format that players can instantly trust.

In addition, the vertical has only scratched the surface with its use of jackpots. Bingo and casino players are more often than not lured by the prospect of a big jackpot with eye-watering sums of money up for grabs.

These big-money jackpots can enhance the user experience greatly. It’s an area IWG has invested heavily in, with the launch of a new solution known as Rollover Jackpots. The insured mechanic overcomes the issue of liquidity, creating significantly larger prize pools for individual bingo and casino operators.

As operators continue to battle against increased competition in the marketplace, the need to offer a variety of games and promotions that appeal to the masses is important. Innovation is helping to fuel the creation of new verticals and help operators broaden their offering.

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