Mobile numbers – exploring innovation in bingo

Mobile numbers – exploring innovation in bingo

Friday, July 28, 2017 Posted by James Walker

While the traditional 90-ball bingo game remains the ‘bread and butter’ of the industry, innovators should focus on adapting bingo to mobile and attracting a younger generation of players, experts have agreed.

Speaking at this year’s Online Bingo & Slots Summit, which took place at London’s Hippodrome Casino on July 21, Simon Collins, founder of Gaming Realms, said that the major stumbling block to bingo innovation is that “it doesn’t work great on the mobile”.

Collins admitted that innovation is impeded, “be it with the chat, the fact that you can’t multi-table quite easily or have multiple cards up at the same time in the same way as the desktop, or feature slot mini games on the right-hand side in the same sort of way”.

Collins also referenced Slingo as an example of the provider’s efforts to adjust the bingo experience, but admitted this is a “kind of hybrid between a slot and bingo”, for a company which has struggled to engage players with bingo games.

However, he acknowledged that there is still a big opportunity for Gaming Realms to explore new ideas and formats around the pace of bingo games for mobile sessions, which tend to be around 10 minutes, particularly since 84% of its customers are playing through mobile devices.

Despite enjoying success with mobile bingo innovation, Playtech’s director of bingo products Gary Keaney still expects the traditional 90-ball bingo to remain the “bread and butter” on its network, but suggested that the developer wouldn’t have attracted 70% of new registrations just for mobile without a focus on younger customers looking for faster bingo and bespoke games.

While Keaney said there is a need to innovate regardless of success, “otherwise you’ll get left behind”, Gamevy CCO and co-founder Helen Walton questioned the industry over-use of the word innovation, instead arguing that changes to a theme or well-known game should be described as incremental improvement and not innovation, which should be reserved for dealing with “a problem of some kind”, such as not bringing in enough younger, newer players.

The session was moderated by Bede Gaming founder and CEO Michael Brady, who said: “Bingo is at something of a crossroads, with changes in regulation, advertising and customer attitudes forcing us to adapt to new market realities. Accordingly, it is critical we search for solutions to these challenges by driving innovation and finding new ways to better leverage brands and technology.”

Totally Gaming says: While Gaming Realms, which recently secured a partnership with ITV for games based around the hugely popular TV show Love Island, has 84% of its customers playing through mobile, the developer has admitted its struggle to engage players through bingo games.

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