Online Bingo Survey Data - OhMyBingo
Bingo comparison and review site OhMyBingo.com carried out a survey to try and understand the typical online bingo player. The survey showed 84% of the market is female, aged between 26-455.
Over half play more than 7 hours of bingo in a day and 69% of them prefer to play in the afternoon and evening. These periods seem to be easier times to enjoy a spot of online bingo with more free time available thanks to children either at school or in bed. Many stated their daily chores had been completed by lunchtime, leaving the afternoons free to relax. Showreel Bingo, launched in 2012 and part of 15 Network, sitting on Jumpman Gaming software, has 2 bingo rooms open in the quieter morning period and when activity picks up they have at least 5 rooms open for the evening session. Including pre-buy jackpot games - that don't require immediate player liquidity thanks to their guaranteed fixed jackpot amounts - a customer will have in excess of 12 games to enjoy when the sun goes down.
With well over 300 UK-facing bingo sites in the market today, the survey showed that players do have a handful of favourite sites that they visit regularly and although loyal to these, they are not monogamous, as was once believed to be the case in the market. They are also open to try new bingo sites when they launch to see if they can become part of their trusted few. It seems that a winning experience early on in membership is key for the customer and winning a jackpot as a new player tends to create trust which results in a long-term relationship with the bingo site.
62% of players like to play where there are lower ticket prices with smaller jackpots, as opposed to striving for a life-changing sum and going up against a larger number of players, resulting in lower odds. Winning little and often keeps the buzz of play alive and with fewer players in a bingo room/hall, one knows they have more chance of winning. Although the large jackpots are the ones advertised on television and sprawled across weekly magazines with novelty cheques held and champagne on ice, it's the small jackpots that keep the masses playing and allow them to treat themselves and their families on a weekly basis.
It could be suggested that online bingo is seen more as entertainment than gambling. When players have a spare hour, they know they're likely to be entertained by playing online bingo. These players are not seeking the big money prizes, but rather a community to embracewhile they play the games they love, hoping to win realistic jackpots.
Players on Showreel Bingo can enjoy a mixture of free bingo for real cash and games with ticket prices varying from 2p to £2. Free bingoplays every day between 9am -1pm and players can win a £1 cash jackpot with every game. The site regularly has £150 jackpots with ticket prices at just 2p, alongside £5,000 jackpots that cost £1 to enter. It seems that to be a 'people's favourite' online bingo site, a variety of jackpots and ticket prices are needed, with a focus on a low-entry price.
In addition to winning money and prizes, online bingo also allows players to socialise; chatting to friends and making new ones is an important part of the experience. Players do this via a chat room, which lists all the players who are currently in a bingo room. In the chat room there is oftena Chat Host who looks after the players and runs chat games. A paid employee of the bingo site, the Chat Host is vital to the experience of a player. The hosts listen and respond to the joys and tribulations of their customers as well as contributing to the conversation with their own life experiences. They keep order and help with basic player problems, advertise the latest promotions and, perhaps most importantly, play chat games that allow players to win more bonuses whilst playing. These bonuses most often come in the form of loyalty points, which cannot be withdrawn from the site, but can be converted into bonus cash, available to be used on bingo games.
The survey showed that 35% of players deposit up to £30 in a week. Deposits are higher towards the end of the month and this correlates with 'pay-day' - most often the last working day or Friday in the calendar month. Sites such as Lights Camera Bingo run a Payday Jackpot game that allows players to win a £1,000 prize for just a 50p ticket. Many online bingo sites run pay-day promotions and perhaps the most generous is Robin Hood Bingo who offer up to a £10,000 jackpot every month, with £2,000 guaranteed, for 30p a ticket.
Online bingo is a seasonal product, which benefits from school terms and cold weather and dislikes major festivals such as Christmas and long school holidays. The cold weather could help because people have fewer low-cost leisure options to choose from being indoors is a requirement.
During school holidays and over the Christmas period, disposable income is often lower as the family food bill increases and holidays and presents are purchased. Thanks to a drop in temperature and the start of school, OhMyBingo often sees an increase in website traffic for the month of September. Operators report increased revenues and most provide generous 'back to school' promotions. In 2013, Gala Bingo gave away £200 of high street shopping vouchers every week in September in a special room called School's Back, with tickets at 5p.
Tangible prizes such as cars, tablets and televisions are popular choices of promotion teams in the bingo world and yet research shows that six out of ten players prefer to win cash instead of prizes.
VIP schemes are a staple of many bingo sites, as loyalty and customer retention seem to be key to a successful operation. The Showreel Bingo VIP scheme has four tiers starting at Bronze, moving through Silver and Gold and finishing at Black. Each tier provides enhanced benefits such as more generous re-deposit bonuses, monthly cashback, birthday presents, access to a VIP Account Managerand entry to exclusive VIP-only bingo rooms and jackpots.
Players were asked whether being a VIP at a bingo site was important to them and results showed 71% of them were not venthused by the idea. This could perhaps be because the perception of being a gambling VIP is that you have lost a significant amount of money and therefore it comes with a negative connotation. Many sites though, including Showreel Bingo, run their VIP schemes based on wagering - and often hold a special regard for 'recent wagering' - rather than deposits/losses. This means that VIPs are required to show genuine loyalty by repeatedly visiting the site and wagering their account balances on the games. A scheme based on wagering allows large winners and/or customers with low deposits to work their way up the VIP tiers. VIP schemes are difficult to get right; it's important that they remain exclusive but not unattainable.
Switch on the television or flick through a magazine and there's a good chance that you'll come across an advert for an online bingo site. Bingo operators are increasing their marketing spend and vying for a larger percentage of a booming market. In 2013, two adverts in particular caught the eyes of OhMyBingo.com members. Firstly, Showreel Bingo introduced us to Filmy, their cameraman character who, with the help of a friendly female voice, introduces the welcome offer and site features. In just 30 seconds we're told about Showreel's daily free bingo games, welcome offer of £20 free, free DVD anda spin of the Show-wheel to win an extra bonus, plus access to their Newbies Room with a £500 jackpot for new customers only. Perhaps the most impressive statement from the advert is that over £200,000 is won on the site every single day.
Secondly, the Gala Bingo advert was praised highly for advertising that they have over 10,000 winners every single day. To celebrate their television advertising they held 1,000 special games in a montheach with a £1,000 jackpot, resulting in £1 million of additional jackpots on offer.
With so many bingo offers, comparison sites such as OhMyBingo.com are more important than ever, providing impartial advice and player reviews on all sites. Displaying genuine customer reviews along with screenshots, video demonstrations and the latest bingo news mean a new player will have no problem choosing a site that fulfills their needs.
OhMyBingo breaks down and sorts UK bingo websites by software provider, ticket price, jackpot size, customer rating and unique features in order to help provide a personalised choice to the user.
The UK bingo market is estimated to be worth over £800 million and is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. With revenues set to increase in 2014, the flurry of new sites opening isn't expected to slow in the near future. Revenues generated from mobile and tablet play are expected to at least equal traditional desktop/laptop revenues this year as 'dual-screening' (using a mobile/tablet while watching television) becomes commonplace in the household.
It is not however all good news for the industry as the end of the year will most likely see the UK government in line for a jackpot of its own when the Point of Consumption Tax passes as law. This controversial tax would mean that online gaming firms based abroad in white listedjurisdictionssuch as the Isle of Man, Alderney and Gibraltar would face a 15% duty on any gambling profits made from customer wagering in the UK. This is expected to generate £300m in 2015 for the government and hit smaller online bingo operators the most severely.