So why is Internet bingo so popular? From the player’s perspective, there are no costly and time-consuming car trips to the bingo hall and there are no smoking bans. Internet players are able to couple the thrill associated with playing in a seemingly endless variety of competitive bingo games, with the exploding phenomena of social networking.
From the operator’s perspective, there is minimal cost associated with launching a free-play or subscription-base bingo site. Operators are able to easily extend their existing websites and link them into existing Internet bingo game infrastructure, which is fully managed for them. There is immediate, recognizable, enhanced customer value in using such an offering, allowing the 24/7 promotion of land-based bingo hall or charity specials, jackpots, lotteries or sweepstakes. The promotion of upcoming events effectively adds a direct marketing channel to the customer or donor, allowing for frequent and multiple opt-in customer touch opportunities.
In the coming months, we expect to see substantially more free-play and subscription-based Internet bingo solutions adopted by gaming companies, traditional bingo halls and charities. We are also seeing unprecedented interest in Internet bingo from promotional firms who may use Internet bingo to enhance customer loyalty. These technologies can be used successfully to re-capture old players and acquire new ones. Since only 40 percent of Internet bingo players currently play at bingo halls, to acquire an Internet player, gives a hall operator access to a new customer.
Internet bingo is still at its very early stages of development. As Internet gaming regulates in North America, Internet bingo will become mainstream just as it has in the United Kingdom and Europe. Given the current regulatory environment in North America, traditional bingo operators and charities should consider using Internet bingo as a marketing and promotions tool. Internet bingo complements existing marketing channels. It should not be seen as a threat.
By Scott White, CEO of Parlay Entertainment Inc.