The UK online bingo market has seen spectacular growth in the last 3 years. With multiple bingo brands launching, consumers have become spoilt for choice in the number of bingo sites that they can choose to play on. Sites like Tombola Bingo, Paddy Power Bingo and Ladbrokes Bingo all offer games and variants of original bingo to keep players occupied. But this hides the fact that well over 50% of UK online bingo is played on one of two platforms: Dragon fish (from 888 plc) and Virtue Fusion. All the recent launches of new bingo sites have been on these platforms, which begs the question does the market really need all these sites that offer the same experience? And can the market support bingo sites which all offer exactly the same gaming product?
Currently, the UK is dominated by sites which operate on the bingo software owned and developed by business to business supplier Dragon Fish gaming. On these sites everything for the player is the same. The sign up process, the mini games, the deposit methods, the length of time it takes to cash out and the types of games that they can play are all the same. The main differences between each of the sites are: their branding, marketing strategy and promotions. To draw a comparison the UK bingo market is like a group of bakers shops on one street all selling exactly the same bread, baked in the same place and at the same price.
What exists in the UK currently is a situation where many online bingo companies do not compete on the quality of their games and on how much fun they are to play, but instead are focused on acquiring and holding onto their players through marketing. Good examples of sites which have made use of this marketing led approach are Moon Bingo and Costa Bingo. Both of these sites have been able to distinguish themselves through switched on marketing and, more interestingly, by trying to make themselves as unique as possible within the constraints they operate in. So Costa have aggressively pursued the reward and retention of valuable players through the manipulation of the free games schedule and Moon Bingo have offered a big sign up bonus alongside targeted free bingo. The overall affect of all this has been to create market conditions in which the movement of bingo players from one site to the other is highly liquid. The barriers to movement for a players are low as they have nothing new to learn about the product or technology as it is exactly the same across the market.
But do we need more sites like these? Of course the other side of this argument is that because so much of the market is operating on the same platform, the competition for players is fierce. Consumers have been and continue to be the real winners in terms of promotions and bonuses. But where they are missing out is on new games and ways to play, which the current market is stifiling. We therefore do not need more of the same, but more difference!
By Sam Cook
Sam Cook is a freelance author writes articles on various game related topics. For more information on Cheeky Bingo and Ladbrokes bingo he suggests you to visit http://www.freebingohunter.com/