Bingo operators are benefitting from the latest mobile trends. Mobile bingo appears ready to overtake lad based and online bingo. A new brochure by Bullet Business, the host of the annual bingo summit held in London each year, contains a discussion by experts of the latest mobile trends. The brochure asks three experts their opinions on mobile bingo. The experts include chairman of the annual summit, Clair Osborne, Mecca Bingo head of digital operations, and Aiden Shortt, an interactive gambling consultant. It has taken the bingo industry a long time to adopt mobile technology.
Osborne believes that now that mobile products are out there the bingo industry is “doing a good job of offering a good alternative to online.” Using Mecca as an example Osbourne said that half of the players using Mecca’s mobile application over half registered using mobile and play exclusively on their mobile devices. Shortt agreed that the bingo industry took its time before launching mobile apps. Shortt said that online bingo is directed by a sense of community and chat and many smartphones do not lend themselves to these functions. Shortt said “not necessarily the iPad, which maybe isn’t right for the average bingo players” and suggested that tablets can provide mobile players with the complete online bingo experience.
Frasier agreed with the other experts that mobile bingo has had its issues. Frasier said there are still technical issues to overcome. He said that many sites have experienced an increase in traffic and said that operators must develop a product that will keep players coming back. Frasier said that tablets perform better providing the social aspect of bingo. In the past the small screen size on some smartphones has limited players and chat and side games cannot be accessed. Osbourne also expressed her opinions on social gaming. She said that social media and social gaming are “quite different things.” Osbourne said that Mecca has had success using social media to increase the company’s player base. She said the bingo industry has a long way to go before combining social media with social gaming.
Frazier said it will be a challenge for the bingo industry to monetize social bingo. Frazier said the industry needs to work with social networks like Facebook to develop real money social games. Mobile technology has been good for the online gambling industry. Recently one research firm estimated that mobile gaming will grow by 19% annually until 2016. Tablets and smartphones will account for one fifth of the global gaming market by 2016.