The world of online bingo has recently undergone a bit of a makeover. Unlike other sectors of the industry that have found their profit lines hit as the financial crisis continues to bite, online bingo continues its massive period of growth, with experts predicting the industry will top the $1.2 billion dollar mark by the end of 2010. With more eyes turning to the world of online bingo, it appears that what was once the dominion of your grandma is now becoming big news for an increasingly wide group of fans, including men. So is it fair to say that online bingo really is just for girls?
Women have often been the traditional players of the game, and many have credited online bingo with widening the age range of bingo players. According to a Mintel report, around 20% of all players of online bingo are from the 18-24 age bracket, with nearly two-thirds of all online bingo players between 18-45 years old. It seems like in the world of online bingo, grandma isn’t getting much of a look in.
But lines are becoming blurred. The shift to a bigger bingo world has meant a big period of consolidation. Many huge gaming networks are including bingo in their portfolios, as they begin to wise up to the profitability of the game. As this happens, there has been more of a crossover between men taking up online bingo – and women switching to the online cece188 casino and other poker-based activities. According to a recent report by Comscore, women are now making a power play for the gaming market, with the audience split now fairly even at 43%. The launch of sites such as Foxy Flutter shows the desire for operators to convert their female fans to other forms and it seems to be working, with evidence to suggest women are ditching their dabbers for roulette wheels.
And guys seem to be discovering bingo is not just a girls’ thing. CEO of online bingo giant Cashcade, Simon Collins, commented on the crossover potential, saying “Guys like the community and the opportunity to chat to people. A lot of the things bingo has to offer (also) appeal to men”. Cashcade runs many popular online bingo sites such as Foxy Bingo, Think Bingo, and Cheeky Bingo and was recently acquired by US gaming giant PartyGaming, owner of a diverse range of sites that include poker and casino-style games. With a 30% base of men, it is important for a site like Foxy Bingo to accommodate its new players – without alienating the old ones.
So how is this being done? Well, there seems to have been an influx of side games and free bingo no deposit, and new bingo sites, providing more than just the traditional eyes down the action. Online bingo jackpots continue to grow, perhaps in a nod towards the tradition amongst men for “higher stakes” gambling. And it’s been interesting to see the number of site redesigns over the last year, with many opting to shift away from the pinks and purples that once dominated bingo to slightly more neutral palates.
So whilst online bingo will always be a favorite amongst the ladies, it seems that the future will hold a much more varied demographic, something which will only help the online bingo industry to keep on growing.