In line with the jump in popularity that online gambling brands have experienced in the past few years, the online bingo industry has also grown impressively – and now represents big business.
YouGov data helps to explain who is driving this industry boom, as well as the brands that are performing well among its key target market.
Intriguingly, while one may almost disparagingly characterise traditional bingo halls as being frequented by the older generations, YouGov Profiles data indicates that when it comes to online bingo playing, the age group most likely to playing is the 25-34s.
Indeed, of those that have told YouGov they have played bingo online in the last 12 months, 28% are in that age demographic, narrowly ahead of 26% that are 35-44. Notably, women are much more likely to be playing. Among the same group, 62% are female, with 38% male.
Of course, we can attribute the fact that younger demographics are interested in the game to technology, and the ease in which they can play on smartphones. And indeed, this is by far the most popular way to take part in online bingo, some way ahead of using a tablet.
That being said, there is evidence that those playing online are also visiting their local bingo hall on occasion. Indeed, close to three in ten (28%) online players have gone to a bingo club in the past 12 months (compared to just 6% of the public generally).
It is no surprise that online bingo players are also more disposed to gambling in other forms. They’re far more likely to have played the National Lottery in the last year for example (69% vs. 47%), as well as to have bought a scratch card (63% vs. 26%) and to have also played another game, for example roulette, poker, blackjack etc., or slots on a gambling website or mobile (38% vs 5%).
Obviously the market is very lucrative one, with potential to grow exponentially over the next few years. While a plurality of online bingo players have spent less than £20 in the last year (39%), our Profiles data indicates that 7% spent more than £140.
Which brands are standing out?
The market place is crowded, and as with the online betting brands, there is a challenge for companies in differentiating from their rivals.
Generally speaking, the public does not have an especially charitable view of online bingo brands. YouGov BrandIndex data shows that if we take the average Impression score (do you have a positive or negative impression of a brand) of all the online bingo companies that YouGov tracks is -11.
However, if we look among the target demographic the situation is rosier. Highest among the online bingo players in terms of Impression score is Mecca Bingo, with a positivity rating of 20%. This compares to the rating among the general public 4%. This is very narrowly ahead of Gala Bingo (19% and 4%).
This may be to do with the brands’ well established bricks and mortar presence, which has contributed to awareness of the companies more generally.
Brands such as Foxy Bingo are also significantly more popular among bingo players, with 11% having a positive impression, against 2% of the public. Foxy Bingo in particular has advertised aggressively in order to gain market share.
Interestingly, while awareness levels of bingo brands may be less than we record for traditional betting companies, this does mean that the public tends not to view bingo brands as harshly, which should then provide opportunities in terms of marketing in the future.
This article orginally appeared in EGR Magazine