Recently, we’ve seen a big push on the part of academics to really get into the world of online bingo. This global pastime may once have been seen as a frivolous area to look into but The Bingo Project is a study that aims to get to the heart of the industry.
What is The Bingo Project?
This is a study that took place over three years and aimed to find out the secrets of the industry. It took into account activity over some parts of the UK, Canada, Brazil and the EU. Within these different areas, the study assessed the challenges and triumphs of the industry, and their players.
It was conducted by a Reader from the University of Kent, with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council. The results that they turned up were pretty shocking to say the least.
Illegal Bingo around the World
As UK players, we may often take for granted the fact that we are able to play in a licensed environment. When compared to other countries, this study found that a lot of illegal bingo activity was recorded. In many cases, the players on these games were sacrificing their own security for the chance to play online.
In many ways, this emphasizes how lucky we are in the UK to enjoy such strict security. Sometimes, this can seem a bit restrictive for players but it’s definitely a priority. Bingo sites are always finding new ways of protecting their players, adding new payment methods and tightening up security, this is a trend that’s sure to continue.
We’d like to see more steps being made to include the really niche payment methods on the market, like cryptocurrencies. The market is really small for these so far but this is likely to get much bigger in the future.
The Gender Divide
It’s a long standing stereotype that women are more interested in bingo than men. This was also explored in this study, as they looked into the actual split of men and woman playing regularly. More women are playing but there is a move away from treating them like the target audience.
More gender neutral sites are likely to appear as a result, as it’s becoming more important to appeal to everyone. We can think of a few women targeted sites and while they don’t exclude men, we could understand if they’d rather play somewhere else. With gender in general becoming hotly debated, we may see sites steering away from the prescribed pink themes for women and darker themes for casino sites.
Are Players Getting Bored?
There have been loads of reports of players feeling like bingo is getting a bit boring. For many, they feel like they’re just sitting around waiting to see if they’ve won or lost, kind of like the lottery. While this prompts a whole discussion for the UK Gambling Commission on the legality and regulation of bingo vs lottery, it means that sites have to become a bit more interesting.
The option to ‘dual screen’ is proving important for these players as they don’t want to be stuck playing just one game. They want slots and bingo in one place instead. This is something we’ve been seeing grow over the last few years, as more sites add in slots too. We think that bingo players are also looking for more hybrid games that contain elements of both.
Many sites should be spicing up their promotions if they feel like their players are getting bored. While part of this can be attributed to the game, they should be adding additional incentives to encourage players. They’re also in danger of being branded as the gateway, getting players interested in bingo before switching for harder gambling. We don’t think this is the case, as you really don’t need to spend much on slots.
This study has given a really interesting insight into how we play and even how we are allowed to play. It may lead to a examination of where bingo actually falls on the gambling spectrum, whether it will edge towards lotto or still be kept firmly in the gambling bracket that it’s in at the moment. We’ll keep you updated with any big changes to the industry.