According to several bingo and online gaming expert’s social and mobile bingo are set to create the next bingo boom. Mobile and social bingo are benefiting from the latest technologies and trends. In 2012 social gaming became a hot industry topic and a few online gaming companies offer real money gaming on Facebook in the UK and Europe. A new brochure from Bullet Business, the sponsor of the annual online bingo summit, contains several opinions from experts. The brochure has published the opinions of Phil Fraser, summit chair, Clair Osborne, Mecca Bingo head of digital operations, and Aiden Shortt, a long-time interactive gambling consultant.
According to Osborne it has taken the bingo industry a long time to offer mobile bingo to players. She said that now that the mobile bingo products are out there they are “doing a good job of offering a good alternative to online.” Osborne said that half of the players using Mecca’s mobile app have registered on mobile devices and play exclusively on their smart phones and other devices. Shortt agreed that bingo has been slow to adapt to mobile apps and cited a reason for that. Shortt said that bingo is driven by a sense of community and chat rooms and many mobile devices make it impossible or difficult to use the chat rooms at most bingo sites.
Shortt also said there is a silver lining for the online bingo industry in the form of tablets and stated “not necessarily the iPad, which maybe isn’t right for the average bingo players” but less expensive devices that will give players the full mobile bingo experience. Frasier agreed with his colleagues that social and mobile bingo has several technical issues that need to be addressed. Frasier was positive and said bingo sites are seeing more traffic via mobile players and this will force operators to deliver a quality product that will keep players coming back. Frasier agreed that tablets did a better job of delivering the social aspects of bingo than smartphones.
Shortt believes that social and mobile bingo will converge and said this is because bingo is all about the socialization and relationships between players and the desire to win cash is secondary for most players. Osborne believes that social media and social gaming are two different things. Osborne says the industry has a long way to go before transposing the fun of a traditional bingo game into a social gaming format. Only time will tell who is right.