Online Bingo Big Winner For Online Gaming Operators

Earlier in the year several gaming companies released their first quarter figures. In the UK three of the biggest gaming companies credited online bingo for generating the most profits and supporting the rest of their gambling operations to some extent. 888 Holdings reported a 9% increase in first quarter revenues. 888 Holdings reported revenues of $75 million for the first quarter. The increase was caused by an increase in player numbers and spending. Player numbers in all gaming areas increased last year. Player numbers increased in the casino, poker, sports and bingo sectors.

Customer accounts increased across the board for most gaming operators but internet bingo was the star performer. It was an eventful time for 888 Holdings. The company had been considering a merger with Ladbrokes Plc since December 2010. The CEO of 888, Gigi Levy, said he was stepping down but remained on the board at 888 Holdings. Levy’s move helped the company avoid having to pay £48 million pounds for the purchase of well known Wink Bingo.888 Holdings had to stagger payments to for the buyout of Wink Bingo due to an unprecedented rise in gaming profits.

Rank Group, which owns several bingo halls and casinos as well as extensive internet bingo and casinos, reported a 2% increase in total revenues during the first quarter of 2011. Revenues from Rank’s Mecca bingo halls increased by 4% and the spending per customer continues to increase. Mecca bingo’s online operations experienced strong growth and revenues were aided by the launch of a new iPhone application.  Mobile bingo has become increasingly popular in the UK. Rank Group’s performance was helped by a tax refund of approximately £154million pounds but the decision is being appealed by the HMRC.

The third gaming company, Ladbrokes, reported strong first quarter figures. Ladbrokes’s casino and online bingo operations mitigated the damage caused by Ladbrokes exposure to a downturn in horseracing. Revenues from Ladbrokes’s bingo operations were up 18.8% and casino revenues grew by an astounding 23.9%. As a whole Ladbrokes’s revenues were up by 1.2%. So far online bingo has been recession resistant. Analysts say this is because more people are seeking inexpensive home based entertainment and more value for their pounds and dollars. The launch of new mobile applications has been a resounding success and some experts predict that mobile bingo will drive industry growth for the next two years. It is easy to see why many investors are enthusiastic about online bingo.

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