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May
12th

Bingo Pushing Q1 Gaming Figures Higher

In mid April three of the largest internet gaming operators released their first quarter figures which showed that the online bingo market is still very buoyant. In fact the gaming operators agreed that internet bingo is the driving force behind the amazing first quarter figures. For the last year internet bingo has been the fastest growing sector of the online gaming industry. 888 Holdings reported that Q1 revenues rose 9% to $75 million dollars and that an upturn in bingo revenues was the main reason for the increase.

Player numbers in all online gaming sectors rose year on year but internet bingo has been the star performer for the online gaming industry. Player numbers at online casinos, poker sites and sports betting sites increased but bingo was the overall winner in player numbers. For 888 Holdings it has been an eventful time. Bingo legend and 888 CEO Gigi Levy announced he was stepping down but would remain on the board and the company is considering a merger with venerable bookmaker Ladbrokes. 888 has said that they do not expect the figures to continue rising because of the traditionally slow summer season ahead. In the summer most UK online bingo players abandon online bingo games in favor of outdoor activities. Bingo companies may be able to avoid the summer slump by offering more mobile bingo options which would enable players to participate in games from just about anywhere.

Rank group reported a 2% rise in gaming revenues in all sectors including Rank’s Mecca bingo halls. Surprisingly revenue from land based Mecca bingo halls rose 4% indicating that land based bingo may be recovering from the smoking ban and high taxation. Mecca bingo also has an internet bingo operation and recently launched an iPhone application that may make the summer months more profitable for Mecca. Rank’s Q1 figures were also helped by the recent rebate from the UK taxman for £154million pounds.

Ladbrokes reported strong first quarter figures with bingo and casino operations covering losses in its horseracing sector. Revenue from bingo was up 18.8% and casino revenues were up by 23.9%. Ladbrokes announced that they were no longer in talks with 888 Holdings. The strong performance of land based and online bingo may cause gaming companies to rethink current strategies. The slow summer months are approaching and marketing departments will be busy trying to devise strategies to mitigate the effects of the slow summer months ahead.