The online bingo site Bingo Scotland have a new press release out talking about their experiences of picking up customers following the start of the Scottish smoking ban. Whilst many in the industry are talking about an explosion in players come the start of the ban, Bingo Scotland are urging caution, as in their experience, the shifts were only small.
Their spokesperson went as far as too say – “With the English ban mid summer and the many more bingo sites available today, any operator excepting to see a noticeable lift will be disappointed.” The release makes some interesting points about the disparity between the online and offline audience but I don’t feel it tells the whole truth. The experience of the larger online brands doesn’t bare the observations out. Bingo Scotland remain a smaller brand in part hindered by the Globalcom platform they choose to operate on. They are in a small network with Think Bingo and Think Bingo Plus, who despite extensive TV advertising suffer from lack of brand awareness.
Places like Gala and Mecca Bingo have seen a big growth in online players the last year. Given the visibility of big brands in everyday UK life, any new online players, no matter what their age or experience, are more likely to start with what they know.
This gap is further compounded by the fact there’s also a gulf in user experience between sites like Bingo Scotland and the bigger players. Word of mouth will drive players online, and if players are hitting sites with frustrating software, like any in the Globalcom family, there’s going to be a less word-of-mouth traffic for the operators.
With so many providers in the marketplace, you have to offer something that little bit extra. For my money, despite TV adverts and publicity, Bingo Scotland isn’t doing that at present – and it’s reflected in press releases like this. As some one who drops in at many Bingo sites as an interested player, I’ve seen the difference in growth between certain brands and styles of site – and it looks like it’s set to continue.