Over the past decade the online gaming industry has emerged as one of the fastest growing segments of internet commerce today. In 2006 online gamblers wagered a total of twelve billion dollars via the World Wide Web. Experts project an estimated twenty four billion dollars will be wagered via online gaming sites during 2015.
Online Sportsbooks and Casinos were first to introduce their product to the public during late 90’s. 2002-03 ESPN began televising the World Series of Poker showing pro player’s hidden cards which sparked the online poker boom. Millions of recreational players logged on to become the next televised world champion. By 2005, bingo made its official entrance and has proven to be one of the most profitable sectors for gaming operators. The United Kingdom has experienced a growth rate in excess of 400% with new bingo players over the last four years.
As 2010 approaches, bingo continues to produce impressive numbers while poker, casino, and sport are beginning to reach their peak. The bingo game was first seen online when Gamesville.com launched their Bingo Zone service allowing hundreds of people to compete in real time (Koplowitz, 1997).
To play online bingo a user selects a site via the web and registers their information. Next they navigate through different bingo rooms playing with friends or complete strangers. The online bingo experience is similar to the brick and mortar socials, except now the games are faster and easier to play. There are several features bingo software offers making the game more entertaining for the younger demographic.
Bingo players are often thought to be older women, 60+ and retired. WinkBingo.com, however, collated known demographics and surveys for their own operations and shares that 90% of online bingo players are below 50 years old and 85% areeducated women (WinkBingo.com, undated).
The online bingo industry is proving to be one of the few gaming sectors to be recession-proof. In February 2009, OnlineBingoAlerts.com reported that its traffic grew more than 20% over a two-month period, as well as a 55% growth in new depositing players over the last quarter of 2008 compared to the previous quarter. What is more interesting is the site’s online bingosuccess was not replicated in other portals like poker, casino and sports (Onlinebingoalerts.com, 2009).
Key Growth Area:
As a whole, online bingo has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years. The 20% increase in OnlineBingoAlerts.com’s traffic only confirms a Bingo Genie report that Web traffic to online bingo sites continue to increase within the United Kingdom, the most developed and competitive online bingo market in the world.
Citing traffic data from both HitWise.co.uk and Google Trends, Bingo Genie reported an increased number of Britons are visiting online bingo Web sites: almost doubling in a span of one year, while the number of people searching for they keywords “online bingo” has quadrupled in a four year period to 2008 (Bingo Genie, 2008).
Online Bingo Boom:
OnlineBingo.TV reports online bingo provides a high level of entertainment for minimal cost. With games costing an average of 25 cents per card, online bingo may be seen as an inexpensive alternative to actual bingo and other forms of conventional gambling, both online and offline.
Online casinos’ minimum deposit requirements have steadily decreased over the years, making it more enticing for a new player to join in the fun. Online bingo games are also fast-paced with new games starting every few minutes. The accompanying software is fully automated and players are able to chat with friends all throughout the game.
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