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Putting a Face to the Nickname – Who Is the Average Bingo Player in the UK?

Online bingo is one of the most dynamic industries, and the reason for the many changes it constantly undergoes is the shift in audience since its transition from land-based to halls to online sites. Bingo operators need to adapt to a younger audience, offering their products on the right channel at the right time, focusing on player experience and user-friendly site design. In a detailed survey carried among more than 400 people, we analysed users’ playing and spending habits, their attitude to bonuses and ads, social media engagement, and how high design and mobile compatibility rank in players’ criteria for choosing a quality bingo site.

Player Demographics

Online Bingo Has Been Attracting Younger And Tech-Savvier Players

For years, bingo has been dubbed the pastime of the more elderly part of the population, but with its transition from land-based halls to online bingo sites, there has been a shift in the demographics of players as well. Latest data from statistics clearly indicates a steady increase in the younger segment of bingo players.

The Bingo Players by Age Groups

Millennials made up 17% of bingo players in 2015, with the numbers steadily growing to reach 21% in 2016 and 25% and 2017. The same upward trend is noticeable in the 35-44 age group that has increased from 21% in 2015 to 26% in 2016, keeping a steady position in 2017. Conversely, there has been a decline in the number of players aged between 45 and 54 who had been the biggest part of bingo players in three consecutive years, but their number dropped from 30% in 2015 to 26% in 2016. The biggest difference is among players aged 55+ who were leading in 2015 with 32%, being the largest portion but then became the smallest one in 2017, having decreased to 21%.
Online Bingo Player Demographics

In terms of gender, the majority of bingo players are still women, as they now constitute three quarters of online bingo sites’ customers. Although there has been an increase in the male players by 7%, they are still only 25%. The average bingo player is more likely to be married than single or divorced. The richest man from online bingo is a then 60-year-old job centre worker John Orchard who won £5.9 million in 2012, and the biggest sum won by a lady was the £3.4 Millionaire Genie jackpot that single mum Anne Marie Farrar won with a 15p stake, making her the second biggest online bingo winner in the UK.

ALTHOUGH THE MAJORITY OF PLAYERS ARE WOMEN,
A MAN STILL HOLDS THE TITLE OF THE BIGGEST ONLINE BINGO WINNER

Мale Bingo Players
One industry millennials are surely not killing is online bingo. They are, however, changing the way it is played.
Female Bingo Players

Players’ Criteria

User experience is key for players when choosing a new site

Bonuses are being ousted by site quality

Surprisingly, bonuses and promotions are no longer the most important factor for people to choose an online bingo site. When asked how they decided whether to sign up with a website or not, players said that the first thing on their list was the overall quality of the site and convenient banking options.

As diverse as bingo players are in terms of age, they seem to be unanimous about what they want to find in a website. When asked about the deciding factors in choosing an online bingo operator, almost half of them place site quality and ease of depositing at the top of their list. Not surprisingly, bonus offers come next, although over the last year, players seem to have experienced a change of heart towards welcome offers, and only 39% would rather claim a bonus and meet wagering requirements than refuse the bonus and withdraw without conditions attached, which is what 61% would do.
Important Factors When the Players Choosing an Online Bingo Site
Players are ranking quality of the site, ease of registration and depositing as some of the most important factors for choosing a new website.

Being able to make swift withdrawals without worrying about time constraints and rol over seems to be a main concern for bingo players, as indicated by the 36% of people who rated cashout times as 9 or 10 on a scale from zero to one, so it shares the 4th place in the list of crucial UX factors, along with ease of registering.

Bonuses, choice of games and customer care are not as high on players’ checklists.

Close behind is customer care with 34% of people marking it as very important. Among the deciding factors for players is of course the choice of games, and the loyalty schemes that bring return players extra benefits. As the other two main factors players have pointed out the quality of the mobile site or native app, which is hardly a surprise, considering that most players are now using exclusively mobile devices to play.

Mobile Domination

Home is everywhere the Wi-Fi is

Play Bingo on Mobile Devices

  • THE MAJORITY OF BINGO PLAYERS USE ONLY ONE DEVICE TO PLAY, WITH MOBILE GIZMOS BECOMING EVER MORE POPULAR.
  • WITH GOOGLE PLAY STORE OFFERING REAL-MONEY BINGO APPS, MOBILE BINGO IS MORE POPULAR THAN EVER
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Which Devices Do the Players Use to Play Bingo

Over the last three years, mobile has changed the market for online bingo. Smartphones and tablets are offering an ever-engaging experience and developers are optimising their games to fit the smaller screens. With Google allowing UK geo-targeted bingo apps in 2017, there has been a surge in popularity when it comes to smartphones that now dominate the market, and an increase in the use of tablets. Desktop remains the least popular device among bingo players, with only 14% of players using a PC, and instead opting for the flexibility offered by laptops. Laptops held the biggest share with 39% in 2015 but then gave in to phones and dropped to 23% in 2017. Smartphones have been on the rise, increasing with 15% from 2015 to 2017.
Which Devices Do the Players Use to Play Online Bingo

Tablets are also experiencing growth in popularity and are now more widely used than desktop. Combined, mobile devices account for 67% compared to 33% shared between desktop computers and laptops. The number of players using multiple devices is as big as the one of mobile users, since single-wallet systems and the omnichannel experience are allowing seamless transition between platforms, and the use of single account facilitates easy account management and transfer of funds.

“PAY BY PHONE” METHODS LIKE APPLE PAY ARE
BECOMING WIDESPREAD AT BINGO SITES

Use of Mobile Phones and Tablets
Players who don’t use their mobile devices to play bingo usually point out the smaller size of the screens or an outdated device as the reason for not going mobile. Safety concerns and worries about getting hacked are also in the top five reasons for not using a mobile device. They have also lead to a change in the way players manage their funds.

Due to the popularity of mobile devices, now mobile payment methods like Apple Pay and Boku which add the bingo deposit to the phone bill or prepaid cards and vouchers that don’t require sharing financial details online are being made readily available on the biggest bingo sites following the mobile phenomenon trend.

70% of Online Gamblers Play at Home
Those Aged Under 35 Are More Likely to Gamble Outside of the Home
25% of Online Gamblers Aged 18-24 Gamble at Work

An Interesting Find from the Player SurveyAn interesting find from the player survey is that omnichannel is becoming less of a hype and more a serious player’s need, as 39% of players have stated it’s fairly important and 19% have pointed out that it’s very important. The percentage is especially high among the younger players under 35 years of age. 75% of them say being able to use the same account for online and offline gambling is a deciding factor. When asked whether they would increase their spending if able to use the same account to gamble online and in land-based venues, 30% have said that it would increase, 65% think it will remain unchanged, and only 5% say it might decrease. The number of people who think they will increase their spending is again higher among the under 35’s, with 45% expressing certainty that they will spend more with an omnichannel account.

Ease of Registration

A complicated registrations process will stop players from signing up

User experience comes first for players, so it’s hardly a surprise that ease of registration and convenient single-wallet systems are key factors. Too many details required during registration, unclear Terms and Conditions, and the lack of multi-platform transition will make players give up registering.

Have You Ever Visited an Online Gambling Site but Not Completed the Registration Process

An interesting insight into players’ preferences about choosing and signing up with a new website is the fact that almost half of them have started but not completed the registration process with at least one website. When asked for the reasons not to go through with it, 43% have pointed out that too many details were required and 36% simply said it was too complicated. Surprisingly, the number of games available comes almost last as only 13% of players have stated that they didn’t proceed with the registration because of a limited choice and variety.
What Stopped You from Signing up to That Website?

Main reasons for people to avoid bonuses are the rollover requirements that sometimes include not only the bonus, but the deposit as well, the time validity of the offer which means that it needs to be wagered within a certain period of time, as well as the occasional limitations on games and bingo rooms on which the bonus funds can be spent. Players are instead more interested in daily promotions or the loyalty schemes that give them additional bonuses and benefits.
64% Think People Should Have the Right to Gamble Whenever They Want
Reputation of a Company Being Fair and Trustworthy Is the Top Choice When Selecting an Operator
Public Option Is Informed by Personal Experience, Television News and Experience of a Friend/Family Member

Bonuses

Welcome Bonuses and Promotional Offers

Yet another interesting trend for 2017 has been the turnaround in players’ attitude towards sign-up offers. While welcome bonuses seemed to be the main motivator behind choosing a website and making a deposit, in 2017 only 39% of surveyed players said that they would rather receive a bonus and meet wagering requirements before being able to withdraw than opt out of the welcome bonus offer and be able to cash out winnings without conditions. This comes in line with the 26% of players who pointed out the Terms and Conditions as a reason not to sign up with a particular site.

22% OF GAMBLERS HAVE READ TERMS AND CONDITIONS,
OF WHICH 27% FELT THAT THEY HAD BEEN IN A SITUATION WHERE
TERMS AND CONDITIONS HAD BEEN UNFAIR.

23% of Gamblers Have Read Terms and Conditions

When Joining a New Bingo Site, Would You Rather
Bingo Players and Bonuses
The lowered interest in welcome bonuses could be a natural response to bingo operators losing the no-deposit bonuses which are simply no longer viable since the passing of the Financial Bill of 2017 which requires that operators pay a tax on all free bets. Cozy lost their famous £15 no-deposit bonuses and Dragonfish opted for no-wager welcome bonuses in the form of free tickets for their newly launched websites. Another reason could be the limited choice of new welcome offers since in 2017, we saw a record low number of bingo sites openings. Customer retention and account re-activation is now the focus of the top brands dominating the bingo market, so it’s no surprise to see the number of players who have accounts at more than 10 sites fall by 24% compared to 2016.

Spending Habits

Players are depositing and spending less

Playing for fun and making friends overpowers gambling for money

Since players are less likely to sign up to new sites for the welcome bonus, they tend to deposit less. Bingo is viewed more as a form of social interaction rather than gambling in order to win money, so many players will spend less on tickets trying to win and would rather enjoy the game and room chat.

How Much Do You Deposit per Month on Average?

With fewer players opting into a bonus offer and the minimum qualifying deposit usually set at £10, the number of people who deposit less than £10 has reciprocally grown by almost six percent from last year. The number of players who spend more than £100 a month on bingo tickets and games, however, has gone down from 21.5% to 13%. There has been an increase in the number of players who deposit between £25 and £50 and this is the largest category of players, followed by players who deposit up to £25. The overall tendency in players’ spending habits is to deposit less, with twothirds of the bingo customers spending less than £50 a month on bingo.
How Much Must You Win Before You Withdraw

Fifty seems to be the dividing number when it comes to withdrawals as well. Out of 426 players, 30% said that they would wait to win at least £50 before requesting a cash-out. The other milestone is £100, with 21% of players saying that’s the minimum amount they would bother to withdraw. Most people asked said they were happy to cash out smaller sums like £20 or £30. The fact that players are more likely to make smaller withdrawals, with one fifth saying they would withdraw even less than £10 is an indication of the social aspect of bingo being prevalent over playing for money. 22% have never even made a withdrawal.

Playing Habits

Almost 80% of all online bingo players play at least once every week

Over the last year, there has been a significant increase in players who enjoy the community at their current site. People are more likely to come back for promotions and loyalty treats at a website they’ve signed up with, rather than chase welcome bonuses.

How Many Sites Are You a Member Of

With the interest in welcome bonuses dwindling, fewer players are signing up at multiple sites and are instead staying loyal to just one or a couple of brands. The majority of players – over 60% are members of between 1 and 5 sites and prefer to receive regular promotions at their current site than switch to a new one for the welcome bonus. With these insights, brand loyalty comes to the forefront and operators’ main focus is now customer retention.
What Would Make You Stop Using the Online Bingo Site You Play Most Frequently as Your Main Site

The answer to the question “What would make you stop using the online site you play most frequently at as your main site” is in line with the initial criteria of choosing a site in the first place. The main reason is long cash-out times, followed by no bonus offers, poor quality of the site, lack of choice and diversity of games and poor customer care. Difficulty to deposit and register are next with 27% and 19%. Good quality of the mobile site and/or native app, as well as loyalty schemes are also considered important and the lack of those would be among the main reasons for players to stop using a site.
Although 37% of players log in to play at least one bingo game every day, when asked how often they played for money, the majority of users have said less than once a month and only seven have said they play for money daily, which is less than all other forms of online gambling and betting. Most people who buy tickets for bingo rooms every day play about 1-2 hours in one sitting. Overall, the average playing time in one session is becoming shorter, which is most likely again a result of the predominant usage of mobile devices.
How Often Do You Play for Money?
The Avarage Number of Online Accounts Is 4
The fact that 62% of bingo players don’t see themselves as gamblers further concurs that players consider online bingo to be a form of entertainment rather than a gambling activity for money. As other forms of gambling, the most preferred ones among bingo players are slots, scratch cards, and lottery. The least popular are blackjack and horse racing.

TV Ads and Social Media

Around 80% of social media activity is done on mobile devices

Facebook is still reigning supreme

Younger players joining the online bingo communities has also changed brands’ social media engagement. Although TV ads remain the most popular form of marketing, social media and video sharing platforms are gaining popularity among players.

Television is the most widely used media among bingo players, with 76% saying they watch TV daily ( more data here – Advertising Trends report). Facebook comes next with 46%, followed by commercial radio (28%) and newspapers (23%). YouTube, magazines, Netflix and Spotify are used less often, making them the least popular media for bingo players. Overall 32% of online gamblers follow a gambling company on a social media platform. Rates are highest among 18-34 year olds, with Facebook being the most popular platform. Instagram in growing in popularity (45%) but still has a long road ahead to dethroning Facebook. Twitter’s popularity has increased by just 7% and has reaffirmed that it’s not the favourite social platform of bingo players.
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Have You Ever Clicked on a Bingo Advert on a Website
Among all people who engage in any form of online gambling or betting, bingo players are the least likely to click on a social media ad. Out of the 20% who have said they have been prompted to open an ad, the majority have done so because of a promotional offer or because they recognize the brand, which again places brand recognition and loyalty at the top of players’ preferences.

Key Findings:

  • Simplicity is the name of the game.
  • Players are getting younger.
  • Mobile is king.
  • Players are seeking no-wager bonuses.
  • Omnichannel is the way to go.
  • Brand loyalty is increasing.
Gambling Companies on Social Media