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Full House: Why is Bingo Becoming a Popular Investment Opportunity?

More people than ever have become armchair investors. You could credit this to the rise in high-profile low-level investing, such as the Game Stop shares drama of January 2021. Or you could suggest that being able to download an app to invest with has made it more accessible for those who previously would have steered clear. Regardless as to why, investing at this level is likely to grow as its target audience expands. Could this also explain why bingo is becoming a popular investment option?

The iGaming sector, which represents online and remote casinos, has seen considerable growth for investors in recent years. Any solely online industry has benefitted from the move towards digital products and services. An online-only iGaming company saw share prices increase by 28.4% from July 2019 to July 2020, showing the industry’s standing as an investment opportunity. The industry is expected to increase from its $45.8 billion value in 2017 to $94.4 billion in 2024, pushing a trillion shortly afterwards. This represents an investment opportunity and shows that those who may have invested early could see considerable returns.

As iGaming investment has become so attractive, this also covers online bingo, which falls under the iGaming banner. Bingo’s star is on the rise. Indeed, a report from the Gambling Commission indicated that remote bingo grew by 0.9% from April 2019 to March 2020 – representing revenue of £176.8 million. The Gross Gambling Yield for remote betting, casino, and bingo on the whole increased by 8.1% in this same time. So, it’s clear that online bingo is growing.

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To understand why anything is becoming a better investment is to understand how future proof it may be. Since becoming an online phenomenon, bingo has harnessed the latest technology and continues to show how the game could be further improved through these advancements.

Taking such a traditional game and giving it an online makeover shows that it has the potential to transcend barriers in the future. This could be a deciding factor when making a good long-term investment.

This works twofold. The advancements mean that the game is more attractive to players, there are more ways to engage, and ultimately the game itself has become more popular. As such, it is earning higher revenues for the games developers, which translates to being an option as an investment opportunity. As online bingo becomes more innovative, they represent a potential for a more attractive investment opportunity.

The ability to play bingo on mobile devices has also arguably led to its growth in popularity. Mobile entertainment is fast proving to be the preferred way of engaging with many industries. So, allowing people to play online bingo on mobile shows a commitment to the future as well as proving to investors that the games are accessible where people who may want to play will be looking for them. Tapping into short-term trends, like mobile entertainment, may also be a good investment strategy.

Is Bingo Diversifying Its Audiences?

One of the biggest coups for the bingo industry is that it has moved out of the box the pursuit had previously been placed in and expanded to reach new audiences. Younger audiences may be more likely to engage with digital features. But also, male audiences, who were absent from the bingo halls, could be far more likely to play online. Men don’t just make up potential new players who are ready to sample bingo in its digital format – they could also be potential new investors.

The stigma of a bingo hall may have prevented men from being as avid players as they could have been before. Many games also contain a social aspect with some sites showing a banner of those who have recently won jackpots to help build a community spirit.

Some even have chat rooms built into the function of the game, which reflects the social nature of the games and helps ease tension and excitement. Indeed, a chat feature helps bingo keep some of the benefits that the bingo hall used to extol. The social aspect, combined with the tech-forward approach, is helping smash misconceptions about the game and reach out to a new audience, who could then be more likely to invest in the industry.

As an example, the Christmas party at Wink Bingo helps show the social elements of the game. Not only were participants encouraged to dress up in party attire, to provide drinks and snacks befitting the event, and queue up songs on their Christmas playlists, but the game was given a Christmas overhaul.

The Christmas bingo number calls added a light-hearted, playful feel and gave the game a social atmosphere. For example, “Santa can fill my stockings – fwoar! THIRTY-FOUR!” takes the bawdy humour of a Christmas party and combines it with the digital game. This is more likely to appeal to those who might have previously not been interested in playing bingo.

But how could the influx of male players change how investments are made? Well, there have been many studies on male and female investors. A FINRA Investor Education Foundation with Georgetown University discovered that men had, on the whole, more investment knowledge. But Money Crashers found that while this translated to more experience for male investors – it wouldn’t always benefit their investing. Some still consider female traders on Wall Street to be pioneers for accomplishing so much in a male-dominated industry.

This was reinforced by a study from the University of California-Berkeley which concluded that men were more buoyed by confidence and therefore more likely to over-trade, diminishing their returns. So, an influx of male bingo players - and later, investors - could see changes to iGaming through the market.

While a 2018 YouGov survey found that female bingo players outnumber men 62% to 38%, this figure is likely becoming more even on an annual basis. As the old ideas of bingo are shrugged away, male players – and fans of other casino games and video games – may be migrating to the centuries-old past time. The iGaming industry is one that economists see as sturdy. So, an influx in more bingo players could then play out in an interesting way across the stock market.

By Chris Plumbe