Heart Radio is one of the UK’s premier stations and they are part of Global Radio who control various other top stations such as Capital and LBC. There is no disputing their popularity in the radio game, but you wouldn’t have expected their switch to the gaming world to have been quite as successful as it has been. It is always rare for outside commercial companies to thrive in this overcrowded market. It is only News UK’s The Sun newspaper who have become a greater success. Heart Bingo launched back in 2010 and they recently marked their 6th birthday that was celebrated by their team rewarding players with lots of prizes.
Costa Bingo has been in operation since the year 2009 and to this day www.costabingo.com is one of the top 10 most visited bingo websites. This company is owned by Mandalay Media who are now under the control of Intertain. This is Mandalay’s core brand that is joined by many others. CityBingo.com has in particular been relatively successful over the years. It is however this project that has always attracted the players in the masses, no doubt enticed by the catchy branding built on sunny Spain. Rather than sunny holidays, their advertising efforts have however tended to be more aligned with big jackpots as seen through their multi-million pound ad campaign featuring Mel B.
Bingo with Kerry was launched at www.bingowithkerry.com very recently in Jan 2016. Kerry Katona has put her face to the brand and she’ll be dropping in the rooms on frequent occasions to chat with players and handout prizes. There has been a few new bingo sites launching in 2016 such as Swanky and Zinger, but this is perhaps the one with the greatest potential of growth. This is in light of Atomic Kitten’s fanbase and Ms Katona did win I’m a Celeb and come 2nd in Celeb Big Brother. There has of course been the ups and down with financial matters, relationships etc, but she keeps managing to bounce back.
The Gala Coral Group is one of the biggest names in gambling and they are set to become an even greater force when their merge with Ladbrokes goes ahead. The Gala Bingo brand is identifiable to most through their chain of 130 clubs. Whilst the branding is still used, the retail side was in fact sold on to Caledonia Investments in 2015. They do still control www.galabingo.com and there is no plan to sell up. Gala’s site has been live since 2006 that makes them one of the early starters in the niche. They originally started out with their own software, but later moved to Virtue Fusion and this contract has remained in place.
Since launching in 2007 Sky Bingo has grown rapidly to become one of the leading market brands. Sky Bet is the core division of the group and this is joined by the Poker and Vegas departments. All 4 firms collectively serve more than 1 million customers. Interestingly, the broadcasting giant now only controls a small 20% share of this gaming enterprise. It was CVC Capital Partners that went in to acquire a majority 80% stake that took place a few months into the 2015 year. This deal was unexpected, but it hasn’t stopped the operation from thriving. This is especially the case on the Bet side, that is now the 3rd most popular online sportsbook.
Many new bingo sites launched in the 2015 year, but of the entire range the most popular release was Dino Bingo. This company launched in March that was just a few months before Jurassic World hit the cinemas. This no doubt spurred on the branding theme and we would also later see the release of 888’s T-Rex Bingo. 888 may be considered as a copycat here, but they are the software provider of Dino and every other site owned by Mandalay Media who are most famous for Costa. Mandalay are now part of The Intertain Group that brings them into the same family as Jackpotjoy who are the most visited brand in the sector.
Foxy Bingo was formed by Cashcade back in 2005. They acquired Think in 2007 and would later follow up with Cheeky in early 2009. A few months down the road saw PartyGaming acquire Cashcade’s thriving business. Party merged with Bwin to create Bwin.Party who were recently bought out by GVC Holdings Plc. The famous Foxy branding has expanded to FoxyCasino.com and FoxyZero.com. Over at Zero they specialise in free and low cost games. Some may question the need when you can play for free on the main site in the Foxy’s Den and Love Me Tender rooms. The central company is of course one of the most recognisable in the sector.
Butlers Bingo is the flagship brand of Broadway Gaming Ltd that is supported by Diamond, Dotty, Glossy and Rehab. Outside of this niche the owner also runs Casino of Dreams. The now famous Butler made his grand entrance back in June 2010. In the modern day they have emerged as one of the top 10 market brands, supported by a loyal following of 27,000 Facebook fans. This company really hit the mainstream back in December 2012 when they paid out the world’s largest ever win at a bingo site. After just a few days of joining www.butlersbingo.com, John Orchard placed £0.30 on a Dark Knight slot. This landed John with a whopping £5,883,044.43 win.
Jackpotjoy was established by the Gamesys Group in 2002. Other than this direct product they have become famous as a leading software provider. A shock sale of Jackpot to Canada’s Intertain Group came in 2015 and this year didn’t end well when Playtech’s Virtue Fusion poached The Sun contract. Intertain took possession of the UK’s most visited bingo website here. Further to this they also own Mandalay Media that includes such brands as Costa, Rio, Sing etc. What has helped to make Jackpot such a success is aggressive TV ad campaigning using Barbara Windsor. Growth has been remarkable when you consider that in 2005 they had 100,000 customers and today they have more than 4 million.
Mecca Bingo is one of the industry’s premier names with a long standing history dating back to the year 1961. They have a chain of close to 90 bingo clubs that serves more than 1 million customers. On the digital side they have 267,000 customers. The revenue at venues is close to £225 million, whilst digital is £65 million. There is a sizeable difference between each channel, but their financials would be pretty much matched if the user base heading through each was more balanced. Whilst they only have the single major competitor on the high street, the online space is vastly overcrowded where they are battling with more than 400 brands.