You can’t watch any length of TV these days without some form of bingo advert popping up on screen.
It’s not just the frequency, but the variety of different sites that is most revealing. There just seems to be no end of online bingo sites out there.
But just how many are there in total? Is this number growing, and at what point does it become too many?
How many bingo sites are there?
It is difficult to quantify precisely how many bingo sites exist, as most bingo information websites will only list a selection of sites – i.e. the ones that they will earn a commission from if someone signs up.
However, there is one site that claims to list EVERY bingo site in it’s vast directory – Which Bingo.
Go to their directory page and you’ll find their bingo site search box, where you can type in a site name or scroll through the entire list.
I counted the number of sites in this list and it came to a staggering 359 bingo sites in total!
Huge choice – not much variety
Now while the choice of different sites is staggeringly huge, the actual difference between those sites isn’t as big as you may expect.
This is down to the variety of bingo software used on those sites.
There are only a handful of sites who have their own unique software, such as market leader tombola, and the rest are reliant on software providers – of which there are less than 20 different options, and all of which provide games to multiple brands.
All this means is that when you join a new site, what you play when you get into the games may be something you’ve seen before, and in the case of networked sites it may even be the very same game with the same players, just skinned to look slightly different.
The new sites con
What we’ve reached now is a point where the market is highly saturated and new brands who enter the market have very little to differentiate themselves from the rest.
What is happening more and more is that new sites are being launched with little long term planning, but instead to capitalise on the novelty of being new, grabbing those first deposits and then eventually losing players over time as they realise that site isn’t as different as they first thought.
You’ll see new sites opening up, claiming to be something special or unique, when in fact they are just another carbon copy site on a network, that has simply thought of a wacky new name and given the homepage a fancy paint job (see Fierce Bingo).
I think the short answer to the question of whether or not there are too many bingo sites would be yes.
However, there is still room in the market for something truly different to come along and grab some considerable market share.
Unfortunately the cost of quickly launching a new site on a network like Dragonfish is so cheap, that it is more compelling for operators to continue to churn out new brands at little cost and effort, rather than invest in something completely new.
M8tes Bingo and Wonder Bingo were two genuinely independent, unique and innovative bingo sites who launched to huge acclaim, and then crashed spectacularly within a year as they ran out of capital.
Personally these sites were really good, and the software made them stand out and offer something different. But the sheer costs involved in building and maintaining your own bingo software proved too much and it was very hard for these start-ups to turn a profit.
I don’t forsee an end to new bingo sites entering the market, but we’ve certainly gone far past the line in terms of seeing anything genuinely different in the future.
The only innovation I forsee will come from the established big brands.