Playtech has launched bingo for the Android mobile operating system, the first mobile bingo product developed by the main supplier to bet365, Paddy Power and William Hill.
The new platform offers 90, 75 and 80-ball variations as well as Deal or No Deal Bingo, and a range of embedded mini side games, including Clover Rollover. The player chat facility also spans the mobile and web platforms. An iOS-based version for iPhone and iPad and an HTML5 version will follow in the next few months.
Playtech’s head of bingo, Rhys Owen, said the product, a year in the making, was the result of substantial investment in customer research aimed at developing the most user-friendly interface possible, given the constraints of the mobile device compared to traditional web-based channels.
“This is a significant step for Playtech in terms of cementing our position as the leading supplier of bingo software in the industry as well as offering licensees the largest networked bingo and jackpot liquidity through a new and thriving channel.”
The Android-based platform has already been rolled out to a small number of Playtech licensees, including Paddy Power Bingo, with more partners joining in the months ahead. Playtech’s Virtue Fusion Alderney bingo network, also home to Gala Bingo, Mecca, Virgin, Sky and Crown Bingo, is one of the two largest online bingo networks, the other being 888-owned Dragonfish, which powers the Foxy brands and Costa, among others.
The supplier said in its recent Q2 earnings call that a fully integrated mobile product, as opposed to individual apps for sports, mobile, casino and bingo, was one of its primary development goals. CEO Mor Weizer argued that replicating the “one-stop shop” of desktop versions of websites for mobile devices represented “a huge opportunity for betting operators”.
He said: “If you think about traditional interactive channels, placing bets and playing games on the internet using your laptop and PCs, 70% of the players come through betting, but 60-70% of the profit is made through gaming products, where players move across from betting to gaming.
“With mobile, the industry went back two years in terms of what operators offered customers. Until recently, most companies had one product for betting, another for casino, for poker, so they bring a lot of players through the betting application but they can’t convert players into gaming where they make their money.
“This is why replicating the concept of one stop shop for the customer, so we can provide all the products within the mobile application, provides the real opportunity. If you are a sports operator, you can start playing at half-time while you watch the game, doing other gaming activities, thus capturing the player and keeping the player within one environment. The next step is to make it all similar [to the desktop environment].”
Playtech purchased mobile sports betting provider Mobenga in July last year, with Weizer saying that the “capabilities and know-how developed in Mobenga will be exported into other parts of the company”, as it moved towards “ensuring a similar mobile journey for all players.”