As the industry gears up for ICE and LAC, we catch up Andrew Housego, Group Operations Manager at BingoPort, to find out about the “only complete awards for the UK online bingo industry” – a ceremony which runs in tandem with the aforementioned events.
AffiliateINSIDER: Can you begin by introducing BingoPort as a company and also introducing the BingoPort Awards?
Andrew Housego: BingoPort is one of the original affiliates in the UK, launching way back in 2007 and filling the niche of a comparison site for the burgeoning UK online bingo market. It was a different time, with just a handful of operators and affiliates to share the early spoils of what has become a massive part of the UK online gaming landscape. It was sold by it’s original owners Scott Logan and Roo Wright to Gaming Realms PLC in 2015 and
has more recently been acquired by Manchester-based, 1st Leads Ltd in March 2018.
The BingoPort Awards were first held in 2008 in conjunction with the then CAP Euro conference, held at the Novotel West London. It signalled a long association, as the awards have been held alongside LAC every year since, this year being the 12th. It originated as and continues to be the only complete awards for the UK online bingo industry, determined solely by the votes of players.
AI: What are the key attributes of a good bingo site?
AH: According to our players, community remains the key. Chat hosts and the community created by the players themselves keep players loyal to a bingo site. In recent years, with the rise of white labels and networked rooms, a number of sites have lost sight of this aspect, but players continue to return to the sites where they feel part of a community.
AI: What benefits does running an awards ceremony in tandem with ICE and LAC bring?
AH: For BingoPort, it’s been a lengthy cooperation. It still remains the one time of the year where most operators and affiliates in our specific sector gather in the one place and we therefore see it as the ideal time to hold an event. It’s become a traditional networking event for operators and affiliates in the online bingo space and we plan to make it bigger and better in the coming years.
AI: And in terms of BingoPort the company, what makes you stand out from rival bingo affiliate sites?
AH: What BingoPort has established over the last 12 years, is it’s own community of players. We have an engaged audience who see BingoPort as their first destination when deciding where to play their bingo or slots. We’ve undertaken a number of activities to build the BingoPort brand, including TV campaigns, our awards, industry reporting, our Player Rewards programme, player meets etc.. It’s just the beginning though. We aim to position ourselves as a true market authority over the coming years and establish BingoPort as a brand as well recognised as the larger operators we currently promote.
AI: Looking ahead to the remainder of 2019, what’s in store for BingoPort?
AH: We’ve recently embarked on a number of acquisition campaigns, designed to rapidly expand our membership base. We’re constantly improving our user experience and the value of our Player Rewards programme and there are a few truly exciting developments that we’ll be announcing at our awards event and in the weeks to come.
For those in the industry who haven’t already noticed, things are moving rapidly in an upward direction at BingoPort. The change of ownership has seen a re-energisation of the business and with recent M&A activity and the pressures of compliance having an impact on our competitors, BingoPort is embracing it as a massive opportunity to re-establish ourselves as the leading UK Bingo Affiliate.