The British gambling industry generates annual revenues of just under £15 billion. With that in mind it’s no wonder that the industry is rife with cut-throat competition. In the latest example of posturing and jostling, 888 Holdings have expanded their portfolio by purchasing Costa Bingo.
Midway through February it was announced that 888 had acquired Costa Bingo for a fee rumoured to be in the region of £18 million. Two-thirds of that figure has been paid up front with the remainder due to be transferred in the latter part of 2019. What does this latest purchase mean 888 and Costa? And what does it say about the gambling industry in general?
YOUTUBE LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMzTO24XLsY
(Mel B’s favourite bingo site are the latest to have been purchased by 888 Holdings.)
Who are 888?
888 Holdings PLC are just one of the many companies that came into existence in the late 1990s looking to exploit internet gambling. Back in 1997, when 888 were founded by brothers Avi Shaked and Aaron Shaked, internet gambling was a relatively unheard-of phenomenon.
In the subsequent years following the foundation of 888, internet gambling took off in a massive way. Millions of people gamble online daily whether that be on computer or mobile device.
As pioneers of internet gambling 888 have always been at the forefront of innovation in the industry, owning their own online game development company. That pioneering approach has seen 888’s annual revenues grow to just under $550 million.
Who are Costa Bingo?
In the British gambling industry Costa Bingo aren’t particularly market leaders. The online bingo site is part of the Jackpotjoy group that was acquired by 888 and includes Costa Bingo, Sing Bingo, City Bingo and Fancy Bingo.
The turnover of the Jackpotjoy group is thought to be around a third of the overall price paid by 888 but the groups revenues are expected to grow following the purchase.
YOUTUBE LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOOhfLJefy4
(British bingo used to be the domain of elderly players, but now it’s the fastest growing gambling industry in the UK.)
What does it mean for the punters?
As mentioned earlier in the article, 888 are industry leaders when it comes to technology and customer service. The immediate effect will likely be a marked improvement of the operating systems on the Costa Bingo website.
There will undoubtedly be an improvement in customer services and the customer interface as well. The Costa Bingo no deposit bonus is expected to be culled by 888 in the short-tem. However, 888’s financial pulling power means that Costa Bingo customers will be able to expect more frequent and more generous regular bonuses.
888 have form in acquiring smaller gambling companies and welcoming them into their own group. In 2009 888 bought Wink Bingo for a rumoured £60 million from Daub Ltd. This purchase was influenced by necessity rather than desire. Online gambling had recently been outlawed in the United States – slashing 888’s income.
Ever ahead of the trend, 888 recognised the growth potential of bingo and pinpointed it as a way to enhance their earnings. Back in 2009 Wink Bingo had pre-tax profits of £1.3 million.
After 10 years under the management of 888 Wink Bingo’s pre-tax profits are now £24.1 million. Much of that is down to the sound management of the online bingo platform and the creation of Wink Slots to appeal to the millions of slots enthusiasts in the UK.
How did 888 change Wink Bingo?
As well as introducing Wink Slots, 888 also revolutionised the look and feel of the Wink Bingo website. There was a large investment in the design of the website, focusing on a Pop Art style that helped to differentiate it from other sites.
888 targeted middle-aged women as their main demographic and therefore modelled all of their marketing to that demographic. That helped to make Wink Bingo unique and the first point of call for many bingo lovers.
(A quick look at the gameplay and user interface of Wink Bingo, one of 888’s most successful purchases.)
What to expect from Costa Bingo
It’s thought that Costa Bingo will be the main point of focus for 888. The layout and design of the website will probably be the first thing to change as 888 attempt to put their own unique stamp on it. With that as their focus, there will be a considerable financial input to improve Costa.