Bingo52 Closes Due To Dragonfish Changes
Published On 22nd June 2022
The fallout from the sale of the 888 bingo business to Broadway Gaming continues with news of restrictions being applied to brands on the platform and a closure. According to Maxi Affiliates, who manage brands such as Chit Chat Bingo, the new owners of the Dragonfish platform - Grand Battery Holdings Limited - won't be able to accept players outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Unfortunately because the brand Bingo52 operates outside of these areas it's no longer going to be able to contiunue and therefore will close down. All these changes will come into effect by the 30th June which is the designated date for change of ownership.
Canadian & New Zealand Bingo Players
Once Grand Battery Holdings Limited (Broadway Gaming) finally take control of the Dragonfish set up then we expect to see many more additions to the closed bingo site list. Bingo52 have fallen at the first simply because it was targeted at Canadian and New Zealand players. It left the UK market in March 2021 and by giving up it's UK license was able to target - in their words - "Canadian & New Zealand Bingo players as well as other grey markets". The removal of the UK license, meant that they could also be more aggressive with bonuses, and no longer fell under the rules for UKGC taxes. We wonder whether this stance didn't sit too well with the new platform owners? Or whether any licences previously held by 888 no longer apply for the new owners? Alternatively it may simply come down to economics and that it's financially viable to focus on the UK market. Mind you the UK market doesn't seem that viable either so there are interesting times ahead!
Bingo52 Down! How Many To Go?
As previously documented over 51 Dragonfish bingo brands will cease their affiliate partnerships at the end of June. However the Dragonfish platform also consists of brands owned by the likes of United Bingo, Tau Gaming and Silverspin. Amongst the many sites within this group are the likes of Moon, Costa, Wink, 888 Ladies and Sing. They're joined by magazine owned brands such as Woman Bingo, Woman's Own Bingo, Pick Me Up Bingo and Chat Mag Bingo. However after that there are numerous lesser known brands which either don't have the brand name or reputation to perhaps ride out any changes over the coming months. Somehow we can't imagine that Coffee Bingo, Bingo Me Happy and Isle Of Bingo are going to suddenly become must go destinations for players. Those three are just ones we picked out at random but we've only ever heard of Bingo Me Happy and thought that it had closed down many years ago.
Viability Will Be Key
We're guessing that the viability of each brand will be assessed by the new owners. It would be nice if all current Dragonfish incumbents are still part of the set-up in 6 to 12 months time but it's going to be difficult. So many brands have no unique selling point and it's hard to differentiate one from another. The reality is that players actually only have a choice of just a few bingo sites based on platform: Gamesys (Jackpotjoy), Pragmatic Play (Heart Bingo/Mirror Bingo), Virtue Fusion (Mecca), Entain (Gala), Tombola and Dragonfish (Wink). Once they've selected one of those to become a regular than there's no need to investigate the others. In the past it was worth doing especially if you were a bonus hunter or interested in seeking out exclusive promotions. Today it's much harder for smaller brands or even newer brands to become established. Add limited marketing budgets into the equation and it's easy to understand why sadly we may see more closures.
Brands closing on Dragonfish may well open up new possibilities. When Cozy Games sites shut down many ended up on Dragonfish whilst some opened with Jumpman. Provided that nothing changes with respect to White Label licensing in the forthcoming Gambling Act White Paper then the likes of Bingo52 may chance their arm elsewhere. Jumpman for example have brands that already target locations such as Ireland, Canada and New Zealand. Of course a new platform isn't any guarantee of success and any new sites or launches still face the same issues: limited marketing budgets, a saturated market and lack of anything exclusive or unique. Whatever happens in the next few months it's going to be very interesting and hopefully beneficial to bingo players.
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