Eyes Down … For the Future Technology of Online Bingo

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This article was written on behalf of Webbingo.us, where people continue to follow up closely on every innovation and new trend involving the colourful balls.

Bingo’s already moved on a pace from the dusty halls and pier amusement arcades of the 20th century. Seriously, 21st century bingo has had to move with the technological times as more homes have gained regular access to computers and the internet, a whopping 21 million households in the UK (83%) in 2013, according to the Office of National Statistics, and has become an online gaming phenomena. Alongside the ease of playing in your own time and your own home, prime-time TV marketing has really helped to promote online bingo as in-house entertainment, but what does the future hold for online bingo?

On-line bingo platforms have already developed significantly from the early days of clunky download to responsive browser play. Hugely popular with those break-time gamers, Flash games in browsers offer fast-paced, real-time bingo games which keep up momentum and interest.

But part of the attraction of this real-time element isn’t just the games, it’s the rapidly rising role of online bingo as a form of social media. Chat games are prevalent, with savvy sites offering free games initially (but with limited chat) whilst depositing players gain access to the full chat and social community experience of the sites. This is enhanced as many bingo sites offer player incentives and bonuses for getting friends signed up to play and chat at the same time.

It stands to reason then that there’s significant investment in continuing development of the high level technology required to re-create the real-time community element of those old bingo halls, but with the modern international, rather than local, twist offered by the internet. It certainly pays bingo operators to invest in technology which not only allows them to tap into the bingo market itself, but also the largely female demographic (80% of online bingo players in the UK) to whom the whole package of colourful games, big jackpot possibilities and real-time chatting hold the great appeal.

And of course now that the majority of us have our mobile devices, to be a real competitor in the social media market place too, 21st century online bingo has to be mobile-friendly, because here-in lies the real future of both the technology and the industry. This has already been acknowledged by the Isle of Wight’s Microgaming Software Systems, creators of the first online casino back in 1994. Microgaming now provide online gaming software to over 100 casinos and bingo operators and continue their trailblazing with ongoing development of mobile and tablet-compatible software in a range of computing languages such as C++, .NET, Java, C# and, the stalwarts for those gamers with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android interfaces too - Adobe Flash and HTML5.

As such, in its short twenty years, Microsoft gaming has become a multi-million pound enterprise, with innovations in (and savvy anticipations about) technology to ensure that “players receive the richest possible gaming experience at all times, irrespective of hardware or location.” Clearly this “location” element is one of the latest and on-going areas of future technology. The quest to ensure the playability of their sites on mobile devices is a must for bingo operators who want to stay, literally, in the game.

Tucked away alongside this though, isn’t just device compatibility and development and variation of those bingo games and the lucrative side-games which all bingo brands now carry; innovation and investment is also needed in the technology for online bingo’s financial facilities. Encrypted software for financial transactions and data has long been a must for players’ peace of mind, so much so that many bingo sites which hastily offered games on mobile platforms seemed to forget about the financials and as a result still require their players to sign in via desktops and PCs to make their deposits, inconvenient to say the least for gamers on the go.

So, future technological advances must include development of convenient, but secure deposit methods on those mobile interfaces. It’s probably no coincidence that online financial giants PayPal have also invested heavily in creating their own app for mobile payments and many bingo sites (particularly those aimed at UK players) are now also accepting Paypal.

In all, the technology has made online bingo possible but as every advance or trend in technology comes along, online bingo operators and software developers have to stay eyes down to stay game on!
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