Casino Review caught up with Claire McDaid at ICE 2019, who joins Pragmatic Play as VP of Bingo after five years at GVC, where she was most recently head of leading UK brand Foxy Bingo. We discussed the company’s new bingo solution for mobile, desktop, and tablet, which boasts a smooth and seamless user interface and is easy to integrate alongside the firm’s existing range of online slots.
Casino Review: Pragmatic Play is showcasing its bingo solution at this year’s ICE. Could you tell us more about this?
Claire McDaid: We’ve used ICE to launch our bingo product, building on its soft launch last year. I came to Pragmatic Play from an operational background in November and we’ve spent the last three months working closely with the design team, focusing on creating a seamless, clear, and simple user interface experience for the player.
At the same time, we’ve made sure the product is completely customisable, so an operator isn’t forced to accept something that looks and feels identical to what every other operator on the network is offering.
We can brand our bingo solution right down to the CTA buttons and icons. It’s ideal for operators who’ve already got a well- established brand and a clear idea of how they want to market their product, and it’s been well received at the show. Another important element is our flexibility when it comes to the operators’ input and product roadmap. I want it to be a two-way street when it comes to our relationship with operators. For those who have the experience and have their own ideas, I want them to be involved in the roadmap and work with us to shape the future of the product. I know how frustrating it can be to not have your requests delivered and I want to run a service that values the importance of and delivers on our operator’s needs
When I joined Pragmatic Play last year I was immediately impressed by its rapid rate of growth. In 2018 we signed more than 20 tier one operators, I think that’s a massive achievement.
With the launch of our new bingo and live casino solutions we’ve gone multi-product. We’re already recognised in the industry for our award-winning slots content and the addition of bingo to our product offering is an exciting time for us. In terms of player demographics, we’re now seeing millennials coming through in the bingo market, so it’s an ideal time for operators to get on board.
CR: What are some of your key focuses for the launch?
CM: In my view, providing a seamless player experience is essential. We’ve delivered that and I think we’ve got one of the best UIs out there.
While a focus is on providing mobile- friendly innovative bingo games, we offer all the leading bingo variants across mobile, desktop, and tablet. So we’re embracing variety and it’s reflecting on all our products. We’re also highlighting how simple our bingo solution is to integrate. This a big sell- ing point for us, since in the past you always had to take a platform and you were locked into a back end.
With Pragmatic Play you’ve got one application program interface (API), so it means anyone who’s got our slots direct can simply add bingo. There’s no additional dev work required from an operator, so it’s easier to switch whenever you want.
So those are some of our key focuses at the moment but looking further ahead I’d also like to bring out a quickfire version to allow people to play bingo on the go.
CR: What kind of feedback have you received from visitors to the show?
CM: It’s been extremely positive, we’ve had meetings all day every day. Again, I think it comes back again to the UI – what you can see in visitors’ faces and the feedback I’ve got from operators is that the lobby offers a straightforward and appealing layout for the player and looks very fresh.
I think a lot of people are unaware of the potential bingo has and that’s a key message we want to communicate at the show. Com- ing from an operator perspective, I’ve run both online slot and bingo sites. It’s far cheaper to acquire bingo players, you get lower CPAs and in the UK it allows you to have daytime advertising on TV.
Then of course you can cross-sell. For some online operators, 70 percent of their revenue is generated by slots. We want to spotlight that you can acquire players through bingo, then cross them into slots and that way you’re getting that additional value from the player.
CR: What markets are you currently looking at for your bingo solution?
CM: We are UK-licensed and certified and without a doubt that is where our main focus is at the moment because it’s such a mature market, and there’s still a huge demand for bingo. But there are so many opportunities out there, and just as we’re multi-jurisdiction in our slots, we also want to be multi- jurisdiction in terms of our bingo offering.
We’re also speaking to a number of operators who are Scandinavian-focused so that’s next on the agenda for us.
This week we’ve also met with a lot of LatAm-based operators, and the continent is certainly a sleeping giant. Bingo is a popular game in both Brazil and Mexico and there’s a big demand for it, and that’s truly exciting in terms of potential opportunities in the future.