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It's been a big week in the UK online bingo world dominated by two huge pieces of news. The fact that Gala Bingo has relaunched on a completely new bingo platform and that unique bingo site Wonder Bingo has closed down would not seem to be linked in any way, but there is one common factor which makes these developments particularly interesting.
Both Gala Bingo and Wonder Bingo were one of a kind bingo sites, operating standalone operations on their own proprietary software.
Now, here at WhichBingo we can often be heard letting out a howl of frustration when we learn of yet another new online bingo site that is to open on say, Dragonfish software or Cozy games. However, it would now seem that there is a perfectly good reason why this keeps happening.
We love to see brand new sites opening on never before seen software - it makes life interesting for us as bingo writers and for bingo players everywhere to experience something new and different. The reality for the operators is somewhat different.
Gala Bingo, one of the biggest operators around, cited the fact that their own platform could not be enhanced any further to cope with the number of players that were utilising the site. That meant either substantial investment in further software development, which it would appear Gala Coral could not deal with at this moment in time, or jump into bed with an established provider. We now know that the latter is the decision that was taken and despite the apprehension of many it looks like it has been a wise move.
The new Gala Bingo site is bright and vibrant and has retained many of its distinguishing features and unique games. There is a good chance that many well established Virtue Fusion brands will be cursing this new competitor in the coming months.
At the other end of the scale Wonder Bingo launched just over a year ago in a blaze of glory on its own platform following a heavy investment in site development, probably on the calculation that they already had a loyal Facebook following that would be enthusiastic customers of the new pay to play site. This didn't happen and despite many changes and enhancements and the fact that the offer was unique, player numbers remained stagnant. Unique translates as expensive to maintain and in this instance the site had to close down.
So, next time we report on a new bingo site opening on a very familiar bingo platform let's not let out that audible groan. Instead players can hope for some kind of unique offer within the site, or a standalone room to mark it out and that this one will be the lucky one and deliver that elusive big win.
Good luck to the all new Gala Bingo and a sad goodbye to Wonder Bingo.
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