Bloke Bingo operate on the Virtue Fusion network and offer 75 ball bingo and 90 ball bingo. Although quite a new site they have established themselves as a favourite for male bingo players thanks to their unique content and superb promotional prizes. This month we put them in the spotlight and interview Mikey the sites founder.
In my opinion Bloke Bingo is the site the industry has being crying out for, where did the concept come from?
The concept basically came from my experience in the bingo industry and my view that the whole thing was way too girly. One of the first sites I worked on I tested with my flatmates, both 20 something blokes and I was surprised at how addicted they got to it. I really only asked for testing purposes but it soon came clear that bingo wasn’t just for the girls. This sowed the seeds of what was to come, though of course it took a few years to manage!
How has Bloke Bingo being received by the bingo community?
It has actually been really well received, with comments like “No longer will the guys have to deal with prizes of days at the spa or a pink and frilly bingo site”, “Bloke Bingo is a cool looking dude’s only online UK bingo site” and “The site looks great and manly”. I was surprised really but it does make sense, yes bingo is primarily a girl’s game online but a lot of the bingo community sites are ran by blokes so it is no surprise that they welcomed Bloke Bingo. Looking at the comments on blogs and forums and such it does seem that Bloke Bingo has hit a sweet spot, even with the girls!
How do you ensure Bloke Bingo appeals to us men?
I don’t! I ensure the site would appeal to me and my blokey friends. It may be pretty selfish in terms of running a site but the way I see it… If I like it (and I place myself in the target audience) then other blokes will like it. I like computer games, Star Wars, evil robots, a few sports and energy drinks therefore cater for that and we are sorted.
Have many female players have registered? And how have they reacted to the site?
Just under half the registered players have been of the female persuasion which I think is fantastic. Bloke Bingo definitely isn’t just for men, its more about the ethos of being blokey, not wanting all of this frilly pink stuff and getting down to it playing some games and watching some Blu-Ray action, possibly with a few geeky activities thrown in! The reaction has been really positive; I have not had one negative comment. I have even had some girl’s state that they are just going to Bloke Bingo to chat to some blokey blokes!
The Bloke Zone is a great addition to the site, where does the content come from?
The content for Bloke Zone mainly comes from one of my favourite gaming websites, GamesRadar. I like it because it’s always nice and up to date, very well written and their RSS feed comes with pictures The sports of course comes direct from the BBC whereas the Good and Evil robot sections are the brainchild of my best friend and flatmate Trip who is one of the biggest geeks I have ever met, in a good way of course!
You operate a great range of mini games, how important are they to the success of Bloke Bingo?
Us blokes like to play the slots so they have to be catered for. The mini games have gotten many times better since the launch of Bloke Bingo and we now run with 6 games (including roulette), 5 slots and 12 progressive slots (at the time of writing this, Clover Rollover has a jackpot of £662,425!).
What is the largest jackpot Bloke Bingo has given away?
Funny you should mention this but our network has just had a progressive slot winner of over £240k! Plus… it was a bloke! We have had no winners of the bingo jackpots but I think it’s about time we did! The cash cow is currently set at £24,103 (full house in 34 calls or under) and of course the piggy bank is the usual £1,000 (full house in under 43 calls).
What great promotions are planned for May?
We have the £10,000 bingo game on the 31st May 2009 at 22:30. Tickets are 50p each and can be purchased now from our pre-buy page. You don’t even have to be online to win!. We also have weekly games to which you can pre-buy tickets, prizes so far have ranged from a DS, to a Freeview box and a digital camera, not bad!
For all you energy drink addicts out there… we have also got together with American Soda and hope to have that competition up and running in May in which we are going to be giving away a couple of crates of Jolt Cola, a truly superior energy drink that’s really hard to get hold of in this country. It’s pretty geeky but GORGEOUS!
How do you see the future of Bloke Bingo?
The future of Bloke Bingo is bright, at least I hope! It’s a small and personal business for me and I hope to continue this personal touch for as long as I am able to. Get more blokes on board, get the user base up and hopefully we will be able to offer weekly prizes that are bigger and better. I would love to see the day when I am giving away consoles every week… THAT would make a blokes day for sure!
With technology advancing all the time, how do you envisage bingo in five years time?
That is seriously hard to say considering online bingo has only been around for about that now! There are quite a few things out there that look interesting but who is to say if they will catch on? The live calling bingo is fun but a bit freaky, with them responding to your “chats” by talking to you. Freaked my girlfriend out did that! I don’t know though… I guess we could go the way of MMO’s (massively multiplayer online games) where it’s full virtual world where you can wander round, chat, have your own house and clothes and go out and play bingo just as you would in real life. Not sure how that would work because of course bingo sites keep their players contained within a bingo system, not plonk them into a virtual world with many other distractions. Interesting methinks!
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