Bingo in the UK is about to get an interesting face lift. A new kind of Bingo Ticket book is being produced by Edwardthompson a company that has been in the business of printing since 1867 and has been supplying products to the leisure gaming industry for the past 50 years. The company has developed the 3rd Generation Bingo Ticket Book. A fully colored book of tickets that can be customized is now on the market for Bingo Clubs in the UK. I contacted Charles Looker to find out more about the book. Mr Looker thanks for taking time to take part in a Candid Conversation.
Cliff T.: can you explain the differences between the old Bingo tickets and the new ones that your company is producing?
Charles Looker: The big difference is that where previously bingo tickets had to follow a set design which was repeated on every page of every book. Now each and every page can be a completely different design and in full colour. This means that a customer can jazz up how they present the bingo grids and numbers or they can design a completely different number related game.
Cliff T.: Your press release states that these new tickets will give Bingo clubs the opportunity to use a new style of games, in what way?
Charles Looker: Because the tickets are printed using a full colour digital printer instead of traditional printing methods, every ticket design in a book can now be different. This flexibility means we can create new number games for clubs to play such as ‘bingo roulette’ or even image based games such as ‘match the celebrity face’.
Cliff T.: Can the books be changed in size or shape?
Charles Looker: At the moment they are produced in the standard sizes used by bingo clubs however with the advances in print finishing technology anything is possible.
Cliff T.: What was wrong with the old style?
Charles Looker: Nothing at all! Many customers and players still love our traditional style books. The main advantage of the new style books is the flexibility in design which makes them look more visually appealing and also enables clubs to insert adverts and sponsorship messages into the tickets giving them increased commercial opportunities.
Gala (the biggest bingo club in the UK) have rolled out the tickets across all their clubs and we expect other clubs to follow but some clubs will still prefer the traditional styles tickets which we have no intention of withdrawing.
Cliff T.: Mr. Looker what has been the reaction from the clubs and the players to the new books?
Charles Looker: Very good. Gala Bingo has reported good feedback with clubs and players alike enjoying the new style tickets.
Cliff T.: Why now, what prompted the change?
Charles Looker: Edwardthompson have always been innovators in the UK bingo market, which is a challenging market. We have over 50 years of printing experience and when we saw the opportunity to offer the bingo market the benefits of the latest full colour digital printing technology at a commercially viable price, we jumped on it.
Cliff T.: How did Edwardthompson develop 3rd Generation Bingo books?
Charles Looker: We combined the needs and wish list of our current customers with the potential benefits of full colour digital printing and our 50 years of bingo ticket production experience. What we must not forget is that every 3rd generation bingo book can be completely different to another.
Cliff T.: So far what are the most commonly wanted color schemes you get requests for?
Charles Looker: This really varies. Gala Bingo have a different colour for every page. We are really only at the beginning of discovering how our customers will want to take advantage of the limitless design options.
Cliff T.: How big an industry is Bingo in the UK?
Charles Looker: The UK bingo industry is has around 600 clubs, over 60 million admissions per year and an industry revenue of around £2bn.(+)
Cliff T.: Mr Looker are you planning to market this product outside of the UK?
Charles Looker: We are looking at all our options at the moment however the UK market is the priority at this point.
Cliff T.: It sounds like Bingo is evolving or morphing so to speak. What plans does Edwardthompson have in mind to go beyond 3rd Generation Bingo?
Charles Looker: There are many parts of the industry which we are involved in from supplying and installing electronic bingo terminals to promotional marketing for bingo clubs and club refurbishments. We are constantly looking at how we can help the bingo market evolve, watch this space.
Cliff T: Well it sounds like this new style of Bingo play should be a win win for everyone. Thank you for telling us about it.
Charles Looker: My Pleasure.
Cliff T.: Charles Looker is a Marketing Manger with Edwardthompson a printing firm located in Sunderland England. The company provides 60% of the Bingo books in the U.K. Recently launched a new product called 3rd Generation Bingo. For more information on the company and it's products visit them at edwardthompson.com
Footnote: (+) the Canadian equivalent to 2B British Pound is 3.24 Billion Cdn.