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Woolies enter online bingo sector

Discussion in 'Bingo!' started by jetset, Feb 15, 2007.

    Feb 15, 2007
  1. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service

    White label deal with St Minver could be a new revenue stream

    The Gibraltar-based St Minver white label provider has reportedly signed up UK high street retailer Woolworths for a fully operated and managed online bingo site as a potential generator of fresh revenues.

    UK analysts have this week been speculating on whether the adoption of online gambling fits Woolworths' brand.

    The retailer has additionally hinted that it intends to extend the range of games in its latest bid for Internet revenues.

    A spokesman for the retailer said the new venture would give Woolworths customers a new and entertaining service from a brand they knew and trusted.

    Jim Ryan, formerly the head man at Excapsa recently joined St Minver as CEO of the white label provider, which now has some 20 licensees and seems to be performing strongly.

    In recent communications, the company has revealed that its involvement in Russian poker and Swedish bingo markets has been fruitful through the Ramblas.ru in the Russian market and the CaliberBingo.com and Lyckobingo.com bingo operations in Sweden.

    Since its launch last year, Ramblas Poker has recorded significant growth in player registrations with thousands signing up to the site every month. Ramblas Poker is part of the poker network operated by St Minver, which claims it has one of the fastest growing networks in Europe with 35 000 players visiting per day and 8 000 concurrent players at peak times. Ramblas players can compete with players from all over the world in tournaments run by the network, which currently pays out over $1 million in prizes every day.

    Alison Digges, MD International for St Minver says of the site The Ramblas Poker site was specifically designed to cater for Russian speaking players and the growth of the site since its launch has been extraordinary.

    Since the site was launched in April 2006 the community of poker players on Ramblas has grown rapidly. According to the most recent analysis 93 percent of Ramblas players are male, aged between 18-45 with a high proportion from Moscow and St Petersburg and a growing number from the Ukraine and Latvia.

    New players can learn how to play poker for free by joining one of the Poker School tables during the class hour, where they are assisted by a professional teacher. Ramblas Poker allows all new players to start playing for free or by participating in tournaments (free rolls) where they can win up to $500 each week.

    Ramblas Poker attracts players by offering big prizes, and regular tournaments, but also by other facilities such as settings in local time (players can see their local time displayed when checking the lobby) and localised payment facilities.

    St Minver's Swedish bingo sites CaliberBingo.com and Lyckobingo.com offer Parlay Entertainment's 75 ball bingo game in Kroner and there are plans to roll out other partner sites on the network and into other Scandinavian markets.

    St Minver has made the decision to launch the 75 ball Swedish game following the earlier success of the 90 ball version, which is currently played across its Swedish network. Operator of what it claims is the biggest international online bingo network, St Minver recently paid out arguably the highest online bingo jackpot in Sweden of 209 300 SEK and since launch the Caliberbingo site alone has attracted over 36 000 players to its action.

    Improved payment and withdrawal systems are being implemented through SEB Banken as well as a new payment solution through Paynova, a leading Swedish e-wallet company.

    The St Minver network is experiencing rapid growth in Sweden as more and more people switch onto online bingo," says Digges. "The launch of the 75 ball game will enable our partners to offer their players more choice.
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