The popular Tombola Bingo & Arcade games site has gotten taken over by one of the giants of the British Gambling Industry. It indeed came as a surprise here at Eyesdown Bingo as Tombola embodied values not present at many of the other bingo & slot sites.
Tombola Joins Flutter
Tombola is a Sunderland based operation that employs a considerable amount of local people &, more importantly, does a tremendous amount of good in that area of the North East. However, getting taken over by Flutter, the parent company of Paddy Power & Betfair, will undoubtedly mean changes are afoot.
Tombola is famous for several things in the world of bingo. Primarily for focusing on affordable bingo games & then for its sponsorship of TV programs like I’m a Celebrity. Tombola has also led the way to responsible gambling by imposing strict deposit limits.
Finally, it has also entered European markets, going live in both Italy and The Netherlands, both regulated licensed gambling markets.
Flutter and its brands are primarily Sportsbetting related, so the purchase of Tombola would not be a merger that sees it acquire players and shift them to the primary Flutter Sports brands. Instead, we see this as being a whole new focus for Flutter.
Tombola Values & Identity
Tombola has for years embodied what bingo should be. It is a cheap mass participation game that holds to its primary mission, the game of bingo. But, whilst so many bingo sites now ram online slots down their players’ throats, this was never the Tombola way.
True, there is a Tombola Arcade product, but that is entirely separate. Bingo was bingo and unsullied by the attachment of online slots. It is probably one of the reasons for Tombola being the most prominent UK Bingo site.
Will this change in the short term? We don’t think so. The UK Bingo market is one of the most tightly regulated markets, with even more regulation to come. Plus, there is the fact that there will be a learning curve if current staff are not retained in the long term.
In our opinion, Flutter managed to acquire Tombola at a very reasonable price. The wave of regulation must have been a factor in the price and the thinking of the brand’s previous owners.
We look forward to seeing how Flutter will treat this venerable UK Bingo brand and just what it intends to do with the team that ran Tombola.