Tombola is the name behind one of the nation’s most iconic online bingo titles. It is also one of the longest running. The company was formed back in 1999, with its self-named bingo operation being launched the following year. This new site was at the vanguard of the new wave of online bingo sites, with the explosion in the availability of bingo online leading to a rapid resurgence in the popularity of the game.
Sometimes, the originators of a popular movement do not fare well, and are superseded by up and coming newcomers with fresh ideas. This has certainly not been the case with Tombola, which has retained its popularity and remains one of the most played bingo sites in the UK to this day. The site has an international following too, as it is also the number one bingo title in Spain and Italy.
A major part of its appeal is perhaps that it closely follows the traditional approach to the game. Bingo is a traditional, even nostalgic pastime, and many of its players like it that way. There is always room for new ideas and innovation of course, but the roots of Tombola are steeped in the history of the game. The founders of the new company had been responsible for printing and providing paper bingo tickets to real world bingo halls since the 1960s, and they saw an opportunity to develop and expand the popularity of the game to a new online audience.
The bingo site has kept up with the times, having been re-launched in 2008. Today, the site looks and feels as contemporary as any of its rivals. It is compatible with play on any device – again having moved with the times and followed the trend toward more mobile gaming. This commitment to continuous development resulted in the launch of a sister site in 2016: Tombola Arcade. This title specialises in instant win games such as scratch cards and pick and win. All these games are designed in-house and exclusive to the site.
The strategy of the company and site is to foster a friendly and approachable atmosphere. A feeling of family may be a bit of a stretch (it is for over 18s only after all), but the site certainly encourages a community approach. It is also renowned for its socially responsibility. The overall strategy and marketing of the site is designed to encourage the small stake player and looking after established and regular customers. The intention is to foster loyalty and maximise customer retention, rather than to encourage greater spending. The long term popularity of the site seems to indicate that this strategy is a success.
Another advantage is that Tombola remains proudly independent and not part of a wider network. It is able to maintain this approach largely because of its size. Because it is so popular, it always has sufficient players online to maintain a critical mass of participants. It therefore has no need to co-opt players from other titles, as is the case with the typical networked site.
The company also frequently updates its site and game offerings, designing new and innovative games in house. These are then retained as exclusives, and not licenced to rival operators. Examples here include Cinco, Pulse and Bingo Roulette.
Tombola Limited is based in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, in the north east of the United Kingdom.