Scott White and Casino

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CHUCK GREENE (WINNERonline) – Tell us a little about dot com Entertainment Group and your role in the online casino industry.

SCOTT WHITE (dot com) – We are a software technology company specializing in the development of low-denomination Internet entertainment software products, such as Bingo. Our intention is to become the world’s leading technology company in this emerging Internet business sector, dominating the market in the development and licensing of online Bingo, Keno, Pull-Tab and other “low denomination” games.

We license our interactive technology to companies engaged in the business of online gaming. The technology is also in demand by not-for-profit organizations such as charities and hospitals, who now realize that the Internet represents access to an international donor source. We plan to create markets for our technology in more traditional business sectors as well. Venues like malls, airports, hospitality service centers, sports facilities and other forums, where patrons desire access to online entertainment or supplier-proprietary free games, are definitely growth markets, offering excellent corporate branding opportunities and product/services awareness.

What web sites do you power?

Our first licensee operates CyberBingo, which is one of the premier Bingo games on the web right now. They have been in operation since the spring of 1998 and their software can be found at www.CyberBingo.net. In addition to this licensee, our company has recently negotiated other license agreements, which we are in the process of “rolling out” in the first quarter of this year. We are in negotiations with several other parties in the Americas and Europe, which will allow us to fulfill our corporate mission of expanding internationally and establishing brand leadership in this niche category.

Internet 789 casinos are exploding in popularity. What’s the market potential for Internet Bingo? Do you think virtual Bingo halls will be as popular as virtual casinos?

To answer your first question, we feel the market for Bingo on the web is huge! Bingo is a $70 billion a year market and you can bet that as time goes by, more and more of this market share will transfer to the web. If you look at the current market landscape, there are approximately 15 online Bingo operators on the Internet and only a handful of really good applications.

As a form of comparison, just two years ago online casinos started popping up everywhere and now there are about 700 of them. So if you use this as a benchmark you can see how much room there is for growth.

Another supporting factor would have to be the international acceptance that Bingo has. Keep in mind that the game originated in Spain so while most of the attention is focused on North America right now, a much larger market will emerge internationally. Countries like Spain, Italy and the UK literally dwarf the numbers here in Canada and the U.S. Just to give you an example, 10% of the adult population in the UK plays Bingo, which translates into approximately $1.3 billion a year spent in land-based halls. Once these countries manage to adopt a flat fee Internet service model, making it cost efficient for consumers to use the web, we can expect an unprecedented rush to the web as a means of entertainment and daily communication.

To answer your second question, I think that Bingo will be as popular as casinos, if not more popular. It’s the most sociably acceptable form of wagering in the world and has a much broader audience than casino-type games. It’s multiplayer and scaleable which means that there is no limit to how many players can be in one game at any given time and peripheral features like chat and voice callers add that extra dimension that playing against the house just can’t provide. Don’t get me wrong, the Bingo player likes the adrenaline rush of winning a big pot just as much as the casino player does but our research points to overall entertainment value and community as being more important.

Players now complement their land-based activities with playing on the web because they are fanatic about the game. The web also provides a Bingo option for those who can’t physically get to a hall or live in a rural area where the closest hall is 20 miles away.

This is why we have spent three years focused on the development of this technology. We feel we are well positioned to capture a large share of this relatively untapped market and we’re very excited.

Does dot com offer any casino games?

Our focus is on the development of “low denomination” games such as Bingo, Keno and assorted scratch/pull-tab games. Several years ago, we decided to focus on this niche area of the casino business and let other experts compete for the casino game market. The wonderful thing about doing business on the Internet is that there are many joint venture opportunities available, which allow us to keep our strategic focus, while partnering with other companies to supply full packages of software to interested licensees.

I don’t usually play Bingo — blackjack’s my game — but I tried CyberBingo and enjoyed it. The chat room was lively and people were having fun. How popular is CyberBingo?

CyberBingo has won numerous Internet awards as the best Bingo game on the Internet. Since its inception the company in Antigua has given away close to $2.0 million in cash prizes, with about $50,000 given away each week. They have built up a significant group of loyal players, primarily due to their focus on customer service and the realization that the client is the best source for ongoing development. In fact, many of the advancements to their game and the technology itself have been a direct result of listening to the player’s comments and suggestions.

Who is playing Bingo on the Internet? Is there a typical user profile?

Bingo is a very social game, which caters to all ages so it’s a tough question to answer. For example, if you go to Pogo.com you will find a large number of college students playing the game daily, and if you go to a place like the Bingo Bugle, you will find that their demographic is disproportionately skewed towards women so it’s hard to say. In the case of CyberBingo, which is the only example where players wager real money, it is about 70% women between the ages of 30 and 65. I would note that we see a growing number of men entering the games, which we believe will only increase as more operators enter the marketplace and more awareness is developed for this type of entertainment.

I know a few companies are developing Bingo games for the Internet. How do you plan to beat the competition? What’s your edge?

On the corporate side, as a United States public company, we believe that we have the staying power and resources to be a worldwide competitor in this industry as the industry matures.

On the operations side, our focus has been to create superior software technology with unparalleled support systems and services. We have focused on the development and redevelopment of Bingo, bringing our client’s customers the games that they have requested. We spend considerable effort on research and focus groups in order to fine-tune the deliverability of the software. Our developers even visit the local Bingo halls so they can stay in the same headspace as the average Bingo player. Players really notice when you get it right. If we can continue to do this, we will keep our edge.

Customer Service is another key area. In this age of real-time access to information, the consumer demands an immediate response to issues. No matter how big you are, if you can’t get back to your customer within 24 hours, chances are they won’t be your customer for long. We were the first company to develop a “Trouble Ticket” system for our client in Antigua, which enables them to respond to their players immediately, and in some cases, automatically. Their players swear by the support technicians who keep the software working 24 hours a day.

Another great feature is our “Bingo Builder Program”, which is a proprietary business system that essentially puts the power of running an online Bingo hall in the operator’s hands, where it should be. With this tool they can set their weekly schedule of patterns, promotions and prize payouts. The system is very flexible and allows the operator to create variety in their weekly rotation, which we believe is necessary to keep a players attention and long-term loyalty. It’s all part of enabling the operator to become self-sufficient. Of course, they will still need us for regular upgrades to the software but I think you get what I mean.

 

We believe we are leaders in this area and are setting the industry standards for Internet Bingo, allowing us to be on the cutting edge.

 

Let’s say I wanted to open my own virtual Bingo hall. What would I have to do?

 

You would license our proprietary Bingo system. We would then do everything necessary for you to launch your game on the Internet. We would work with you to make certain you understand the demographics of the market and help you devise a plan to capture part of the $70 billion business. If you do not want to be a hands-on operator we have developed a proprietary business model, which we call a sub-license. This gives you the ability to concentrate on marketing and promotion of a proven Bingo system, while remaining hands-off from an operational perspective.

 

So who should be looking at this technology?

 

I think that any existing online sports book/casino operator, regardless of whether the have a Bingo game in place or not should be looking at this technology. They already have a captive audience via their casinos. A separately branded Bingo hall would compliment their current offering, providing tremendous opportunities for cross promotion of these services. Ultimately, this leads to an incremental revenue stream.

 

Another target is the multi-establishment Bingo hall owner. Again, they have a captive audience that either is already playing or will play Bingo on the web in the not too distant future, so why not at their online hall? If they happen to be in a jurisdiction where online gambling is prohibited, they could still license a free version of the software and support it with prizes and advertising. It would provide them with sticky content and a mechanism to keep players and bring new ones to the hall — it’s a great cross-promotional tool.

 

Do online Bingo halls face the same legal uncertainties as casinos?

 

This is a very complicated issue, especially for Bingo. The efficient operation of any business starts with the selection of a jurisdiction, which is most suited to host that business. This first step is important for Internet Bingo operators and Internet casinos alike. Nevertheless, Bingo is not an odds-based game — it is most likely classified as pari-mutual wagering, which is often treated differently than the games offered by an Internet casino, from a legal perspective.

 

Although there is legal uncertainty in the United States, there are more than 50 countries currently involved in the regulation or taxation of Internet gaming, so it is clear that this form of entertainment is here to stay. With the recent entry of some very large and internationally respected companies to this market, we can expect this new medium to not only grow at a more rapid pace, but to gain more acceptance and credibility. As these companies are now looking to acquire Internet Bingo technology, we are fortunate to be speaking with them about our software and how it can be used by them to build some of the largest games in the world.

 

The Internet represents a new frontier, which is no longer controlled by government or territorial borders. Experts are calling for it to be the largest change to commerce that the world has ever seen and were just glad to be part of it.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about dot com?

 

dot com Entertainment Group, Inc. (www.dceg.com) is a fully reporting OTC NASD Bulletin Board company (DCEG:OTCBB). As a fully reporting company our financial and corporate information is available for review on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database.

 

We appreciate the opportunity to share some of our corporate information with you and your readers.

Mary Farris