Initial ‘lockdown’ presented everyone with new challenges and so too has the post-lockdown landscape: how to create COVID-compliant environments. A key part of that process has been decreasing contact between people and not sharing items. The flexibility that digital communications technology offers has already been embraced by many bingo operators, but in the current environment new additional uses and benefits are being discovered. We caught up with Steve Barlow Managing Director of Willow Communications.
The last couple of months have been a really creative period as our clients are now looking to provide alternate products to fit within the current difficult trading conditions. We now have some very different bingo and jackpot games in development for clients. Some will be seen this year and some in the new year when hopefully social distancing restrictions are eased.
Majestic launched ‘Don’t Find The Nine’ on 9th October which was a fun project to work on. Jackpot triggers usually work on a specific number being called, but for this game it was the opposite which posed several challenges with the display and win condition automation.
Working with Cowells Arrow we are adding a new ticket validation system to BiGD to facilitate a new quick bingo game format. Just before lockdown we also started to provide the new enhanced BSS service from ECM which enables BiGD to provide a wider range of game data integration and therefore in-game content management.
In March we launched Event, our unified entertainment platform, which as well as having BiGD at its core, provides music, karaoke, quiz functions, skill based games and digital signage. We have just completed our first successful season in the holiday park sector with Park Holidays who rolled out Event estate wide for their linked bingo and entertainment.
Post lockdown we have been fortunate to complete several hardware installations including a new LED stage display for Club 2000 Runcorn, powered by our BiGD display platform, some new BiGD installations, and an initial batch of clubs completed for Mecca with our new untethered tablet caller control system.
Despite the challenging operational conditions posed by Covid-19 and the plethora of Government in force for Willow Communications and our clients, we have, fortunately, found both to be remarkably resilient, and remain cautiously optimistic for the future.