Joonas Karhu, Bojoko: “The UK is the largest market for online bingo players today”

Joonas Karhu, CEO at Bojoko.
Joonas Karhu, CEO at Bojoko.

Joonas Karhu, CEO at Bojoko, spoke to Focus Gaming News about the launch of their dedicated online bingo offering in the UK.

Exclusive interview.- Online bingo is booming in markets around the world and especially in the UK where award-winning online gambling affiliate Bojoko has just launched a dedicated bingo offering. 

The site aims to help players find the best bingo brands for them through pages packed with information written by experts and a selection of powerful search and filtering tools. 

The launch of Bojoko bingo comes at an interesting time for the UK gambling industry, with the government’s white paper set for publication in the coming months. 

Bojoko’s Joonas Karhu talks to Focus Gaming News about what impact this is having on operators in the market, and why the super affiliate believes it will score a full house in the sector. 

Can you tell us more about your decision to expand into the bingo vertical in the UK?

Bingo has a long history of play in the UK, including the “Golden Age of Bingo” during the 1960s when bingo halls were at their height of popularity.

Since the advent of the internet and the development of online bingo in 1988, we’ve seen the game’s popularity continue. The UK is the largest market for online bingo players today, with roughly four million players across the country.

It made sense for us to invest in bingo and to provide players with information about the best sights, bonuses and deals available and to also grow our presence in the market where we are already live with casino and sports betting. 

“The UK is the largest market for online bingo players today, with roughly four million players across the country.”

Joonas Karhu, CEO at Bojoko.

What makes bingo so popular with players? Is the more casual, social gameplay it offers?

The casual aspect is an important part of bingo’s popularity. It’s definitely one of the more social games available to players, with a long history of being a means of getting together with friends – both in person and online.

The game isn’t one that lends itself to making large individual stakes but smaller stakes over time which is important for two reasons:

  1. It has a lower barrier to entry for players
  2. It feels less about the money and more about having some fun

These two factors mean that bingo has been a popular entry point for players who don’t want high-stakes gameplay but still want to have some fun with other players.

What do players look for in a bingo site?

Considering the social element is integral to online bingo, having a simple but high-quality user experience is vital, including a chat room with good functionality for players to interact while playing.

Additionally, players are often playing from their homes on a computer or mobile, so having a responsive site with solid mobile optimisation helps operators appeal to as many players as possible. And of course, players are always looking for bonuses and promotions to enhance their play and make it more rewarding.

How is Bojoko helping players find the best bingo sites for them?

At Bojoko, we’ve created a dedicated segment on our site for bingo players. We have a 15-person team that draws on the best knowledge in the industry to compile a list of the best bingo brands and offers on the market.

Our team assesses every UKGC-licensed bingo site to offer players a comprehensive list of the best bingo sites. Each site is put through its paces to ensure that it delivers a quality player experience – the last thing we want is for a Bojoko user to have a bad experience at a partner brand.

We’re also constantly updating the site with the latest bingo bonus deals and new site launches, so players can enjoy the latest promotions and explore the newest sites on the market.

In the past 12 months, you have gone from casino only to now covering sports and bingo. What’s the biggest lesson learned during this expansion phase?

It’s important to be ambitious, but it needs to be tempered with a clear focus, thoughtful goal-setting and thorough planning that always drives your company towards that end goal. You need to set these foundations in order to devote the right resources and build the team that gives you the best chance of success.

Without these steps, your project has a higher chance of failure, which can impact not just that project but other parts of your business. At Bojoko we’ve been very measured in our approach to expansion and the company has flourished because of it.

How has the affiliate sector changed since Bojoko made its debut back in 2017? Is this change for the better?

Greater regulation and professionalisation of the affiliate sector have been the biggest change, with flow-on effects to pretty much every way affiliate sites are run today. You now need to surround yourself with talented people who complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses – solo ventures are much harder to get off the ground.

Additionally, we’ve seen less innovation in the affiliate sector than in the past, and this has partly been down to regulation. As an industry, we need to find the right balance of regulation that doesn’t push players onto offshore brands, promotes affiliate innovation and ensures adequate player protection.

And what is to come in the UK market with the government’s gambling white paper set for publication at some point this year?

Just about everyone is waiting with bated breath for the UK government’s gambling white paper. We’re hoping to see that any changes to regulation are informed by common sense, proportionate to what they address and find the right balance for all stakeholders.

“We’re hoping to see that any changes to regulation are informed by common sense.”

Joonas Karhu, CEO at Bojoko.

Companies across all parts of the gambling ecosystem have been in a sort of limbo for quite some time and we’re looking forward to some clarity on regulation so we know what we’re working with moving forward.

In this article:
Bojoko exclusive interview