Articles

ECM – for services to the bingo industry

Ian Creer Technical Account Manager chats to Bingo Life

ECM Systems is a name that has long been synonymous with land based bingo: purchased by leading online gaming software giant Playtech, they are successfully establishing themselves as a key part of the business and working hard to reap the benefits of being part of a sector leading company, helping them meet customer needs more quickly in a market place that is increasing steered by technology.

It has been an incredibly busy and exciting twelve months for ECM, under the second year of ownership by Playtech, and working hard within the group to integrate their product portfolio.

ECM Systems employ over sixty dedicated and highly skilled staff, with a remarkable number having been with the company for over two decades. The team have been working hard to combine and integrate their accumulated knowledge and experience, in close collaboration with the broader Playtech group, to transform and adapt their industry leading Electronic Bingo Terminal (EBT) system at a rate not previously seen.

Image: Ian Creer and Jodie Biglin

Bingo is a simple and fun game to play, but the barriers for first-time players can be daunting, and many new would-be players are discouraged from walking into a modern bingo club and trying to play. Even seasoned ‘online gamers’ find that the games and systems in bingo clubs are different to what they are used to online, and even for them this can be a barrier to joining in.

Brand loyalty and familiarity are important factors, but users should ideally be able to play in the same intuitive manner on any platform, in any location, and on any device without having to manage different accounts and navigate through sometimes quite different user interfaces. Sometimes it may be more convenient to stay at home and play, or perhaps grab a quick couple of games whilst on the move, so logging in o play needs to be simple and consistent wherever the game of bingo is to be played.

The transformation of the ECM EBT software will enhance and simplify the gambling experience for both online and retail bingo: the end goal is to produce the most engaging, intuitive and responsible gambling experience for players, whilst retaining the same look and feel whether they are playing online, or in a retail venue.

Helping players to stay in control of their gambling is equally high on the agenda as Playtech and ECM are committed to ensuring that they enable a safe and responsible form of entertainment, and actively take action to reduce harmful play. The unified journey and single account is built on this principle, and the player has full control of their spending. They can easily set daily deposit limits which apply whether they log in online or play in a club, and can also choose to self-exclude, which will permanently lock their account and prevent them from gaming for a chosen period of time. Bet Buddy, a ground-breaking responsible gambling analytics platform built around data mining and predictive analytics, was acquired by Playtech in 2017. Bet Buddy combines the latest research into gambling behaviour patterns with the power of machine learning, delivering a sophisticated end-to-end solution to proactively identify and engage with at-risk players.

Following last year’s Buzz Bingo launch in club and online, using the Playtech online platform, ECM and Playtech will continue to work in close partnership with Buzz to enhance player experience and integrate their Touchpad Software. In addition to this ECM are also in key discussions with Mecca Bingo on planning the future roadmap of Max, Mecca’s successful EBT platform.

Jodie Biglin (Independent Sector Account Manager) will continue to drive innovation on the Bingo Bee EBT software in conjunction with key operators to add in features and tailor the software according to customer requirements. This has recently included a complete overhaul and re-launch of the built-in food and beverage ordering application. This application now gives complete control to the operator to include pictures of their products, and to lay out the menu in their own style. A management website, which can be located in the cloud, also allows you to conveniently update and reprogram your menu from any internet connected machine.

Interview originally Published Bingo Life magazine February 2019