It hasn’t been great news for online bingo sites across the US in 2014. Already competing with ever-changing gambling laws which even prohibit online bingo in certain states, it has been difficult for some bingo brands to even stay afloat.
This has certainly been the case for Luckity Bingo, an online bingo site from the Louisville based company Churchill Downs Inc. It stopped accepting new members in October and the plug was finally pulled in November 2014, just 2 years after it first opened.
When Luckity first launched in 2012, there was no strong affiliation to bingo, and instead the site was marketed as a form of online advance account for users to bet on live racing. The site prospered as a general online gambling site for a year, before switching over into bingo in 2013. However one thing remained the same, the bingo offered was still based on the outcomes of live horse races.
The reason for this apparently bizarre combination was to get around the fact that online gambling on things such as bingo sites and casino sites is actually illegal in most states. So their brand opts to underwrite bingo tickets on a series of horse races, and this is then used to determine if your ticket is the winner. Through this loophole, it then appears that in the eyes of the law in Oregon (the state which issued the license for Luckity) that players are merely placing wagers on horse races as opposed to betting on bingo games.
Despite having a fairly optimistic outlook in February 2014, things seem to have taken a financial tumble in the latter half of the year. Back in spring the figures suggested that Luckity had found its feet whereby the brand was really starting to not only gain a steady number of new members regularly with bingo, but it also looked to be retaining them too, with many returning and spending on the site again. It seems that their trademark shamrock logo was actually bringing the brand good fortune.
However by October it looked like the brand would not achieve the expected financial returns for the year, and the forecast was made that Luckity would not be able to improve its results significantly enough in the near future in order to make up for this. The financial reports for the third quarter indicated that the company had made a $3.2 million loss over the period, leading to concerns over the site and its future.
As a result, management effectively took the decision to shut down the site and cease operations. The Churchill Downs Inc group then had to file for cease of operations with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The site was originally licensed with the Oregon Racing Comission and is part of the wider Churchill Downs Inc group which includes casino and racing online and offline operations. As yet no other arms of the organisation have announced plans for closure.