If you had to take a guess at what has been at or near the top-grossing spot in the U.S. iPad App Store for the past month without looking, I’d bet a bingo simulator wouldn’t be high on your list. But India’s BitRhymes has proven that in fact users are interested in playing good old-fashioned bingo on their ultra-modern iPad devices, and revealed to TechCrunch that it’s currently tracking to realize an annual run rate of $45 million in revenue on the back of its premiere title, Bingo Bash for Facebook, iPad and iPhone.
That one of the best-performing social games on the App Store and Facebook right now isn’t from someone like Zynga is a sign that there’s still plenty of opportunity to be had in this space, but that it might be best explored by peering into corners that don’t immediately seem like winners. Bingo is traditionally seen as a game for octogenarians, but BitRhymes’ CEO Sumit Gupta said in an interview that surprisingly, there’s been lots of interest from younger demographics, and users have predominantly been women.
Both Gupta and lead investor Doug Renert of Tandem capital said that there looks to be a huge opportunity here in terms of transitioning from online social gaming to real-money casino play. That’s an area that Zynga seems interested in approaching, too, having recently partnered with RocketPlay to take social sports betting to Facebook. Gupta says that while Zynga and others seem to be taking a watch-and-wait approach pending passing of U.S. law that would make social real-money gambling perfectly legal.