Sunderland online bingo firm Tombola are top of their game

A Sunderland online bingo firm is number one overseas two years after expansion into Europe

Managing director of Tombola International PLC Leon Thomas
Managing director of Tombola International PLC Leon Thomas

A Sunderland online bingo company said it has been confirmed as the largest operator in both Spain and Italy only two years after expanding into Europe.

First established 50 years ago, Tombola has grown to become one of the most recognisable bingo operators in the UK, now creating and developing all of its online games.

One of the largest employers of game developers in the North East, the business employs more than 200 people in Sunderland at its base at Wylam Wharf, and two years after entering Spanish and Italian markets the firm has learned market share figures which confirm it is now the largest operator in both European countries.

Managing director of Tombola International PLC, Leon Thomas, said: “The online gaming and entertainment market is well established in the UK and Tombola has been ranked number one in a market including more than 300 competitors for several years.

“By comparison the market in mainland Europe is relatively new and we have climbed to the top spot in two more countries from a standing start in a very short time.

“In terms of market share Tombola also boasts more than 40% of the online market in Spain, which is more than double our nearest rival. Our Spanish office in Madrid now employs more than 20 local people from regions all over Spain who are supported by more Spanish colleagues in our UK head office.

“The market in Spain is slightly different to Italy as half of the companies operating there are subsidiaries of UK operators that have expanded and export their product like Tombola. The Italian market has been operating longer and is very different as it is predominantly made up of large and long established Italian corporations.

“The Italian market had been operating for several years before Tombola entered so we’re thrilled to have reached the top spot in less than two years. Tombola now attracts nearly half of the online players in Italy and almost 27% of total revenue.”

The firm is growing rapidly, and the most recent accounts for Tombola Ltd show turnover grew 22% in the year ended April 30 2013, from £32.7m to £39.8m, with operating profit also growing over the period from £7.4m to £8.9m.

Thomas added: “We have operated and marketed ourselves to the top spot in all markets and believe our success is down to our unique IP, which is all developed in-house in the North East. Our personalised and bespoke product offering differentiates us from the rest of the market and is testament to the team of talented and innovative designers and developers that originate and develop our games.

“Our community and customer focus is also crucial to what we do and our ongoing success. Our unique approach and style of customer service and local chat moderators in every country help us to create and maintain a really strong online community that makes our players happy and loyal to Tombola.”

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