12/2/09 – Virtue Fusion Alderney, a developer and licensor of internet bingo products, says it will launch the first-ever bingo games with embedded social networking following nine months of development and testing on 8th December 2009. William Hill, bet365, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, Virgin and Golden Hat are the first customers to adopt the new product.

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The company claimed in a statement this week that the technology will enable players to develop their own online communities, chat to friends during games and upload information and pictures to their individual profile. All accounts will be screened by Virtue Fusion Alderney’s team of online monitors to ensure that all content meets strict criteria for privacy and decency.
 
Virtue Fusion Alderney CEO Bob McCulloch said: “Whether online or offline, bingo has always been a very sociable game. With the new networking and profile-building element that we are introducing, players of all our games will be able to chat and stay in touch with their online friends before, during and after their bingo sessions.
 
"This marks a major stage in the development of our products. After nearly a year in the making, our clients and their customers will be getting an excellent application that will be fun and easy to use, appealing to players of all ages.
 
“This social networking product, whilst in its embryonic stage, has the potential to increase customer retention and, in future releases, be used as a follow-up and prospecting tool.”
 
In the online casino sector Microgaming pioneered a self-customising facility enabling players to upload personal material last (2008) year, and more recently the Isle of Man company launched multi-player slots with a strong interactive community element, but Virtue Fusion is believed to be the first to carry similar capabilities over into the Internet bingo sector.