Tombola

WITH a brand recognised both nationally and internationally, tombola is an indigenous Sunderland business that, thanks to the skill and ingenuity of its North East team, has established itself operating Europe’s biggest online bingo sites.

Bringing together a talented and passionate team of tech developers, skilled marketeers, customer service advocates and support teams in finance and HR, tombola has held true to the values that first established it in the market – a friendly and fun business, with community at its heart. 

In the year it celebrates a decade as tombola bingo, the company has assembled a 450-strong team, having started out with just ten employees.  With a strengthened senior leadership team, the business is focused on breaking into new markets, as well as cementing foundations in Sunderland, having invested £7m in a state-of-the-art office, one of a trio of buildings on its stunning campus overlooking the River Wear and just minutes away from the city centre. 

The business specialises in developing and building high quality online entertainment, backed by an ethos of responsibly providing affordable, community-focused content. Key to its success has been the talented people who have joined the team as it has grown. 

Phil Cronin, chief executive at tombola, said: “Sunderland is my home, and tombola was born here, so it’s a place I am incredibly passionate about – but with good cause. 

“We are at the heart of a region that is riding the digital wave, with a tech sector that is the envy of many, and our central location within that region – with fantastic universities on our doorstep – means we are in the fantastic position of being able to attract the best people.”

And when they attract the best people, the company works hard to retain that talent, with a huge number of staff benefits – from free lunch to flexible working arrangements. 

“We have an incredibly passionate and loyal team.  And ultimately, they have made us what we are today, so we want to reward that.  We know that having a happy, friendly team is key to creating the feel-good factor that helps us be the best we can be as a business – and I think their humour, commitment and sense of fun feeds into the tombola brand – the community focused image that our customers connect with. 

“The friendliness and dedication of our team is something I think comes with being based in this part of the world – and that’s underpinned our growth.”

He added: “Couple that passion with the advantages of being easily accessible by road and rail, and the excellent support we enjoy from our colleagues at the city council, and being based in Sunderland becomes a decision that is not only driven by an emotional attachment to my home city - it also makes very good business sense.”