The traditional image of bingo is that it is mostly played by older people. But things have changed over the past decade or so.
The number of traditional bingo halls in the UK has halved from the game’s heyday, with only about 350 now remaining. However, the game remains hugely popular, but it’s now largely online.
One of the biggest factors in the move online came when the smoking ban took effect in 2007. That forced bingo players to go outside should they want to light-up.
Given the demographics of the traditional bingo hall customer, that became a problem. And it certainly contributed to the shift online.
The major players in online bingo include long-established bingo hall owners like Mecca and Gala. But they also now include online-only brands such as Tombola Bingo and Jackpotjoy.
And where the money is, the bookmakers soon follow. So you can also now play a lot of bingo on sites such as Paddy Power, Betfair, William Hill and Ladbrokes.
The Appeal Of Online Bingo
Part of online bingo’s appeal is that it’s widely regarded as ‘soft gambling’. Online games typically cost just a few pence to play and it has a reputation for being more social.
That’s why it was surprising that online bingo proved to be so popular. While it may lack the same human contact as a visit to the bingo hall, it’s the technology that also helped to retain the sense of community.
So although you can make an occasion of it by having friends round for drinks and snacks, there are still plenty of social aspects to the game online.
With bingo cards automatically daubed once a game starts, it leaves you free to message in bingo chat rooms. The game still goes on and there’s no fear of missing a number.
There are even additional games within some chat rooms that you can play against your online pals. That, of course, is something you cannot do in the real world. Chatting in the middle of a game in a traditional bricks and mortar venue is very much frowned upon.
There are other benefits to playing bingo online. Special bingo promotions are always running. The more specific bingo sites such as Tombola and Jackpotjoy have a lot happening all the time. From side games to competitions and prize draws there are more ways to get involved than simply playing the game.
There are also a greater variety of games online in addition to the classic 90-ball version. You can play uniquely created games, themed games as well as 75 and 80-ball games. The range on offer also means different ticket prices and jackpots. So no matter what your budget is, there is likely to be a game to suit it online.
Another important factor is the ability to play when you want to from the comfort of your own home. Not everybody works 9-5 so the fact that you can play at any hour of the day is a bonus. And it doesn’t detract from the fun because there are always people playing!
The game of bingo has evolved beyond all recognition. The ‘any time, any where’ aspect has lured in a whole new generation of players. And the more people that play, the bigger the jackpots get. You may not be able to make a living out of it, but you can hopefully have a lot of fun and maybe win a few quid along the way.