You may find this hard to believe, but bingo is alive and well and doing better than ever in the UK.
In fact, according to a recent article published in the Mirror Online, bingo is now more popular than tennis, one of Britain’s favourite sports.
There are around 3.5 million active bingo players in Britain, with more joining their ranks very day. When one considers online gaming, video games, slots, lotto, and other forms of modern gaming, especially online, it seems quite incredible that bingo has stood the test of time and is still a favourite game of Brits all over the UK.
But why is that? What is it about this game that makes it so irresistible? Who is playing this game the most and are they playing it in the real world or online? Let’s find out more.
Britain’s Love Affair with Bingo
While the origins of the game of bingo have been lost in the mists of time, the game as we know it today can be traced back to 16th century Italy although the modern version has gone through several changes (and countries) during that time. Interestingly, the name ‘bingo’ is believed to come from the British Customs office, a proclamation of a successful search.
The slang term was then adopted by an entrepreneur named Hugh J. Ward to market the modern game at local carnivals during the 1920’s. The name stuck to this day and anyone who has ever won a game knows just how invigorating it is to shout “Bingo!” upon completing a card.
The popularity of bingo really took off during the sixties, when it became a legalised form of gambling. The number of bingo players all over Britain sky rocketed to around 14 million and continued to grow up until the eighties, with over 1600 bingo halls scattered throughout the country.
However, the nineties saw a dramatic decline in the number of physical players thanks to the rise of the internet and direct competition from the National Lottery. Bingo halls started to close down as online slots grabbed much of the limelight with UK gamblers.
The game was still played of course, but on a much smaller scale, creating the perception that bingo was just entertainment for little old ladies once a week at their local church or community center.
Bingo Bounces Back Big Time!
The 2000’s saw a dramatic resurgence in the popularity of bingo in Britain, as more and more slot sites UK and standalone digital bingo sites began launching great online bingo game, tailor made for UK bingo fans. The online versions had all the features of traditional bingo games, with familiar looking bingo cards, bingo chat rooms, and quick and easy prizes.
In fact, online bingo’s biggest fans were traditional bingo players, adapting to the new technology and finding their beloved game was now new and improved. Interestingly, according to recent statistics, of the 3.5 million bingo players in the UK, 4 out of 5 are stay at home moms.
A staggering 62 per cent of them are under the age of 45 and around 20% of these are between the ages of 18 to 24 years. Hardly a little old ladies game, is it?