For bingo lovers, it might be hard to remember a time when bingo wasn’t at the heart of the gambling industry. And for those who haven’t really entertained bingo, they might be surprised by Barbados Bingo’s recent surge in popularity, especially among younger audiences! There are several different factors that have led to becoming and remaining so popular in the UK. So let’s take a look at a few of the main reasons why this time-old classic remains a gambling staple in the UK.
Where did the UK’s love affair with bingo all begin?
Officially, bingo in its commercial form was made legal in the UK in the 1960s. Very shortly after, it became a legalised form of gambling with several hundred bingo halls popping up all across the UK. But as of 2015, many bingo halls across the UK took a dip in popularity with less than 400 – significantly fewer than past decades – and many shut down. This left players wondering if bingo had had its day and would become a game of the past, but this certainly wasn’t the case. It wasn’t that bingo wasn’t playing anymore, it was that it was played in a different way than it was in the past and enjoyed in different formats. Now, as of 2020, bingo is one of the fastest-growing online games and rakes in revenues of over £5 billion each year in the UK – all from such humble beginnings!
Political change serving an almost fatal blow – a catalyst for a revolution in gambling
Bingo isn’t what it used to be – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Bingo often conjured up images of dark, smoky working men’s clubs and old fashioned bingo halls filled to the brim with old aged pensioners, but that really isn’t the case anymore. Although bingo is still popular with the more mature crowd, bingo is now extremely popular with younger people too. It was thought that games like bingo would never recover from the hard blow it received when the smoking ban was introduced in 2007 under the labour government, as for many players smoking and bingo went hand-in-hand and if they couldn’t smoke indoors, they didn’t want to play bingo if they wouldn’t smoke at the same time! As it did with betting shops, the smoking ban had a big impact on bingo halls and in the following few years following the ban, the popularity of the game had taken a dip. However, technology had certainly saved the day when it came to bingo and in 2020, the bingo industry is booming and has almost been brought back from the dead thanks to bingo’s huge online revolution!
The online revolution which saved bingo
No one can argue with the fact that the internet and advances in technology are the key reason why bingo has had a surge in popularity. New technologies and the internet were brilliant news for the gambling industry and bingo was no exception to this, as it provided players with a whole new place to play and enjoy bingo without even having to leave their homes. For some, it just wasn’t the same and there are still plenty of bingo halls around the UK where many players still choose to spend their time and greatly enjoy visiting. However, even these traditional establishments have benefitted greatly from the internet and technology which has transformed the way bingo is played in brick and mortar bingo halls and establishments.
Many industry experts earmarked bingo for an area in the market that could be taken and developed in line with advancements in technology and in 2005, investments were made into advancing bingo and optimising it for online play in order to attract the next generation of bingo players. It was a bold move but as time would tell, it was a very successful one as within a few years of the investments, the number of people who participate in online bingo more than doubled to approximately 4 million.
The bingo facelift
A huge reason bingo managed to be salvaged is because it had a total revamp and people no longer associated it with a game to be played by the elderly in care homes to while away the hours with nothing else better to do. It was now a serious contender in the gaming market, with huge jackpots up for grabs and providing top-class entertainment. The new appeal of bingo meant it could break away from its stereotypical demographic and could attract new players that a decade earlier wouldn’t be seen dead playing bingo unless it was with their Nan.
The online platform enabled this and now that it is available to play not only on desktop but also on tablets, laptops and mobile phone apps, younger players who regularly use these devices were attracted to this new way of having fun and winning money. Many online bingo sites also come with bingo chat rooms which also appealed to a younger demographic who enjoyed the social aspect of bingo chat rooms.
Advertising fuelling the revolution
In order to attract the younger generation to play bingo, advertising was made more targeted and geared towards a younger market, making it geared towards players in their 20s and working parents with fun and modern marketing campaigns.
As with many games in the gambling industry, like slots online, it has in many ways stolen away players from brick and mortar establishments as players prefer the convenience and flexibility of online play.
There are many different factors that led to bingo becoming extremely popular in the UK following its dip but it’s clear to see that the internet and the huge investment in technology and marketing bingo was the main driver in its success. If you aren’t one of the converted and haven’t given online bingo a go, what’re you waiting for? See what all the fuss is about and discover the bingo buzz!Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.