The game of bingo has long been a popular form of entertainment in the United Kingdom. Since the gambling act came into force in the 1960s, bingo has been played by hundreds of thousands of people in homes, at charity events, and at purpose-built bingo venues around the country.
However, the popularity of bingo has not been a simple upward trend throughout the decades. The game has fluctuated in popularity due to cultural shifts and the start of the digital change.
While hordes of young people may no longer flock to bingo halls for weekend entertainment, many fans of the game will play online bingo at sites like 888ladies bingo, a site dedicated to the game.
With this in mind, let’s explore how bingo has changed over time and how technology has enabled the game to reach a new generation of players:
Traditional bingo peaked in popularity between the sixties and the eighties…
Gambling Legislation Changes
Following changes to government legislation that allowed forms of regulated gambling, including bingo, to be played legally in the UK, bingo halls began to pop up around the country.
These venues often formed cultural hubs where locals would enjoy playing and socialising and by 1963, bingo participation levels reached a staggering 14 million people.
By the 1980s there were over 1,600 bingo halls in towns and cities across Britain and there were 150,000 visitors per day. Each year more venues had popped up as demand for the game continued to grow.
However, over the years, more and more entertainment options began to spring up for adults giving them much better variety and choice. Everything from bars, clubs and restaurants to cinemas and bowling alleys being affordable and easily accessible.
Bingo halls failed to adapt and remain competitive with the entertainment market.
Decline In Popularity
As a consequence, player numbers began to decline at a fast rate and bingo halls began to shut their doors. By the 1990s popularity had fallen by almost 90 percent.
Other factors such as the indoor smoking ban also had a huge impact in the 2000s and numbers proceeded to fall. From 2007, players had to step outside between games to smoke and so ended up spending less time inside the venue.
If bingo was going to remain a profitable and in-demand game, then the industry needed to get with the times and adapt.
The modern internet was released in the 1990s and this led to the establishment of an online bingo industry in the early to mid-2000s.
Following the development of the World Wide Web, bingo soon became accessible online…
Rise Of Online Bingo
As soon as the internet became widely available in homes in the UK in the 1990s, the online gambling industry began to take off.
At first, it was all about creating websites that replicated real gambling venues, with games such as poker, blackjack and slots being the first to way their way online.
It wasn’t until a few years into the new millennium that investors began to turn their attention to the online bingo market. After all traditional bingo was steadily declining and going out of favour.
Critics of the development of an online market argued that bingo was a highly sociable game and that that important social element would be impossible to recreate in a digital environment.
It actually turns out that bingo could succeed online regardless of this as players were enthralled in the possibility of winning and the suspense fun that came with playing the game.
Chatroom features have nevertheless been incorporated in most online bingo sites to help create a community environment and give players an opportunity to socialise if they so wish.
Interestingly, in recent years the average age of bingo players has been a slight decrease with more people within the millennial generation playing the game online.
The reason behind this is in part due to bingo games becoming accessible on all types of devices, including desktops, mobiles, and tablets.
Easy Of Mobile Gaming
Most modern bingo sites have been optimised to display in browsers on all types of devices and many also have mobile apps for players to download to their phones.
Bingo was once much more of a social occasion, with players needing to get dressed up and travel to a venue with friends. Now it is more frequently played from the comfort of the sofa or while out and about from a smartphone.
Players these days crave convenience and are used to being able to access the things they want effortlessly and at a time and place that suits them.
This doesn’t mean that bingo halls are obsolete now, instead they are visited on a less frequent basis and going out to one is more of an occasion.
The marketing of bingo sites has also helped to attract a new generation of players. Celebrity endorsements and TV ads helped to get rid of the stereotype of all bingo players being older people.
Bingo is now something enjoyed by adults of all ages, predominantly by players on the internet.