Unpopular opinion…… Bingo is cool!

                      

It is true, Bingo really is cool once again. No longer is it the game typified by old ladies with ‘Bingo Wings’ played in smoked filled gala halls. Let look at the facts if you don’t believe us! Twenty years ago, there was around 1200 commercial bingo clubs within the UK. This was decreased by half pretty much as soon the smoking ban was implemented in 2007 within the UK. Bingo Halls also declined as a result of the introduction of the UK and Euro lotteries who’s initial popularity largely came at the expense of bingo. Then there were scratch cards! Instant affordable gambling ‘hits’ that could be purchased at newsagents, superstores and corner shops. While initial scratchcard offerings were relatively basic it didn’t take long for them actually replicate Bingo games themselves.  By January 2014 there was only less than 400 remaining throughout the UK. Quite a fall from grace from it halcyon days.

Over the years, Bingo was always considered a game most enjoyed by the bus pass generation! However, this has changed with the proliferation of online gaming and gambling platforms. With high end interfaces and instant connectivity, the number of younger generation Bingo players is on the rise! This was further aided with the advent of the Smartphone and the ability to play high end ‘games’ on peoples phones. It is now fair to say that online Bingo is now considered one of the most popular games in the online gambling world!

The latest data from statistics collated in 2017, clearly indicates a steady increase in the younger sector of the overall Bingo players. The 18-34 age group show an increase of 25% in comparison to 2016 figures. But what is behind this trend? Well it has been suggested that unlike the generations before them this particular generation do not enjoying going out as much and prefer to stay in and games like Bingo allow them to socialise and play a game all from the comfort of their home. Will this trend continue? Certainly in the short term it will provide a welcome distraction from the problems with Covid-19 and fill a hole where many would consider online sports betting as their go to place to spend their betting pound.         

So, has the advent of online line Bingo killed the mother that gave it birth? Here the answer is no, quite the opposite! In 2017 the number of purpose-built Bingo halls actually increased for the first time in many years! Driven not by a boom in demand for the sherry drinking over 60s but from a new wave of Bingo lovers. If going to Bingo is not for the socially shy millennials then who is driving this demand for Bingo halls? Well it is hen parties and work social evenings that have brought a new clientele into Bingo halls and  breathed a welcomed breath of fresh air to the ailing leisure sector.

So would I go as a 41 year old male? Yes, I would so Pick a Mate’ (68) and get down there!   

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