Bingo is extremely popular, but that has not always been the case. The game suffered a serious downturn in fortunes at one point that made any revival seem unlikely.
During the 1960s the bingo hall became a staple of towns and cities in many parts of the world – although most notably in the United Kingdom. However its popularity underwent a sharp reversal throughout the 1980s and many of those establishments folded.
What brought about the unlikely second coming of bingo was the internet. The embrace of all things digital by young people and the convenience of playing online meant that the casino bingo games at Monopoly Casino and similar sites were embraced.
Even old-fashioned bingo halls are now back, because everything bingo is big business in 2023.
The Growth of Bingo Gaming
Bingo as a concept was invented in rough form in Italy, before being adopted – and adapted – by the French. It was initially introduced to what would become its true home in the UK during the 1800s, but it was not until the 1950s that Brits really started to embrace the game.
When they did, they made up for lost time very quickly though. By the following decade, bingo halls could be seen in city and town centers throughout the country.
It would be easy to assume that it was then just a straight line from that to the popularity of the digital version today, but that is not the case. Having been one of the top leisure pursuits of middle-aged and older women for much of the 1960s and 1970s, bingo fell out of favor.
The 1980s and 1990s saw the closure of hundreds of halls and it looked as if the love affair with the game was at an end. The launch of online bingo in the mid-1990s was greeted with little initial enthusiasm.
It took until the new century for online bingo to really catch on. Its rise was connected with increasing levels of interest in other forms of online gaming, but again it was in the UK that digital bingo found a particularly receptive audience.
It has now grown to a level of popularity that dwarfs even that of the bingo boom of the 1960s and 1970s. It has also undergone a radical change of image.
Whereas in that era bingo was regarded as a game for older generations, the most enthusiastic consumers of online bingo games are young people. Bingo halls were smoke-filled places where your mum and grandmother went in the evenings, but online bingo has been very successfully marketed as a modern game for the young.
The sites feature lively, colorful graphics that are packed with energy, while the games often have themes based on popular culture. That has helped to associate bingo with all that is fashionable and cutting edge, but it is not the only reason why the popularity of bingo is now soaring.
There is also the effect of technological developments.
Bingo Sites Get Better for Players
It is not an exaggeration to say that the early online bingo websites were basic. In those days, the internet was in its infancy and that was reflected in the look of the sites and the minimal choice of games.
These did not stretch far beyond 75-ball and 90-ball bingo. By contrast, the top sites of today have hundreds of games with themes and immersive play – as well as things like slingo games that combine bingo with online slots.
They also run on HTML5 software that makes them smoother to use and easier to optimize for mobiles. That has opened bingo up to people who prefer gaming on their phones.
Given that data shows most owners of smartphones use them for up to four hours a day, embracing mobile tech has helped the industry to further expand. It means that the next generation still is now discovering the game, which is vital if online bingo is to retain its popularity and grow it even more.
Mobile gaming is a further refinement of the customer experience. It takes the ease and convenience of online gaming to the next level, by giving people the option of playing bingo while they are on the move via a handy little device.
Given that bingo is a game where the biggest customer base is in the UK, the importance of technology to its growth cannot be underestimated. It is not a place known for wonderful weather and there is little appeal in travelling to a bricks and mortar bingo hall on a cold and wet night.
Online and mobile bingo render that unnecessary. There is the question of the social element of the game though.
Visiting the bingo hall was a night out and the young women who make up the largest portion of the online bingo market still like to play with friends. Developments in technology have enabled bingo sites to provide chat rooms where they can enjoy virtual meet-ups, as well as live bingo games where they can see other players.
That has been a big improvement for users and means that digital bingo can now match the best things about playing in a hall, in addition to offering far greater convenience and comfort. That is why it keeps growing.
Bingo is back and bigger than ever before, with its expansion surely certain to continue.