Bingo is a game that has been enjoyed by millions of people for well over a decade now and 3.8 million people in the UK currently play the game both in bingo halls and online. Bingo Paradise is proud to host this resource (scroll down) that contains an almost exhaustive list of bingo halls in the UK, with useful information researched for each.
Despite the growth in the online market over the last 10 years, many players do still enjoy playing the game in person from their local bingo hall. There are many reasons for this so we’re delving into why people all over the world still enjoy a game of land-based bingo.
A Brief History of the Bingo Hall
Bingo is a game that has been played for generations so it is slightly tricky to pinpoint when the game first made an appearance. Some will argue that bingo originated from Italy and that it evolved from the Italian Lottery also known as the “Lo Guioco del Lotto D’Italia”. Whether this is true or not is very much up for debate but the game has certainly developed and evolved massively since the supposed period in time.
In the US, bingo was played at carnivals and in the 30s players were known to shout “Beano!” instead of “Bingo!” The game had spread far and wide by the 40s and has steadily grown ever since then to become one of the most popular games in the world. While bingo was becoming popular, the bingo hall didn’t really come into play until a bit later in history.
Mostly, people would play bingo in social halls or churches, this was before the industry really started up in earnest. When the first few commercial halls appeared, this was the beginning of a wonderful industry.
Why People Play in Bingo Halls
Traditional bingo is on the decline (we’ll discuss this later on below) but thousands of people still flock to their favourite bingo hall every week so why exactly is this? To put it simply, for some, there is no substitute for the real thing! Bingo has always been a social game that is best enjoyed with others.
While the online game can replicate this fairly effectively, there is nothing better for some players than meeting their friends and playing the game with other like-minded players in person. You can get a social drink in the bingo hall as well so it really is the social experience that keeps traditional bingo players coming back for more.
Current Challenges Faced by Bingo Halls
Up until 2005, bingo halls were opening up in the UK every year. The challenge for traditional bingo halls in competing with their online counterparts has never been greater. There has been a sharp decline in traditional bingo halls over the last 5 years and this can be attributed to a number of key factors. In the UK, the smoking ban had a profound impact and it has been in effect since 2007 (we feel old).
While the smoking ban has undoubtedly been a success, at the time it caused major problems for the traditional bingo market in the UK. Many bingo halls in the country were traditionally filled with smokers who would enjoy a cigarette or two while they played their favourite game. Many people gave up playing altogether when they realised that they had to step outside the bingo hall for a smoke every 15 minutes.
The idea of bingo being a “generation game” is evident when you think about the average bingo player. You may think of a room full of older ladies and to a certain extent you would be correct, the older demographics certainly makes up the majority of traditional online bingo players in 2017. Of course, young people enjoy the game as well but they are far more likely to play the game online rather than in a traditional bingo hall.
The Online Alternative
In contrast, more and more players are now making the switch to the online game. Online bingo is far easier to access and it doesn’t matter if you have a PC or a smartphone, there is plenty of desktop and mobile bingo for all. Players can enjoy playing for the same types of jackpots from the comfort of their sofa rather than making the trip to their local bingo hall.
Additionally, there are tonnes more promotions online as well and you can pick and choose games that are suitable for the way you like to play the game and with so many sites to choose from you really are spoiled for choice when it comes to playing online. This has just led us to ask how are the big bingo hall brands coping in these current tough trading conditions?
The Popular Brands
When the bingo halls began to decline some of the smarter bingo companies reacted well by effectively entering the online bingo market. Indeed, the biggest brands have managed to transition into the online market while still maintaining a presence in the physical bingo hall market as well.
These days, if you are playing traditional bingo in the UK the chances are that you will be playing in popular bingo hall. These companies are still doing well commercially and this could be down to their continuing dedication to both traditional and online bingo thus allowing them to appeal to more customers than ever!
Looking to the Future
It is hard to tell how many bingo halls will still be in operation in the next 5 years. If things continue the way they are the future certainly looks bleak for the traditional bingo player. There are some silver linings out there though, with some brands seeing this change in customer as a call to action. They’re working hard to create new and interesting halls that will serve even younger players.
Hopefully, companies will continue to see the value in running good old traditional bingo halls as there is still a demand for them, just not as much as there was 20 years ago. Whether you are bingo hall player or an online enthusiast, there’s a game out there for you.