Bingo is a game that is popular across generations. It’s been a popular pastime for decades and has had plenty of ups and downs throughout its history.
The early 2000s and into the 2010s saw bingo halls across the UK close down, but over the last few years its been as popular as ever before and its evolution is continuing, with huge growth expected over the coming years.
But exactly how has bingo transformed from being a rather tired game associated with rundown bingo halls to a thrilling game that is welcoming a completely new breed of bingo player?
The Origins of Bingo
You have to go back an awful long way to discover the early history of bingo, with it originally dating back to the 16th century and the invention of the Italian Lotto.
The game then spread to France and throughout Europe, eventually landing in the UK, where it began to transform into the modern day game we know and love today.
The bingo card didn’t arrive until 1942, and during the 1980s there was a huge boom in bingo playing, with dozens of new bingo halls popping up across the UK.
A Crossover Between Online & Offline
From the 2000s and the rise of online gaming, there has been a growing number of players enjoying bingo via their desktop computers and then tablets and smartphones. But with that, a large number of bingo halls have closed down.
During the 2000s, many bingo halls across the UK have struggled, with halls closing up and down the country. However, that has also coincided with the industry online being worth billions.
It’s that crossover and more players forming communities online at the likes of Moon Bingo that has started the transformation of bingo and broadening its appeal.
There are so many bingo variations and this has been particularly influential in this, with the likes of slingo bingo and roulette bingo not only offering more exciting, but bringing fans in from the world of online casino too.
Around a quarter of bingo players in a recent survey were millennials, a far cry from the stereotype of older players that partly led to its downfall offline. That percentage is rising each year too, particularly as mobile play becomes easier than ever and more and more sites and apps launch online.
A New Breed of Player, A New Offline Bingo
As more younger players and millenials start to enjoy online bingo and its many variations, it’s having an effect in towns and cities across the UK too. Not only are bingo halls now welcoming new, younger players into the more traditional variations, we’re seeing new pop up bingo nights which tour the country and sell out venues.
Bongos Bingo is one such example which has grown a huge reputation among students and young professionals, introducing not only online players to offline gaming, but many others to the game of bingo too. What’s more, in recent times it has even gone international!
Of course, during lockdown that hasn’t been the case, but they’ve been welcoming thousands via virtual bingo nights and have even sold out outdoor specials, with social distancing in place.
That’s testament to the growth of audience and bingo lovers both online and this new style of bingo night has created and it’s completely transformed people’s opinion of bingo and the reputation it has.
That’s only going to continue as not only the offline events grow, but new technology allows players to build even more of a community online and integrate things like video and new variants to the game.
It will be interesting to see just how the transformation does continue. Bingo was once one of the most loved games in the UK. It’s returning to that and over the next few years it could once again a British tradition once again.