Although the game of Bingo conjures up visions of hair-netted old ladies playing in draughty, smoke-filled halls, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Bingo is increasingly being played both online and offline by a younger audience, and UK clubs enjoy 45 million visits every year.
Modern land-based Bingo venues
Modern Bingo halls are referred to as ‘venues’. While there is still a hard-core older generation of clientele who enjoy the ritual of listening to the caller in silence, lounges are provided where players can chat, text, listen to music, and even play using electronic tablets. Although the average age of land-based Bingo goers is 61, it is now commonplace to find a large tranche of the audience who are in their late twenties and early thirties.
Mecca Bingo has recently started hosting feature Bingo nights at weekends that have a distinctive party feel. One particularly popular theme is ‘rock ‘n’ roll bingo’ where players have to mark off specific tracks as they hear them. Elvis impersonator nights and karaoke are also real crowd-pullers.
‘Rebel Bingo’ in Camden, North London appeals to young people. There’s loud music, DJs, lights, and even confetti; it’s a bit like Ibiza but with Bingo thrown in. Rebel Bingo is particularly popular with students who are attracted by the cheap food and drinks, as well as the party vibe. Bingo it seems is becoming trendy.
Online Bingo’s popularity continues to grow
Bingo’s increasing popularity is not limited to land-based venues. The online Bingo industry is huge with thousands of players taking part on a daily basis. Online Bingo has become known as the housewives’ guilty pleasure, but with players able to join in for a few pence per game and with the chance of winning thousands, the game has never been more popular. New online casinos and traditional bookmakers’ sites all offer Bingo with the temptation of special offers and bonuses to try to snare a share of the ever-expanding market.
Because of its old-fashioned, holiday camp perception, Bingo is now seen by many players as a respectable form of gambling. In days of falling disposable incomes, the chance of winning big for a relatively small outcome, and having fun in the process, will undoubtedly see many new players joining the bandwagon.