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Oct
7th

Online Bingo Defies the Economy

Despite a dismal economy the online bingo industry is uniquely poised to benefit from current economic conditions. Several factors have contributed to the growing popularity of internet bingo. In both the US and the UK rising food and fuel prices have forced the average consumer to make many hard choices and many are cutting back on travel and entertainment. As has been mentioned many times before, smoking bans in both countries have had a significant effect on attendance at brick and mortar bingo halls.

Online bingo operators do not face the high overhead that their land based counterparts face. The cost of running an online bingo website is a fraction of what it costs to operate a land based bingo hall. Utility costs are minimal and fewer employees are required to manage a website. The online operator can pass these savings on to the player in the form of higher jackpots and prizes and low cost cards.

In rural areas of the US high gas prices and smoking bans have taken their toll on bingo halls. In fact, in the US those same factors have affected land based gambling halls across the board. Says Eric Shippers, a spokesman for Hollywood Casino owner Penn National Gaming, “It would be very difficult to really tell what, if any, impact we may have had on attendance being down, given the ongoing softness in the economy,” he said. “We’ve seen the gaming industry as a whole down, year over year, because of higher gas prices and less discretionary spending.”

According to Bloomberg.com, the U.K. is the world’s most developed online bingo market with 243 websites devoted to online bingo. It also stated that online bingo in the UK generated revenues of $239 million in 2007. Despite the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, online bingo remains big business in the US. Many online bingo sites still accept US players and several online bingo companies have expanded operations into Spain and Scandinavia.

With less money to spend on travel and entertainment, internet bingo games offers a solution for those seeking inexpensive entertainment. There are no travel expenses involved and cards are significantly less expensive that at brick and mortar operations. The size of jackpots can range from $50 to a whopping $20,000! It is easy to see why so many players are switching to online bingo. All these factors combine to make online bingo one of the few growth industries in today’s depressing economy.