Bingo In the Digital Age

In the late 90’s bingo joined the digital age and the rest is history. Bingo has been the fastest growing sector of the online gaming industry and in the UK and Europe is now more popular than poker. Bingo is probably the most socially acceptable forms of gambling probably because of the game’s close association with church fundraisers and charitable organizations. Bingo is considered a ‘soft’ form of gambling as opposed to poker which attracts an entirely different type of player. Historically there has been very little criminality associated with bingo.

There are about 100 million bingo players around the world. In many countries bingo is more popular than the cinema and sporting events. The amazing growth of the internet bingo industry has been fueled by the economic meltdown, smoking bans in some jurisdictions and extensive advertising campaigns targeting typical bingo players. Internet bingo has attracted many younger players who would probably not attend games at live bingo halls. The economic downturn has created a huge demand for inexpensive home based entertainment.

Bingo has also shed its image as a game for the elderly and pensioners. As has been mentioned online bingo has created a new generation of bingo fans. This has benefitted land based bingo operations as younger players who first played the game online venture out to live bingo halls for the full bingo experience. In the UK bingo has become a part of British culture. Simon Wykes, managing director of Gala Bingo told the Daily Star, “It is ingrained in our culture. In the UK, we love to meet up with our friends, have a chat, a few drinks and a flutter. It’s this universal appeal that’s the key to its popularity. The smoking ban and the recession have meant we have thought again about what we’re good at. There’s a real buzz when you go to bingo. There’s no doubt that the game is back.”

New internet bingo sites are launched weekly and must survive in a highly competitive market. The internet bingo industry has expanded into several countries each with its own unique regulatory atmosphere. In the European Union recent court decisions against the monopolistic gambling laws of some countries have opened up new markets for internet bingo operators. Today the internet bingo industry has its own trade associations and holds several special events every year. The 500 year old game of bingo has adapted to the digital age quite nicely.