Bingo-It’s Not Your Grandmother’s Game Anymore !

For decades bingo has had an image problem. Before the internet bingo age most people thought of bingo as a game played by little old ladies sitting in smoky bingo halls with brightly colored daubers and troll dolls placed in front of them ‘for luck.’ While this may have been partially true in the not so distant past internet bingo has changed the game forever. In land based bingo halls the caricature of the typical bingo player may have some basis in fact especially in the United States. In the United Kingdom it is a different story. The UK has had a thriving bingo scene for decades. Although the implementation of a national smoking ban in 2007 led many to believe the demise of live bingo was imminent the industry fought back and today players are returning to bingo halls in great numbers.

Although accurate demographic information about bingo players is difficult to come by most of the available information says that the typical internet bingo player in the UK is a young female in the 18 to 35 age group. A 2010 study showed that internet bingo was one of the most popular leisure activities among women 18 to 25 years old. In the UK about 50% to 70% of all bingo players are women and some sources say that 85% of all players are women.  More males play bingo in the UK than in the United States. Statistics about American internet bingo players are extremely difficult to obtain because of federal laws banning internet gambling. Unofficial sources say that in the US 90% of internet bingo players are under 50 years old. Like the UK about 85% of all internet bingo players in the United States are female. In the US internet bingo is especially popular with players 20 to 25 years old.

There appears to be a definite generational divide between land based and internet bingo players. Older bingo players prefer to play at local bingo halls and young players prefer internet bingo. In both countries there is some crossover and it is common to see groups of young players in bingo halls. In the UK many operators have revamped their operations to appeal to the new generation of bingo players. In the United States most local bingo games are run by charities, churches and fraternal organizations. Many Native American tribes have huge bingo operations and bingo is actually making a comeback in Las Vegas. A few casinos are now offering high stakes bingo games and tournaments. In the UK there are several large land based operators and some have been in business since the 60’s.

Gaming experts say that mobile bingo is the fastest growing sector of the internet bingo industry. Most mobile players are in their late teens and early 20’s and are affluent and extremely tech savvy. Social gaming on sites like Facebook has increased the number of bingo players. One popular bingo game on Facebook has over a million regular monthly players. Bingo is no longer a game for the geriatric set and who knows what the future will bring!