Bingo Halls Offer New Electronic Card Minders

In Great Britain bingo has a long and colorful past. Every major city has several hugs bingo halls capable of seating thousands of players. Several bingo halls in the UK have adopted 21st century technology. Many are offering players the option to use touch screen devices instead of old fashioned paper cards. In the city of Northampton the Beacon Bingo hall welcomes about 5,000 players a week. The venue will celebrate its 22nd anniversary this year. The hall’s general manager Steve Power said that today’s bingo halls attract players from all age groups. Power told reporters “I have been here for nine months but have worked in bingo since I was 18 and the audience has got a lot younger. A lot of people think it is an old people’s pastime, but there are plenty of youngsters and middle-aged people doing it. We do try harder to get people in, we do promotions that appeal to families; it is not rare to see mum, daughter and grandmother here together.”

Players using the electronic touch screen devices can have their cards marked automatically and the devices tell players how many numbers they need to win the game. Players at the hall can also use traditional paper cards that are marked manually. The devices enable players to play more cards. The electronic devices have been well received by most players. Hall operators using the devices hope to attract young tech savvy players. Long time bingo buddies Ann Millican, aged 67 from Moulton and Sandra Jackson, aged 64 from Kingsthorpe have played bingo together for decades. They always split their winnings and said their biggest win was £1,500 three years ago when the duo were enjoying a trip to Las Vegas. Tim Smith, aged 62, from Bugbrooke said he enjoys the social aspect of bingo. Smith told reporters “I don’t enjoy winning because I never win. In 22 years I only once had half a share of £100 but I don’t come regularly. It is an evening out for me rather than an opportunity to win money, I have actually been here on New Year’s Eve and it was a great night out.”

The devices are catching on in other countries. In Ontario Canada several bingo halls are using the electronic touch screens. Canadian operators hope to attract more players. In Canada most bingo games are operated by charities and during the past few years revenues have fallen and several bingo halls in the Toronto area have closed. Players have another option; online bingo. Online bingo players can enjoy their favorite game from the comfort and privacy of home. Most bingo sites offer free bingo which is a great way for new players to learn the online version of the game and stest game software.