Fifty years ago, bingo was the hottest ticket in town. Head to any town or city and you’d find bingo halls flooded with players all listening out for numbers and looking for big wins. However, as we moved through the eighties and into the nineties, bingo began to fade from the public eye. Although it never completely disappeared, the game went into decline with bingo halls across former hotspots in the US and the UK dropping sharply.
But like many things touched by the Internet, the game has certainly rebounded after taking on a virtual form. Today, online bingo is a major part of an iGaming industry, which is projected to be worth more than $50 billion in 2017. As more online operators have embraced the game, it’s caused a surge in activity and revenue
A Booming Industry
The UK Gambling Commission, the regulator of one of the largest online bingo markets, reported a 72.2% growth in revenue in 2014.
From an estimated total of 50,000 online players in 2008 to around 3 million by the end of 2014, UK operators were able to generate more than $95 million. In fact it’s not just in the UK where bingo has become a hit. Charity bingo is still big news in the US, with Texas alone in charitable bingo and gaming revenue.
But isn’t the surge of online bingo rooms making the game less social? In short: no. Bingo was founded on the principles of entertainment and socialisation. Unlike other games where money is involved, bingo has always been more about the relationships you foster with players around you than the pursuit of profit. In fact that’s the reason the 50+ generation has always enjoyed it. Providing both a social and potentially lucrative night out is what made bingo a game for those entering later life – and the Internet has recognised that.
Today if you log in to a major online bingo site, you’ll find a plethora of tools and features designed to keep the game social and entertaining. Chat rooms are an integral part of each platform. In addition to external chat rooms where you can interact with players, each game will have an internal chat window. These chat boxes have become an important part of certain themed games.
It’s All About Interaction
If you’re looking for a way to stay social in your later years and you want to stay on trend, bingo is the game for you. Twenty years ago images of drab bingo halls and slightly depressed looking players certainly didn’t gel with the idea of an inspired older generation looking for some entertaining. However, with the Internet reviving bingo’s fortunes and giving its image a complete makeover, it’s now no longer a dying industry. Playing via your desktop or mobile is not only easy and accessible, but highly sociable.
Take Deal or No Deal bingo games at William Hill. This themed game has taken certain features from the popular TV show and used them to make each session more entertaining and, importantly, more interactive. Each time a player wins a round and gets a chance to open a mystery box, the other players in the room can vote on what the other person should do: stick with their box or switch boxes? Aside from adding some extra drama to the game, this interactive element helps to maintain the ‘social’ ethos bingo was built on.
Far from the dreary old game your grandparents would have played many years ago, bingo in 2017 is a trendy game that anyone 50+ can use to improve their social life and potentially, their finances.