Players Prefer Online Bingo for These Reasons

Bingo is a popular social game. Nowhere is this more evident than right here in the UK. Britons have a particular penchant for bingo games online and in-person. As a chance-based gambling game, bingo presents players with a competitive alternative to traditional casino games.

The numbers speak volumes. Consider that bingo GGY (Gross Gambling Yield) amounted to £910 million between April 2019 – May 2020. That’s a staggering sum of money. Before we get into the details, let’s take a look at bingo’s revenue-generating performances between April 2009 and September 2020, courtesy of S. Lock and Statista (29 November 2021).

Date Range Mainstage Bingo Revenue (millions) Mechanised Cash Bingo Revenue (millions) Prize Bingo Revenue (in millions)
April 2009 – March 2010 £712.76 £571.75 £52.77
April 2010 – March 2011 £679.25 £562.47 £31.71
April 2011 – March 2012 £659.53 £564.32 £25.40
April 2012 – March 2013 £641.83 £549.29 £25.37
April 2013 – March 2014 £614.32 £519.93 £14.65
April 2014 – March 2015 £598.83 £507.77 £10.17
April 2015 – March 2016 £608.50 £487.25 £12.51
April 2016 – March 2017 £611.99 £459.31 £17.71
April 2017 – March 2018 £595.38 £420.37 £8.14
April 2018 – March 2019 £622.76 £394.68 £9.27
April 2019 – March 2020 £497.42 £315.38 £10.73
April 2020 – Sep 2020 £82.51 £51.85 £1.12
Source: Statista bingo revenue in GP from April 2009 – September 2020 (GBP millions)

Bingo revenue in the UK in millions of GBP has been declining since April 2009 to the present day. Yet, the industry is still generating hundreds of millions of pounds in annual revenues. The anomaly years 2020 and 2021 have dramatically reshaped the bingo landscape, shifting gameplay from land-based bingo halls to online bingo rooms. We will examine the many reasons for the rapid migration of players from bricks and mortar bingo halls to online bingo rooms. But first let’stake a look at land-based bingo.

What’s great about land-based bingo halls?

Bricks and mortar bingo rooms pepper the UK landscape in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England. Bingo is as British as fish and chips, curry, or cricket. Adored by millions of players, land-based bingo is particularly appealing to mum and dad, grandma and grandpa. There are plenty of bingo halls London venues to frequent, albeit a diminishing number over the years. As a player, there is nothing quite like the appeal of an in-person bingo experience. The moment you enter a bingo hall, it’s all smiles for everyone!

It’s a community of like-minded individuals, congregating to enjoy several games of bingo. A bingo hall games list includes 75 ball and 90 ball variants – those are player preferences. Plus, there are plenty of charity hall bingo contests taking place across the UK. But what is it about land-based bingo that is so hard to resist? A good place to start is how does bingo work at a bingo hall? Up on stage, there is usually a bingo caller with an electronic bingo machine, a bingo ball hopper, or a drum. These are used to randomly select bingo numbers for players.

The animated bingo caller is the life of the party! There’s nothing quite like an in-person bingo caller rousing the crowds with witty remarks, calls, and energy-infused commentary. But it’s the players who make land-based bingo worthwhile. Everyone’s a character. Friends, neighbours, acquaintances, and total strangers come together all for their common love of bingo. It’s a great way to spend a couple of hours mid-week, or on the weekends. The prizes are pretty spectacular too!

What are the problems facing land-based bingo halls?

Bingo halls across the UK, continental Europe, and beyond have been hit hard by the pandemic. Social distancing, government-imposed mandatesand restrictions on gathering are but a few of the many factors that have squeezed land-based bingo halls since 2020. But even before COVID-19, land-based bingo was rapidly declining. The costs of operations are prohibitive, given that these fixed venues can only attract players from surrounding communities. The smoking ban took effect years earlier, making it illegal to smoke in company vehicles, workplaces, nightclubs, pubs, restaurants, and bingo halls!

The New York Times ran an op-ed titled, ‘After the Smoke Cleared, Where didall the Bingo Players Go?’ in 2008. It was telling, and it wasn’t even focused on the UK market. As many as half of the players no longer frequented land-based bingo venues after the smoking ban took effect. By the same token, the smoking ban didn’t result in a total loss of smokers – some of them came back. Unfortunately, many bingo halls could no longer compete and were required to shutter their doors for good.

In the UK, the total number of bingo premises has dropped from 695 in 2011 to 601 in the April 2020 – September 2020 period, with many more closures being reported in 2021. Dwindling player numbers, plunging revenues, regulations, and a tough economic environment have all played their part with bricks and mortar bingo halls.

Why are online bingo rooms booming?

The ‘Three Cs’ – Cost, Comfort and Convenience can certainly be credited with the increased popularity of online bingo rooms. There has been an accelerated technological shift towards online platforms since 2020. This is evident across the board with virtual meetings, remote work, telehealth, virtual school, e-commerce, and of course online entertainment. Bingo players love the online gaming arena for many reasons, notably:

  • You can play bingo games online 24/7.
  • You can dress up or dress down – it makes no difference.
  • You can play online bingo games free and win real money – no jokes.
  • You can enjoy 75 ball, 80 ball, 90 ball, jackpot bingo, slots, card games, and table games at your favourite online bingo room.
  • You can chat with other players during online bingo games – use the chat feature to communicate with fellow bingo heads.
  • Online bingo games allow you to play multi-card bingo with auto daubing functionality. Now you never have to miss a bingo ever again!
  • With online bingo, you are privy to generous bonuses and promotional offers. As a new player, you’re in luck – claim your bonus and play bingo.
  • You don’t need to plan an evening out, fight the traffic, or scramble to get a seat at the bingo table. Simply log in and play bingo anytime the mood takes you.
  • If you smoke, smoke at home. If you don’t smoke, you won’t be bothered by second-hand smoke either.

Bingo players are always at the forefront of innovation. The game has evolved dramatically over the years and continues to spearhead the gambling world with its innovative features, functions, and social aspects. Even on social media platforms like Facebook, bingo reigns supreme. You can download and play free bingo with apps at the Google Play Store or the App Store. It’s your call – make it a good one!