The UK and bingo have a long relationship that stretches back centuries. Although the game can be traced back to the 1500’s, and an Italian lottery known as Il Gioco del Lotto, early bingo variants reached the UK in the 18th century. These early roots gave bingo a base in the UK, but it wasn’t until the 20th century that our love for numbered balls took off.
American carnival owner Hugh J. Grant was the first person to standardize the rules of bingo following a trip to Europe. Originally known as beano, his ruleset eventually piqued the interests of toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe. With a product to sell and a reported slip of the tongue changing the name to bingo, the game we know today was born.
For bingo in the UK, the biggest driver for success in the 20th century was war. As bleak as that may sound, UK bingo initially gained popularity when US troops posted in the UK would play during their downtime. Indeed, with bingo fever hitting new highs across America in the 1930s, it was always going to find its ways across the Atlantic during World War II.
UK Bingo in Post-War Britain
With Brits exposed to modern bingo and people eager to play, the government spotted an opportunity. Seeing bingo in the UK as a potential revenue generator, local councils poured funding into the game in an effort to rebuild the country after World War II. By 1960, the number of bingo halls in the UK topped 1,000 and the game had become a national pastime. However, by the 1980s, interest started to wane. This dip continued through the nineties and into the noughties.
Between 2004 and 2014, the number of UK bingo halls dropped from 600 to 400. Fortunately, change was on the horizon. In the same way World War II was a catalyst for bingo, the internet raised the game’s profile from 2010 onwards. The evolution of bingo in the UK eventually led to success across all platforms. As well as online bingo activity participation hitting 39.8% in 2017, the number of live venues also started to increase.
Modern UK Bingo
Today, an estimated 3.5 million people play bingo in the UK. Perhaps the most significant change that’s occurred is a lowering of the community’s average age. According to research, more than 33% of all bingo players in the UK are now aged between 25 and 34. That’s a huge departure from days of old when the average player was 50+. In short, bingo has changed and so have the players that enjoy it. However, at its core, UK bingo is still the same activity that everyone fell in love with back in the 18th century.
The Rise of Online Gaming: 888Ladies in the UK
As the demographics of bingo have evolved, the role of bingo operators has also changed. Back when bricks and mortar bingo halls were popular, the only things operators really needed were some tables, chairs, game cards, and numbered balls. Today, the average bingo player in the UK expects a lot more. Yes, the fundamentals are important. However, to run a successful UK online bingo site, added extras matter.
Here at 888Ladies, we aim to cover as many bases as possible. In fact, to ensure everyone has the best experience, we don’t limit our focus to games and promotions. Of course, they’re a major part of what we offer. However, our goal is to create a community that every player can feel a part of.
Bingo, Bingo, and Beyond Bingo
The heartbeat of 888Ladies is, as you’d expect, bingo. Unlike live venues that can only offer a certain amount of games, our platform is capable of covering a wealth of variants. In keeping with tradition, 90 ball bingo is one of our top options and can be played from as little as £0.01. If you fancy something different, we’ve also got 75 ball bingo, our Joy Gem VIP Club, and even a selection of slot games. Basically, if you’re a fan of action, there’s something for everyone inside 888Ladies.
UK Bingo Bonuses and Promotions
Modern online bingo in the UK is all about added value. As well as guaranteed and progressive jackpot games, we offer a selection of deposit bonuses and regular promotions.
Community and Support
The secret ingredient to our success is community. At 888Ladies, you’ll not only be able to play alongside thousands of like minded people, you can also interact with them. Our blog is where you’ll find all the latest tips and stories. Beyond that, you can communicate with players via our chat room, take part in competitions and even speak to members of our team. Our in-game chat room is a great and easy way to become part of the 888Ladies community, and an even better way to meet new people!
The Future of Bingo in the UK
The data suggests that online bingo will dominate in the coming years. However, this doesn’t mean the death of bricks and mortar gaming. Yes, online bingo will continue to gain popularity. In fact, if we’re being honest, more people are going to play online bingo in the UK due to advances in virtual reality (VR). Although innovations in this area are sparse at present, online gaming is moving in this direction. From roulette and slots to poker, software developers are now creating VR worlds. With that being the case, bingo will naturally follow suit.
But, and this is important, we’ll continue to see live bingo played across the United Kingdom. What we’ll probably see is more in the way of bingo entertainment.