Synonymous with Britishness alongside national favourites such as fish and chips, football and a lack of sunshine; Bingo is another great part of the country’s identity.
Unfortunately, the fast-paced innovation of technology means that some of the old ways of life have been transformed dramatically as gadgets improve and enhance our experiences. Traditional bingo has also suffered amid falling levels of disposable income in the UK, with Chancellor Philip Hammond’s autumn budget revealing that we are unlikely to see real wage growth for at least the next decade.
While bingo operators are unable to do anything about the economic climate, however, they have seized the opportunities provided by technology to reach their customer base and many more new players, potentially saving the industry as a whole.
Bingo Halls Lose out to Technology
In the not so distant past, Bingo Halls used to be popular destinations for punters looking to win some money while enjoying the company and a good night out. The halls are now mostly the preserve of an older generation for whom bingo was a big part of their social life, but the pastime is far from dead, however.
The numbers make depressing reading for those who love bingo as up to a third of halls have shut down in the last decade, that’s down to just under 400 from a high of over 600 since 2005. Other factors such as the introduction of the smoking ban are also attributed to this decline, as well as high taxes on gambling operators.
With the ability to provide a bingo experience on the go, online bingo games are carrying the torch for one of the nation’s favourite pastimes. Many UK bingo sites are even attracting new, younger players due to their accessibility and entertainment value that online based models excel at.
The Rise of Online Bingo
Online Bingo’s popularity has risen exponentially as the format benefited from internet connected mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. This means that players could gamble at their convenience whether while commuting or in the comfort of their homes – hence the reduction in footfall to bingo halls. Not only is online bingo available at the click of a mouse or tap of a screen, the number of available games has also grown. In addition to digital versions of traditional bingo games and casino slots, there are also a variety of themed games including tie-ins with popular TV and Film franchises.
As mentioned above, while physical locations have suffered many operators now also provide online versions of their bingo games. Their ease of access and improved user experiences have actually attracted millions of new and former players. Simply put, today’s bingo players can have instant access to a huge library of games, more than what was ever available in traditional halls, from the comfort of home. That is a hard act to follow for physical buildings that are constrained by their size, cost, and unaltered format.
Looking ahead, physical halls may need to invest in digital focused services to augment the experiences that bingo halls offer. Accessibility is what has helped online bingo grow its user numbers in addition to better variety and number of games.
Therefore, with more technological innovations available or on the way, such as Virtual and Augmented Reality, that will improve players’ experiences of online bingo even further, the online bingo industry will only continue to grow.