Rise of Online Bingo
Bingo has been around for years, centuries even. In its most basic form, conclusions have been drawn between it and a mid-16th century lottery game known as Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia. It was around 200 years later, however, that the game evolved into something similar to what we see today.
But it wasn’t until the 1940s that Bingo managed to reach stellar heights. It became a worldwide hit, with Bingo halls popping up everywhere. Countries began to create their own unique variations, and there are still several that are played now. Today, there are two widely popular versions of the game that are played all over the world: US Bingo, and UK Bingo (also known as Non-US Bingo).
Bingo halls were the first real place where modern society flocked in order to enjoy the game. The popularity of these rooms is still evident in towns all across the world, with regular play a staple in many people’s lives.
Commercial Bingo games, especially in Las Vegas, are still offered by casinos, and their popularity as such has transferred over to the online market. While Bingo can still be enjoyed in Bingo halls, the majority of players have converted to online methods, with the quick and easy gaming styling providing a faster, and oftentimes more lucrative, Bingo experience.
The explosion of online gambling was the trigger for Bingo’s recent success. While it is certainly true that Bingo already had a large global following prior to the Internet, its success meant that casino games that could only be found in specific areas of the country were now available in people’s very own home – just a click away.
Poker is the perfect example of how the Internet has propelled online gambling into the mainstream. Television shows, multimillion-dollar sponsorships, and a celebrity-like status for high profile players like Phil Ivey has proven that online gambling is one of the most popular forms of entertainment today. Bingo may not be revered in the same light, but it has gained a massive online following all the same.
Online Bingo may have only reached its current level of popularity within the past few years, but the game itself has been around for well over a decade. 1996 saw a popular, and extremely young, version of online Bingo released to the public. Bingo Zone was an instant hit, and members quickly built their own community around it. A couple of years later, free Bingo hit the Internet, and its popularity began to increase swiftly.
Forecasts from Global Betting and Gaming Consultants show that online Bingo will become a billion dollar industry by the end of 2010, smashing the 2006 numbers by almost double. Even more interesting is to realize that, according to The Bingo Association, more than half of regular online Bingo players are under the age of 45.
Those figures may be astounding, but they are nothing in comparison to the next statistic. In the United Kingdom, online Bingo is the most popular leisure activity for women aged between 20 and 25 years. One of the major reasons for this is the fact that the social factor has been able to transfer from Bingo halls to online perfectly.
For those who have played online Bingo before, it shouldn’t be a surprise to realize that the majority of those playing are part of a large community of online Bingo players. The game has managed to incorporate not only entertainment and gambling facets, but also a sense of community. Unlike Poker or Blackjack, where bettors rarely communicate, online Bingo provides a community chat room that encourages conversation rather than quells it. Knowing this, it should be easy to accept that, when surveyed by staff at Bingo Zone, players stated that enjoyment was the number one reason for playing online Bingo, while winning money came in fifth.
There are several theories on what types of players are regular Bingo patrons, and while some are true, many are false. For example, while it is true that the majority of online players are women (85%, in fact), online Bingo is not a game solely for seniors. Instead, online Bingo venues like 888 Ladies and Bingo Hall are intent on encouraging the younger generation to take up the game. Technologically savvy twenty-somethings continue to be one of the largest groups of online Bingo players, and it is estimated that 90% of the online Bingo community is under the age of 50.
Online Bingo looks set to continue its rise as a beloved casino game. As online gambling continues to grow and gain popularity, so too will online Bingo. There are countless websites devoted entirely to the game, and with dedicated servers and detailed guides, new players can jump into a round of online Bingo with the greatest of ease. The explosion of online Bingo, and online gambling as a whole, is still occurring. In the coming years, we can only expect to see Bingo become more popular.