Bingo’s transformation in the digital era


It can feel like everything is online now. Online banking, music, movies, and books, and even the most popular pastimes, like bingo.

It’s all online. 

However, what makes bingo unique is that it has stood the test of time—transitioning from a small beginning into an online titan. Websites packed with features and varied playing options like 888ladies bingo are part of the driving force.

Italian beginnings 

Bingo is thought to be over 500 years old and one of the oldest games that we still play today.

Over time bingo has been modified into a game that millions of players recognise as the modern-day game.

What contributed to the bingo that we know today?

  • Originating in Italy in 1530, bingo was known as Il Gioco del Lotto d’Talia, later changing to Lo Lotto.
  • A minor name adjustment and a new country saw bingo in France in 1778, known as Le Lotto.
  • A little known fact is that bingo was called Beano before it was called bingo. Beans were used to make the numbers.
  • By 1963 there were over 14 million UK residences with a bingo club account.
  • In 1996 the first online bingo games were available to play in America

Bingo is most popular in the UK, but most countries have a live version or can play online.

Bingo’s online popularity

Playing bingo in a bingo hall has always drawn a huge crowd. It’s a social game, and people can gather and celebrate wins together.

But online bingo shook up the industry and delivered bingo into the hands and living rooms of millions of fans.

When online bingo started, it didn’t have all the parts that make in-person so exciting. It was missing simple things like chat rooms, the bingo callers and the smooth transition between simplified bingo ticket views.

Over time, online bingo added these essential parts of the game. It was growing in popularity every year.

You can personalise your game to suit your play style, and there are other perks too.

Free Bingo has had a significant impact on the online community. Great promotions, sign-up bonuses, and loyalty perks keep players joining and returning.

One of the most intelligent and most impactful things that the bingo websites did was catered to the market that played bingo at a land-based location.

Offering reduced prices between 9 am-3 pm (school times), free games, big bonuses, and a community feel.

These actions gave bingo players the option to play in the comfort of their own home, at a time that suits them. Online Bingo works with their lifestyle.

Stats that demonstrate just how much the online bingo market has grown: 

  • 27% of players add £50 to their online bingo accounts
  • 78% of online bingo players play weekly
  • Around 70% of players will make use of the deposit limits
  • 78% of online bingo players are female

Statistics from Cision.

One of the most significant driving forces behind the steep decline in bingo hall attendance was the smoking ban. The first mention of a smoking ban came in 2004, and by 2006 had begun to be phased in.

After 2007 many popular bingo halls across the UK were required to close. It is estimated that over 63% of bingo players were smokers.

Playing bingo via mobile

Bingo game developers have embraced and contributed to innovative gaming technology, including enabling players to be mobile.

Mobile compatible bingo has steadily increased over the last 20 years, to the point we are at now. We have sleek and intuitive bingo mobile apps that let us play on our own terms.

It takes minutes to download an app, sign up for an account and add cash. Mobile play has made it so convenient; it accounts for a significant % of gamers.

YouGov data suggests that the most likely age of bingo participants is the 25-34 age bracket. And that there is an increasing amount of men playing bingo too.

Figures from Statista show that the mobile gaming market accounts for 50% of overall gaming revenue.

Other factors in online bingo popularity

Although mobile bingo is one of the most significant contributing factors to the popularity and market growth of bingo, there are other factors too.

The price of online bingo (and many other casino games) is lower. Since there aren’t travel costs, refreshments costs and ‘other’ involved.

You also aren’t likely to be able to enjoy substantial sign-up bonuses, up to 200% of the first deposit at a land-based bingo hall.

But online? You’ll regularly receive bonuses, promotions and get access to VIP clubs and loyalty points.

Loyalty points can often be exchanged for exclusive discounts, games and prizes.

Online bingo works hard to attract new players with great offers, but it puts equal effort into keeping them playing too.

With new bingo options often arriving, as well as a range of side games like slots and virtual scratch cards.

The future of online bingo

The trajectory of online bingo over the last few years shows a definite upward trend in terms of revenue.

Since technological advancements are one of the driving forces behind its popularity, and technology is constantly improving, we will see that reflected in the playing options.

Incredible high-quality graphics, unique themes and perhaps a healthy dose of AR or VR innovation can help bring bingo to a new exciting level.

VR could allow players to feel like they are sitting in an actual bingo hall but enjoy all of the typical perks of playing online!

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