The History of Bingo
Bingo has come a long way from its rather humble roots. It originates from the Italian lottery in the 16th century. Mainly played by aristocrats, it spread quickly to France and was played by their aristocracy also. However, this version was not the version we are used to… That came from Germany in the 19th century and was used there to teach children anything from maths to history. From there it managed to spread all to the way to the good ol’ USA where players in the 1920s would shout “BEANO!” (not bingo) and would often play into the small hours at local carnivals where the love of bingo really grew. The shouting only changed to Bingo from Beano when one of the friends of a man called Edwin Lowe, responsible for spreading Bingo all the around the US, shouted Bingo by mistake. And from then on, the name stuck.
In the times I am referencing here, Bingo would be played at carnivals. And later large Bingo halls- the largest of which is owned by Foxwoods Casino Hotel housing 4,000 players. But as technology marches on and the negative press gambling gets from governments and media outlets around the world, can the age old Bingo really find a new niche in the emerging market of online gaming. Is online Bingo the next big thing?
Who plays it?
Well, estimates suggest that there are 100 million online Bingo players in the world right now, however, most, roughly 80%, belong to the same demographic- Women aged 30-50 years old. And sadly there is not much variety in the other 20% as they mostly belong to men of the same age range. However, I should not be so disheartened as, in the UK, the proportion of players under the age of 45 years old has grown from 46% to 62%. And now players between the ages of 18-24 now make of 700,000 of the 3.5million players in Britain.
Online Bingo in the US is also diversifying as well. Nearly 90% of all US based players are 50 years old or younger. With young female players making up the highest proportion of that percentage. In fact, online Bingo is the most popular online game between young women aged 20 to 25.
Why do people play it?
But never mind all these numbers and facts and figures. Why? Why is the online Bingo industry diversifying so much during the age of information?
Bingo used to be played in halls for the purpose of playing the game and having fun. Now Bingo has taken a far larger scope with most tabloid newspapers running their own brand of the online game. But it isn’t just the print media who have got in on the act. Oh no, we now have chat rooms, online dating and social media all a part of the new online experience. This has helped to bring in a brand new demographic of young players all looking to engage in these new aspects.
Furthermore, advertising for low stakes Bingo games has become commonplace by newspapers and TV channels. This attracts new customers into the market who would otherwise have not engaged with Bingo and opens up the concept of casually gambling to a much wider demographic- a demographic who, as the statistics suggest, are starting to join player counts.
Another aspect of online bingo which I have no covered is the price. Most sites now offer bingo for as little as one penny. This allows pretty much anyone to play regardless of age or skill. Also most sites “high stakes” bingo playing is under a pound. This gives very little risk to the players to allows people to play causally with no worry for their bank balance.
A strange but popular part of Bingo is also luck. Unlike other such gabling games like sports betting or poker for example, skill is not required. All online bingo sites rely on a random number generator to choose numbers for games so everyone is of an equal skill level regardless of whether it is your first game or your hundredth.
So if you have not caught the general drift of this piece then let me spell it out for you. Online Bingo is very much not dead- in fact I would say it is alive and kicking. So here is my advice to you. Find a Bingo site. Log in. Place your one penny bet and don your lucky socks. And finally- most importantly, prepare to have fun.