Today it is virtually impossible to switch on the television, or flip through a UK newspaper without seeing an ad for an online bingo site. These websites have become the trendiest places to play if you fancy good night in. A great deal of advertising money is spent on making sure that all the best sites are visible to the public. But who is playing this game, and why has it become so popular?
A typical sort of night in for a typical sort of online bingo player, might see someone playing every night or at least regularly for two or three hours; sometimes more, sometimes less. Most people who play at these websites, don’t do it for the prizes, they play for the "social" aspect of chatting with friends, and making new online buddies. Some spend more than they win, but others win really good prizes, when they do win, generally we hear them say that they never expected to win.
The amount of new online bingo sites coming on to the World-wide web has also increased exponentially, and there is always supply where there is demand. Just a few short years ago, back in 2004, there were less than twenty such sites for the UK-facing audience. Today it is believed there are approximately 350 such websites.
Operators and owners of bingo websites range from Capital Venture partners, through newspapers such as The Sun, and live bingo club operators. Two of the biggest names in British Bingo are also found online. These are Gala and Mecca Bingo.
Originally this game was synonymous with smoky rooms, crowded tables and the camaraderie of a night out with the girls, but it has changed, and the socialising aspect of bingo has very much moved online. It was also once synonymous with older players, and now while elderly people do play online, the gross demographic is younger. Some start as young as 18.
One 21 year old player reported that she plays two to three times a week, and then five hours on Sunday. Citing that she enjoys the excitement the game provides, as well as the companionship of other players in the chat rooms. Not once was there made a mention of the prizes she could possibly win.
It is the chat-room that is the “key” element for most online bingo players. Talking or making a noise in a land bingo club is strongly discouraged, in case a ball call is missed or miss-heard. Online players can chat whenever they like. Cards are completed automatically, so there is nothing to concentrate on. Bingo Lingo has evolved, players can chat privately, and the cost of a bingo card starts at only 1p, many games are even for free. So what’s not to like? It is self-evident why the game is so popular.