Bingo is a game as old as time. Ok, not quite but it’s been entertaining generation after generation, all the while remaining relatively simple. Despite this, the game has evolved considerably in the last decade on the back of huge social and technological changes.
As a result of this, bingo remains both incredibly familiar and evolutionary at the same time. This means that not only do existing player demographics continue to enjoy the game and its fundamental patterns, but new participants are also drawn to the pastime on an annual basis.
How has Bingo changed in the Last Decade?
A little more than 10 years ago, bingo was restricted to working man and social clubs throughout the UK, with the game largely restricted to industrial areas. It was also played almost exclusively offline, with a huge numbers of halls and outlets dotted nationwide. As of 2015, however, there are now fewer than 400 bingo halls in the UK, which is less than half of the number that was in operation during the game’s initial heyday. In fact, an estimated 70% of players operate predominantly online in 2015, as opposed to just 24% who remain exclusively loyal to their local bingo hall.
It is not only technological advancement that has triggered this seismic shift, as the nationwide smoking ban in public houses and game halls throughout the UK also sounded the death knell for traditional bingo. This coincided with the rise of online bingo, which meant that players were presented with a significant issue and a viable solution at the same time. We have since seen further changes to the typical playing demographic, as while an estimated 80% are female the average age of a bingo player has fallen to just 38.
The Last word and the Future of Bingo
The changes that we have seen in the bingo market over the course of the last decade should come as no surprise, especially as social and technological factors have challenged the boundaries of the game. This has subsequently encouraged new players to the market, helping the player demographics to broaden and diversify considerably over time. This inspires even greater evolution, and will trigger further changes in the next decade.
More specifically, we can expect online bingo to become even more dominant in the next 10 years. This trend will be driven by the adaptation of augmented and virtual reality, which will help players to create an authentic, three dimensional environment within the comfort of their own home. It will also enable live bingo gameplay online, replicating the intensity and social elements of the traditional formats of the game in the process.