Most of the people who play online bingo today, perhaps do not know the rich history behind the game. It originates from 16th Century Italy and has spread its way through Europe and across the globe. The first surge in its popularity was when church halls agreed to host the game, followed by the introduction of Gala and Mecca Bingo halls. However this is nothing compared to the amount of people who took up the game following the introduction of the online version of bingo.
Bingo was introduced online in 1996 however it took until 2004 for most households to own their own PC or laptop making the game more accessible. It is believed that over three million people in the UK now play online bingo which is the equivalent of 8% of the population. It is thought that this market will continue to grow 7% year on year meaning that in three years, another million people will be playing the game.
Thanks to these rocketing figures, it appears that online bingo is in fact recession proof. Therefore what are the reasons behind its increasing popularity? The main reason is thanks to the introduction of the game online. The average household these days is time poor thanks to increasing workloads and family commitments. Therefore being able to access the game over the internet at work, at home, even on a laptop whilst lying in bed has facilitated the growing popularity. This is a hobby that does not have to interrupt the player’s lifestyle.
A really great reason for the increasing popularity is the social side of the game. This may sound strange given that there is no actual physical interaction, however thanks to the growing trend of social networking people are now much more at ease of networking online. Bingo online companies have capitalised on this and offer their own chat rooms for their customers. They even provide a ‘chat manager’ who manages these conversations and makes sure they are all friendly and helpful. Breaking this code would result in your account being shut down.
Another great reason for the rising popularity is the amazing deals and prizes on offer. Firstly, most new registrations are rewarded with matched cash deposits i.e. you deposit £10 and the company matches by 300% i.e. £30. This means that you have three times more money to play with. Furthermore, the prizes and sums of money are not insignificant, in fact the largest recorded online bingo win in the UK is approximately £500,000!
The increasing popularity of online bingo is thanks to three key reasons, the introduction of the online game, the social aspect accessible via their chat rooms and the fantastic prizes and deals up for grabs. It’s little wonder why 8% of the UK population alone enjoy this pastime and with the continuing evolution of technology e.g. mobile applications, this particular trends looks to keep on soaring.
Gamble Aware (www.gambleaware.co.uk) is managed by the Responsibility in Gambling Trust, an independent charity which funds treatment, research and education about responsible gambling. The website has been developed by a Task Force made up of representatives from the Gambling Commission, DCMS, academia and industry.