Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Why's everyone playing bingo?

BingoBang II by jeici1, on Flickr

We all know about the game of bingo – it’s been around for almost a century as a patented game. And it had been in existence for hundreds of years before that, in one form or another. Basically, bingo is a game where the outcome is all down to chance. If the combination of numbers on your chosen card matches the numbers called in a draw quicker than anyone else’s; you’ll win.
Bingo has always been popular – it’s a game that people used to travel to bingo halls to play in droves. But, although it was never officially deemed to be, bingo was always viewed as a game for old ladies. You wouldn’t find young crowds in a bingo hall. Now though, bingo has gained a big following in younger segments of the population, and 85% of UK bingo players are now under the age of 50. One in five players is female – but the number of men who play is rising.
So what’s caused these changes? The answer has to be in the availability of bingo games online. There’s no longer any need to travel to a bingo hall; people can choose from hundreds of different sites with a quick internet search. And once they get onto a bingo site, people realise that there’s a lot of fun to be had playing this simple and entertaining game.
Online bingo is even easier than the land-based version, as the software does the marking of matching numbers for the player. All you have to do is decide which game to play, how many tickets to buy and then watch what happens. You don’t even need to watch the game – if you want to enter a particular game but don’t have time to login while the game is going on, you can pre-buy tickets which will be played automatically. Any wins that you have will be credited to your account.
There’s another big draw when playing online – you get free playing credit from the majority of bingo sites when you sign up and make an initial deposit. At Winner Bingo, for only a £5 deposit, you’ll have £30 to play with, as the site tops up all initial deposits of £5 with a 500% bonus. And when bingo games start from 1p or 5p a card to play, that’s great value entertainment.
As well as the fact that you can get free playing credit, online bingo has another appealing factor – it’s a game that you can use as a social outlet. When you’re logged in and playing a game, you have access to the bingo chat room linked to that game, where you can have conversations with other players of the same game. It makes the games more fun as you feel like you’re all in it together. You might not have a win, but one of your roomies might do. And while you’re watching the cards you have in play, you may decide to enter one of the chat games that the chat moderator organises – where you have another possibility of winning a prize.
The massive uptake of online bingo has actually had a positive knock-on effect for some of the bingo halls in the UK too. While you might think it would take business away from the bingo halls (which is undoubtedly true to an extent, it’s also helped the bingo halls go through a bit of a revival, and you now find some younger groups of people will pop in to play a few rounds of bingo at the beginning of a night out. It may have started out as a bit of a kitsch thing to do, but it seems that it’s now becoming popular as people have realised it’s actually a cost-effective way to meet up and have some fun.

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