Landbased bingo halls decline as web-based games flourish. With thousands of bingo games available across the web, Landbased bingo halls are continuing to decline.
Going back in time, the first bingo game ever recorded took place in Italy during the 1500s. This is believed to have stemmed from the Italian lottery ‘Lo Guioco del Lotto D’Italia’. An American company, Bingo Zone launched the first online bingo site in 1996, bringing forth the game we know today.
Bingo was popular in the UK since mid 1940’s but it wasn’t until the Betting and Gaming Act of 1960 legalised bingo that it hit the high-street. Bingo Halls opened up across the country and within a few years membership had reached 14 Million. By the 1980’s there were thousands of bingo venues within the UK and a popular pass time for many.
One avid bingo player, said: “I have been playing in bingo halls for years and I would recommend it to everyone. There is a brilliant atmosphere with good food and the chance to meet new people. The place is full of friends enjoying the evening and the game itself is great fun. I have never won a lot, but it’s all about taking part.”
Beginning of the End
For the first time, bingo had competition and the introduction of the lottery was only just the beginning. The lottery was too similar to bingo, as both consisted of betting on numbers, but was achieved on a much higher level. Tens of thousands of people would play the lottery each week and were offered a life-altering amount of money.
Although, the first online bingo game was released in 1996, they didn’t take off for a while and the next major knock to bingo halls was the smoking ban. For some this was a breath of fresh air, but for others it caused an unwanted change to their nights out.
Back in 2007, it is estimated that 90% of bingo members across many Bingo Halls were smokers and the other 10% battled through. The members were saying there would be no way they we’re coming if they got to wait two or three hours to go out and smoke.
Miles Baron CEO of the National Bingo Game Association, added: “When half of your customers smoke and at the same time online bingo is becoming more predominant it was inevitable bingo hall business would suffer a sharp reversal”.
Many believe the smoking ban is the single biggest event to have impacted traditional bingo. Bingo halls had to completely change the way they would run the game. Breaks were introduced to allow people to go out and smoke. Implementing this saw profits continued to decline and online bingo games started to gain all the attention
Easily accessible, the online bingo market received engagement from even more players and new people were trying out the game. Playing online gave people the freedom to access the game whenever it suited them and meant they could have a quick game around their busy working day. It also offered heaps of extra benefits and there was a bigger variety of games, such as:-
• 75 ball in online bingo
• 75 ball variant
• 90 ball in online bingo