CreativeCommons by sarae
Henry VIII (1491-1547) had one wife when bingo was first played in Italy (1530). Since then the game has witnessed 22 British monarchs and two Lord Protectorates (Cromwell). Its staying power is ridiculous but why?
You quite often hear people talk about “the simple things in life” and bingo certainly falls into that bracket. The game’s beauty lies in its simplicity and that is why so many of us love it. The game is very easy to play and requires very little cognitive power, thus it is the perfect way to relax, whilst also allowing for excitement when you are just one ball away from the jackpot. This eclectic mix of relaxation and excitement makes bingo a game that is incomparable to any other.
If we start with bingo halls, they were the venue for the generation before ours, it was that one night a week where they could go out and socialise, as well as being in with a chance of winning some money. Sadly, the modern era is seeing more and more halls shut down. At its peak in 2006, there were over 600 bingo halls in the UK, as of January, 2014, there were less than 400. There are numerous reasons for this, such as the smoking ban and the tax increases on such halls. Despite bingo halls’ floundering the game is flourishing online, with more and more players signing up daily. The halls maybe becoming vacant but the game still has a home.
The game is attracting new and old players for various reasons. The main being the welcome bonuses online bingo offers you. For example, the new bingo site Winner Bingo offers £40 in return for just an initial £10 deposit. That’s enticing to just about anyone, as well as being something that halls cannot offer.
Another reason why bingo is becoming even more loved is the chat element that online bingo sites advocate. In halls, conversation was strictly forbidden, as you needed to hear the calls. Online, however, conversation is actively encouraged. Nowadays you can play bingo and simultaneously converse, so it is of little surprise that more and more people are flocking towards bingo. It offers everyone the opportunity to play their favoured game as well as being able to talk to like-minded people. By allowing for conversation, online bingo has seen a spike in retention, so it seems that bingo is going to be around for some time.
Ask any economist, the trick for business longevity is for costs to be kept to a minimum. With bingo’s successful foray into the online world their costs are coming down dramatically. As a result of lower costs, not only can they entice customers with bonuses but they can offer larger prizes as well. Who 10 years ago would have thought it would be possible to win £5.9million from playing bingo? That is exactly what John Orchard did in 2012. What makes the story even better is that he only staked 30p. Low stakes and large prizes will entice more and more people.
In sum, bingo is just 16 years short of its 500th birthday. Whether it will live to a 1,000 is not for us to say but what is for sure, the game will live on for some time. It is very much a staple in British culture and its success on the internet just proves that it isn’t going anywhere.