Bingo is an old game, it has been around for many centuries, or to be more precise since the 16th century. The game appeared and was first played in Italy and it spread throughout Europe in the following few hundred years. Bingo started gaining popularity in the English-speaking world from the 18th century onward, and it became one of the favourite British pastimes after WWII.
Bingo games were initially only organised at charity events and the it wasn’t possible to do for profit bingo games. With the Betting and Gaming Act of 1960, bingo was legalised as one form of gambling and it was possible to organise bingo games for profit. Since that moment onwards the game’s popularity started growing dramatically.
Online bingo and its effects on the industry
When it comes to the number of bingo halls in the UK, different figures are quoted, but there’s a general consensus that the number of bingo halls exceeded 600, some place it over 700 even. But since 2004-05 the number of open bingo halls in the country has been in decline, constantly. If you know just that fact, you may be included to think that the game’s popularity is waning. However, the opposite is actually the case, as many fans of the game nowadays play online bingo.
When the first bingo sites went live, many were worried that people wouldn’t be acceptive of the new variant, i.e. the way the game is played. The first concern was that since bingo is popular with older folks, they wouldn’t be too keen to play online. But times changed, and nowadays it is not uncommon to see older folks who use online tools and other services.
The second concern was tied to the nature of bingo. As it is a social game, it was thought that people need to be in the same room, at the same physical location to be able to play bingo together. It turned out that online bingo is just as fun and just as engaging and it offers players the opportunity to communicate and chat with other players. While land-based bingo halls were often considered to be meeting places for communities and neighbourhoods, online you can virtually meet people from all over the country, even all over the globe if you’re playing at an international site.
Online bingo sites offer a lot more game varieties compared to land-based halls. First of all, there’s no limit in terms of times and space, a multiple games can be held at the same time. This gave players a chance to familiarise themselves with numerous variants. Previously, players from the UK could only play 90-ball bingo, a variant also known as British bingo, whereas Americans were limited to 75-ball bingo. Now, a site can offer both variants and your choice isn’t limited by your country of residence.
And it’s not just these two variants. Online sites offer several other variants as well, such as 52-ball bingo, 80-ball bingo which is a sort of a mashup between 90-ball bingo and 75-ball bingo and 30-ball bingo which is also known as instant bingo.
Online games are a lot more dynamic and providers have the opportunity to add different elements and details. The chat rooms are always quite dynamic and there are plenty of prizes that can be won within the chat room.
Moreover, game developers can experiment with winning patterns, possible prizes and there’s even progressive bingo where the prize grows with every purchased ticket.
Quirky land-based variants
The establishment of online bingo sites motivated land-based bingo providers to rethink their approach and despite the fact that the number of bingo halls is down compared to a decade ago, the games are a lot more diverse, non-standard bingo venues offer mashup forms of entertainment, combining bingo and dancing, bingo and quizzes and what not. These are some of opportunities if you’re looking to play unusual bingo variants in London.