What Does the Future Hold for Bingo?
Where is online bingo at currently?
Before we can look into what we can expect from the online bingo industry in the future, firstly we need to see where it is at currently and how it managed to grow into as big an industry as it has today. Well, before we go online. Let’s look at the roots firstly of bingo and then we’ll move onto online bingo so we can have a view of the full journey the game has taken to date. Bingo itself originated in Italy centuries ago around the year 1530. This was a weekly game of bingo played in the country typically on a Sunday. It would remain confined to Italy before spreading to France in the 17th Century where it was perceived to be a game for the aristocrats in the country. Eventually, it would make its way over the pond to the US in 1920 after an American came across the game whilst on his travels in Europe. This is where the word ‘Bingo’ was coined. In the UK the game became formalised and legalised in 1986 and it suddenly became a huge hit for bingo halls up and down the country with millions of people jumping on the bandwagon with the prizes growing bigger and bigger year on year.
The Emergence of Online Bingo
Now despite the growth of the game over the next 60 years or so it would take for the invention of the internet in the early 1990s for online bingo to start making an appearance. And it would not be until 2003 when technology had evolved enough that we started to see the first online bingo sites. Online bingo would then remain confined to computers and laptops until the invention of smartphones in 2009 when bingo websites were able to adjust their platforms so that bingo players could play as they were on the move.
Online Bingo in Numbers
- In the UK it’s estimated that around 3.5 million players play online bingo each and every year.
- Bingo holds a 3% share of the gambling industry in total, which is worth over £13 billion. Making it worth over £390 million in the UK alone.
- Of the total bingo market in the UK, 35% of the shares are down to online bingo whether it be on a desktop, laptop or smartphone.
- As of 2017, there were a total of 421 online bingo sites, with a further 26 planned to be launched in the next year.
- The biggest share by age group of online bingo players falls down to the 45-54 age category that has a 28% share, and surprisingly those between the ages of 18-34 hold a 25% share.
- Around ¾ of all online bingo players are women, and ¼ being men.
- Just under half of the online bingo players questioned in a survey stated that they had made new friends online thanks to bingo.