The online casino industry continues to go from strength to strength. The proliferation of mobile devices and the gambling industry’s embrace of technological innovation has provided a massive boost for this sector in recent years. Physical casinos have always been hugely popular, and moving to an online space was bound to be a smart move.
Part of this move’s success is due to casino games being replicated almost identically on digital platforms and because the popularity of these games has been maintained during this transition. Bingo, however, is slightly different. Bingo enjoyed incredible popularity in its heyday, but there was a long period when bingo was in decline. It is only in the last few years that it has achieved the same levels of interest that it once had. Read on as we explain exactly where bingo has found a space in the new world of online casinos with large players like Playtech owning huge bingo sites that are very popular especially in the UK.
What kind of game is bingo?
The history of modern bingo stretches back to the 1920s. The format of the game is straightforward – bingo is totally based on chance. Players buy cards printed with a grid of numbers between 1 and 75 (although this number varies from casino to casino). Traditionally, a drawmaster picks numbered balls at random and announces the number to the hall. If a player has that number on their card, they mark it off, and compete against other players to be the first who has a completed column or row of marked numbers. When this happens, they shout ‘bingo!’ and claim their prize from the house.
Bingo is a softer form of gambling compared to other casino games, and as such, it has a very broad appeal. It is a social game, enjoyed by players of all ages. This broad appeal and social aspect make bingo a game often played together by families and groups of friends.
Why did it move to an online platform?
Bingo is thought to have been played in one form or another for as many as 400 years. After reaching popularity amongst European troops of the two world wars, it made its way back to the UK. It reached its massive peaks of success in post-war Britain, where it was a timely distraction away from the horrors of war and was often used as a way to raise funds to improve broken and traumatized communities.
But since then it has been in a steady decline. It failed to take hold with younger generations and quickly gained a reputation as a game solely reserved for grandmas and grandpas. Moving online completely revolutionized the image of the game. Digital platforms brought the game to a new, wider audience. Cutting edge technology was a far cry from the dusty old bingo halls where it was traditionally played and appealed to a new generation who could play the game in the comfort of their own homes.
How has it changed?
The basic format of bingo has not changed all too much during its transition into online casinos. However, there have been slight changes that have worked to broaden its appeal. There is a vast range of online bingo platforms, and every one has a different aesthetic and theme, so players are likely to find a niche that suits them. Themed cards add to this diversity.
Digital gaming has brushed aside the stereotype of bingo being a game reserved for older generations and has ushered in a new legion of younger fans. Casino’s have employed a few other incentives to get more people into the game. Players can now receive welcome bonuses, such as free plays and win multipliers.
Without physical boundaries, online bingo can accommodate many more players per round than traditional games, and the in-game chat rooms offer the social appeal for which bingo was once well known. Another factor that aided the resurgence of bingo is that players no longer need to travel to designated bingo halls; they can pick up and play at any moment.
What does the future hold for bingo?
Attendance at physical bingo games was dropping off way before the explosion of online casinos, but bingo halls still exist, and for many, there is no other way to play the game. Despite this, bingo continues to grow and thrive in online casinos, and innovations have not ceased. Virtual reality games are slowly creeping into digital gambling, and bingo also has a handful of VR platforms. VR bingo merges both worlds, bringing the game directly to your living room while recreating the feel of sitting down at a bingo hall table and waiting for the drawmaster to pick your number.