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Why Is Bingo The Most Popular In The UK?

The future of bingo in the United Kingdom looked bleak when the number was deteriorating in the participation of the pastime in bingo halls. However, it could be argued that it is now at its most popular point.

In fact, a recent study found that bingo was more popular than tennis. There are an estimated 3.5 million players in the UK, with that number growing bigger due to the popularity of online bingo. It is astounding how bingo has been able to transform and encourage a new audience to play the game. Companies such as Tambola have been instrumental in the shift, and they have quickly adjusted to the modern era of using online bingo to its fullest potential.

But, what is it that draws players in the UK to bingo? And, what does the future look like? Let's explore.


While the history of being is a travelled one, it was recorded for the first time in 16th century Italy, although there have been many changes to rule. The name of the game that we have come to love came from the British Customer office, and the word 'bingo' was used when they had been successful in a search. Hugh J. Ward used the term, and when he took the game with the new name to carnivals during the 20s, the name stuck.

The popularity of the game reached its highest point during the 60s when the government legalised it as a form of gambling. From this point, the number of players within the UK reached 15 million, and this number continued to accelerate up until the 80s. The following decade was a troubled one for the game, and there was a massive decline in the number of players taking part due to the rise of internet slot games and the National Lottery, with bingo halls starting to close down and the participation numbers in the halls that remained open dropping.

Present Day

The millennium saw the game resurrected due to bingo becoming an online game, with different variations and difficulties to appeal to a broader range of audiences. The online games had an abundance of features with bingo chat rooms, familiar bingo cards and prizes all meaning that the famous pastime that fans were used to remained online.

While the online function has attracted a new audience to the game, the primary audience that made the game successful on its first breakthrough remains. A study found that of the 3.5 million bingo players that participated online, four out of five were stay at home moms. However, the new player figures were also surprising for people that thought bingo was just a game for the old ladies. 62% of players were under the age of 45, while 20% of the online bingo players were between 18 and 24-years-old.


Whereas the future was bleak in the 90s when the numbers participating in bingo were dropping, nowadays it looks like the game is going to go from strength-to-strength with the advancement of new technologies. The most likely advancement that is likely to take bingo by storm is the use of virtual reality. This will add a new dynamic to the social element of the game; which ensures that players that have grown up with the game will be left wanting more. The social part is the vital factor that any successful online bingo website must get right as that is the overwhelming aspect that made the UK fall in love with the game.
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