It’s an irresistible game of chance that’s been around since the 16th Century! It originated in Italy as ‘Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia’ and by the 1920’s ‘beano’ was a popular feature in the USA.
The premise of the game is simple, each player has a scorecard with 25 squares, each with a number from 0-99. Random numbers are generated, if they match the numbers on your scorecard you mark them off.
The first person to get five squares in a row in any direction wins!
Bingo has come a long way in the past twenty-five years. In the 1990’s the first generation of online bingo games began to appear alongside the traditional 10,000 high street bingo halls around the world.
Speaking of which, the US states with the highest number of bingo halls are Texas, New York and Florida. Spain leads the way in Europe for traditional bricks and mortar bingo with 250 thousand weekly players across 384 clubs.
But in comparison to a new generation of online bingo brands, these are relatively small numbers.
It’s estimated that there are over 100 million players online bingo players over the world. The UK alone has 3.5 million registered online players.
In 2021 online bingo saw a whopping 11.5% increase in revenue. Not bad going when you consider that just two years before the online bingo industry was already worth $2.29 billion!
Online bingo brands in the United Kingdom, such as Costa Bingo, which was updated in 2017 to keep up with demand, have flourished. It now has over 90 games, all of which are easily accessible via a free app on your smartphone.
Indeed, it’s the smartphone that has helped to revolutionise online bingo. Now you can play when you want, where you want anywhere in the world.
But where is it popular in the rest of the world? It’s evident from the above that online bingo is a popular pastime in the UK, so where does it stand in comparison?
- American citizen, Edwin Lowe introduced the word bingo in 1929 by yelling out ‘bingo!’ instead of ‘beano!’. And now Americans spend over $90 million on bingo games per week!
- Sweden has 10 million people compared to the 67 plus million in the UK. Yet bingo is as big there as it is in the UK, maybe even bigger, media broadcasters even have a primetime TV show inspired by bingo, called Bingolotto!
- Demark also has a primetime bingo TV show called Bingo Banko, but online bingo is where it’s at. In 2018, thanks in part to a relaxation in laws, online bingo is a popular Danish pastime
- Romania could be one of the biggest bingo-mad countries in the world! In addition to an increase in traditional Bingo houses, they too have a primetime TV show called Bingo Romania, of course.
- In Russia, bingo is one of the few chance-to-win games permitted by the authorities. There is a primetime bingo TV show (of course) and over 400 traditional bingo halls, saying it’s popular is somewhat of an understatement!
- Japan doesn’t have any bingo halls because it’s illegal, but it’s not illegal online! As far back as 2010 it was played by 493,824 people online and it’s now the world’s second-biggest market.
- Italy, where it all began. The Italians love bingo, it’s especially popular in Sicily and just like in the UK, online bingo has exploded.
You also might be interested to learn that women aged between 35-54 make up 83% of the bingo players enjoying the game online. In the UK, 20% of online bingo players are having games every single week and in 2019 online bingo players generated $1 billion for the UK economy.
It’s not all about winning pots of cash though, online brands such as costa bingo allow players to play for free. But if you’re interested in playing to win, £138 million is paid out each month to lucky winners.
Having established the global popularity of bingo in the here and now, we need to look towards the future. Has online bingo reached its peak or is there more to come?
Well, according to Market Research, the market is projected to grow. In 2021 this was predicted to increase as much by 11.4% until 2030.
This trend is arguably being driven by mobile technology. For example, players can now chat and interact with one another and mobile apps have special offers for gamers so there’s never a dull moment! In addition to connecting your air pods to the computer such as the Mac, it can provide an entertaining experience all round when it comes to accessing games on many devices.
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Finally, with more countries relaxing laws to permit online bingo, the future of the game has never looked rosier. Far from reaching its peak, we might only be at the beginning of an online bingo revolution!
So, as they say, watch this space.