Bingo is a popular game across the world, with over 100 million people playing some form of the game worldwide. In fact, it is so popular across the world that it covers most age ranges and demographics. But where exactly does the UK sit in this?Well, as a nation we’re actually some of the most avid players in the world.
So whether you’re looking for conversation pieces to amuse your friends with, or if you just want to know everything there is to know about your favourite pastime…… read on, because you never know you might find out something that you didn’t know about bingo.
A Great British Pastime
We love our bingo here in the UK. Currently, approximately 9% of British people enjoy a game. Based on Google’s statistics for the population of the UK, that means there are over 5.6 million players in this country’ needless to say, bingo is very big business. The traditional bricks and mortar halls are still going strong, with at last count, well over 600 licensed bingo clubs in the UK. Being trusted and well-known names, Gala Bingo and Mecca Bingo run roughly 40% of those between them. Online too, the game is booming. In fact, with the number of players still increasing, in the UK alone the industry is now worth over £1 billion.
Bingo is still much more popular among women than among men. Roughly 12% of women in the UK are players, while only 6% of British men like to enjoy a game. Among the most distinguished players out there, Denise Van Outen, Robbie Williams, and Catherine Zeta Jones are all well-known bingo fans. It’s quite likely that high profile players like these, going so far as to host their own very exclusive parties, may even be part of the reason why the game has risen dramatically in popularity over the last ten years or so. However the main reason undoubtedly is the relaxation on gambling advertising on UK TV channels.
In fact, worldwide, the market is estimated to continue its growth by around 14% over the next three years, and the UK is the largest online bingo market…….. quite impressive given the relatively small size of our country. The explosion of the game has seen over 300 sites spring into existence in Britain, and that number is continuing to rise. As you might expect the big name high street brands like Mecca, have also long been part of the online scene certainly it wouldn’t make business sense to miss out on this potentially lucrative action. Other names to get involved may seem a little more surprising, including tabloid newspaper, the Mirror and Heart FM. Needless to say, with this many big names getting involved, the online bingo market in the UK is exceptionally competitive, and a lot of the money made by online bingo operators goes back into television advertising. Perhaps understandably so, as websites can appear and disappear rapidly as the market changes, lacking the stability of traditional bingo halls. Most recently the bingo site Wonder Bingo closed it’s online doors.
One thing which is still true though is that social interaction is a major part of the bingo experience, wherever you play it. People still enjoy meeting up with their friends, both online and off, to play bingo.
Gambling in the UK
Gambling in general is quite a popular activity in the UK. Based on statistics provided by the UK Gambling Commission, around 73% of people aged 16 or over engaged in some form of gambling over the last year. That’s very nearly three quarters of all people. This isn’t actually a surprise if you consider it. You don’t need to be a regular at the local casino to count as a gambler – whether it’s that friend of yours who shovels money into the slot machine at the pub (everyone has a friend like that, don’t they?) or just your mum going to the shops on a Saturday to pick up her lottery ticket, gambling is a lot more deeply rooted in our society than you may realise.
Interestingly enough, only around 14% of people, including national lottery players, used the internet to gamble over the past year, with about four out of every five people explicitly saying that they preferred to gamble in person. As it happens, for most games which can be played both online and off, the huge majority of players prefer not to use the internet. Despite the internet being everywhere in the UK these days, from the Isles of Scilly to the Shetlands, perhaps we still don’t quite consider it as being “the real world”. With mobile gambling now entering the mix the availability and the amount of people gambling is without doubt set to rise again.