Why is bingo so popular? - The Rugby Observer

Why is bingo so popular?

Rugby Editorial 22nd Jun, 2023   0

Bingo is one of the most classic games you can play and despite it being such an old game, you can still find many generations playing it today. From local bingo halls in small communities, to modern entertainment venues that host bingo party nights in major cities, bingo has come a long way over the decades, however it’s still true to its origins.

So how has a game older than most people on the planet remained popular? While there are many variations today, including the popular game of keno, the game is now so accessible online and allows anyone to learn how to play. In fact, how is keno played?

Below, we’ll take a look at how bingo has evolved over the years and the types of people the game appeals to today.

Land based bingo venues

Bingo halls have been around in the UK for almost a century, with many cropping up after World War 2. During the early to mid-20th century, there wasn’t a town or village in the UK that didn’t have a local bingo hall, in which it became an intrinsic part of the community.




Bingo halls were a place where friends and neighbours would get together to catch-up, socialise, and form a community again after the war. By the 1960’s, there were also large commercial bingo halls, further increasing the capital worth of the bingo industry. By the early 2000s, there were around 1000 bingo halls throughout the UK.

Yet just five years later, we began to see a major decline in the number of land-based bingo halls with the figures dropping from above 1000 to just 600 in the space of a few years. One of the major contributing factors for this decline was the rise of the internet and the digital era. But how did the internet impact gaming?


During the early 2000’s, computer technology became more affordable and accessible to households across the UK, and thus online bingo began to grow. By 2014, there were around 400 land-based bingo venues across the UK, as many players made the transition to online games.

The evolution of online bingo

One of the game changers that has made bingo popular today is the introduction of online bingo. Today, players from across the world can get involved in a game of bingo from anywhere and at any time, whether that be on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (as long as there’s wifi of course), to the comfort of your own sofa… at 2am in the morning if you wish.

Some of the perks of playing online bingo include…

Gaming variety

In addition, online bingo is now much more interactive and there are a variety of bingo games available, including the traditional 90-ball bingo, 75-ball bingo, Keno and 5-line bingo. As competition is fierce among online bingo providers, sites are doing all they can to attract and retain players. How do sites retain customers? Typically, it is through offering loyalty programmes and bonuses and promotions.

More Bonuses and rewards

With more people participating in online bingo than that of bingo halls, there are more cash funds available to allocate bigger prizes. While many local bingo venues would have been limited by a modest budget, today’s larger online bingo providers are able to access a global audience of bingo playing fans.

Fewer stereotypes

Bingo used to be a highly stereotyped game as bingo halls were seen as a place where older women would go to socialise. This was particularly true around the end of World War 2 when communities were building themselves back up.

Ease of access

With online bingo, all players need are a stable Wi-Fi connection and a computer or smart mobile device to play on. With online bingo being available 24/7, players are able to play at any time and any place.

How does online bingo work?

Playing bingo online for the first time can be a little daunting, in which you may have some questions about how it works. Your worries could include how to choose a bingo site, the cost involved, and how you receive your prizes. However, there’s an abundance of online bingo variants, some consisting of 90 balls, while others are only 80, 75 or even 35. The numbers will be chosen at random, the same way they are in physical bingo games, only a RNG (Random Number Generator) will be picking the numbers rather than a human.

A shift in bingo player demographics

While there is still some progress to be made in terms of a gender equal landscape, more men are now participating than when players attended land-based bingo halls. Part of this reason could be because bingo was stereotypically represented as a women’s game, yet the rise of the internet has meant that more men can try the game out without being judged for attending a physical bingo venue.

Overall, what much has changed about bingo over the years, the game is fundamentally still the same as the days it became popular among societies across the world and will be here for a long time to come.

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