Bingo-A National Pastime in the UK

Baseball is commonly referred to as America’s ‘national pastime.’ There is hardly one American who has not played baseball at one time or another. Professional baseball teams have attracted passionate followers who show up en masse to cheer their favorite teams. In the UK some believe a new national pastime has emerged-bingo. Since the end of World War Two, bingo has been one of the most popular games in the UK and recent reports indicate that bingo is now the most popular and played game online in the UK. Bingo giants such as Mecca and Gala are well established bingo brands in the UK and most urban centres have large bingo halls with well attended games.

More than three million people play bingo every week in the UK. Despite setbacks like the national smoking ban and the double taxation of bingo halls the game is holding its own and the internet bingo industry is constantly expanding in the UK. The online bingo game industry now brings in over a billion dollars a year and that figure is expected to double before 2012. For women in the UK between the ages of 20-25 bingo, both land based and online, is the most popular leisure activity destroying once and for all the perception that bingo is a game for pensioners and little old ladies.  Recent estimates say that 85% of all online bingo players are women.  This has not gone unnoticed by the bingo industry and most marketing campaign are aimed at women.

Worldwide there are about 100 million bingo players but the UK remains the world’s largest bingo market. UK bingo players seem to prefer 90 ball bingo over the traditional 75 ball version of the game. Land based bingo giants Gala and Mecca have gone online to take advantage of the rapidly growing online bingo market. The UK is the only country with a national bingo game and is also the only country that has produced bingo millionaires thanks to the national bingo game. The UK is also the only country with celebrity sponsored bingo games. Two years ago experts predicted that online bingo would be a billion dollar a year business and the industry has exceeded expectations and poised for even more growth and expansion. In fact statistics show that revenues of online bingo sites are doubling every two years and most experts say the trend will continue. Bingo is truly a ‘national pastime’ in the UK.

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