Has Online Bingo Been Good for British Newspapers ?

For almost three decades newspaper bingo has enjoyed immense popularity in the UK. The first newspaper bingo games were started by Derek Jameson when he was editor of the Daily Star. Jameson launched the nation’s first newspaper bingo games in 1981 in response to a circulation war. The bingo cards were sent by post and the star published the numbers in their daily editions. The games were an instant hit and it wasn’t long before other newspapers such as the Sun and Daily Mirror launched their own bingo games. Even the staid Times got into the act with a game called ‘Portfolio’ that was based on stocks and commodities.

In 1984 bingo history was made after the Daily Express launched a bingo game with a million pound jackpot. The popular TV-AM show announced the numbers of the various newspaper bingo games daily. The games worked the same as any 90 ball bingo game and to win players had to get a ‘full house.’ The games continued but later on the internet started affecting the newspaper industry worldwide, Instead of purchasing daily papers millions logged on to the internet and got their news for free. Breaking stories were instantly accessible putting newspapers at a distinct disadvantage.

To counter the drop in circulation many newspapers in the UK turned to online bingo to remain profitable. Newspapers with online bingo operations included most major British newspapers. For many papers the move was a successful one but some papers dropped out of the industry. In 2011 the Daily Star, Daily Express and news of the World all cancelled their online bingo games. The News of the World was forced to cancel their games because of a major scandal that involved a hacking scandal and other offenses.

There are still several newspapers running online bingo games. The Sun continues to offer bingo along with the Mirror and the Daily Mail. The Sun and Daily Mirror still offer bingo but their links redirect players to a privately owned online bingo site. Sun bingo is the most active of all the newspaper online bingo brand and the paper regularly promotes and advertises their site. Recently the newspaper bingo industry received sad news. Derek Jameson, the inventor of newspaper bingo, passed away at his home from a heart attack at the age of 82. Mr. Jameson invented a game that gave millions of happy bingo players days and weeks of excitement and entertainment. He will be missed but his legacy lives on.

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