Online Bingo Almost Recession Proof

Although things are improving we are still in the midst of the worst and most prolonged recession since the great depression of the 30’s. The European Union is in serious trouble because of Greece’s massive debt problems and credit downgrades of several European nations. In Spain the unemployment rate is 20% and in the United States is just short of 10%. The recession has prompted a change in consumer spending habits and many people have limited disposable income. Many households have bare bones budgets and people are looking for inexpensive entertainment. Because of this demand one industry is thriving; online bingo. Online bingo fits the needs of cash strapped players and is affordable to just about everyone.

The UK remains the world’s largest bingo market for both land based and online bingo. In recent years the land based bingo industry has been hard hit by a combination of factors. The national smoking ban caused a 60% decline in attendance at a number of bingo halls and several independent operators were forced out of business. Approximately 40% of the live bingo market in the UK is controlled by two companies; Gala which is owned by Gala Coral and Mecca which is owned by the Rank Group. Both companies have large online bingo operations.

Smoking bans in other countries have also had a devastating effect on live bingo. In Spain Rank Group reported serious losses after the imposition of a national smoking ban last year. In the United States several charities and veteran’s organizations were forced to close their bingo games because of declining attendance caused by smoking bans. In the UK high taxes have also pressured live bingo halls and the tax on slot machines has increased. These same factors have caused rapid growth in the online bingo industry. Online bingo sites are not subject to smoking bans and do not pay the same tax rates as live bingo halls. In addition online bingo operators are not faced with the expense of maintaining a bingo hall and a large staff of employees.

2011 was a very good year for the online bingo industry and the gaming industry in general.  For players affected by the recession online bingo game is probably one of the most affordable games on the internet. Even better there are none of the ancillary expenses associated with a night out at the local bingo hall. There are now more than 300 online bingo sites targeting players in several countries. Games are available in a variety of languages and currencies. Most online bingo and gaming companies say that 2012 will be another banner year.

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