Online Bingo Will Be Seventeen Years Old This Year !

This year online bingo will celebrate its seventeenth year on the net. The first bingo site was launched in 1996 and games were free. For the next few years most bingo sites offered free games and some operators started to add cash prizes. Back then authorities did not know how to handle the new online gambling industry. Some nations like Germany and the United States took a prohibitionist stance while others, most notable the UK, legalized, taxed and regulated online gambling.

Today online bingo is one of the largest and most profitable sectors of the UK online gaming industry. Many online bingo operators have added mobile applications which have attracted even more players. In 2005 the UK passed the gambling act and since then the nation has one of the largest regulated online gaming markets in the world. British players enjoy a set of consumer protections not available to players outside the UK. Today there are literally hundreds of bingo sites on the internet.

Players in the US enjoyed online bingo games until 2006 when right wingers in the Bush administration passed draconian anti online gambling legislation. The law was tacked onto a port security bill and introduced in a late night congressional session with no time for debate. In fact most in congress were unaware of the laws existence until it received widespread publicity. A survey of legislators showed that a large majority would have never voted for the legislation as a stand along bill.  Despite the laws Americans spend billions annually at offshore online gaming websites.

Online bingo has changed the face and demographics of the game. Today’s average bingo player is female, about 38 years old. Online bingo operators have been quick to adopt new technologies that improve the experience of players. In the beginning online bingo players had to download game software but today Flash technology has made game downloads obsolete. New gaming platforms have been created and game developers have been busy creating mobile applications for players.

As always, most players consider bingo as a social activity and in that respect online bingo is no different than live games at bingo halls. Chat rooms enable players to communicate and some British operators have held meet and greet events so online players could meet in person. There have even been a couple of marriages between players that met at an online bingo site. Online bingo has come a long way since the first site was launched seventeen years ago.

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