The Bingo Business in the UK and US

In years past the bingo business in the United States was dominated by churches, veteran’s groups and various charities. Once the first Native American bingo halls were opened the industry changed forever in the US. Although there are still many charitable and church based bingo games to be found high stakes bingo games are attracting more players each year. Most charity based bingo games are low stakes affairs and the jackpot is determined by the number of players in the game. Card prices are relatively low at charity bingo games and operators have to pay for hall rental and some operating expenses.

In Gambling Meccas like Las Vegas and Reno Nevada bingo is making a big comeback. Last year one major operator spent millions on a new bingo hall on the fabled Las Vegas strip. In Las Vegas there are a few networked bingo games at what are known as ‘station casinos.’ These casinos offer one game per session and the jackpots are usually large. These games are comparable to the networked bingo games that take place throughout the UK. In Great Britain the National Bingo Game has created a few bingo millionaires and games are very well attended.

In the UK bingo is big business and generates billions annually. Every major city has several high stakes bingo halls and most small towns and villages have their own High Street bingo clubs. The bingo industry was well established in the UK by the mid 1960’s. Major operators like Mecca and Gala operated chains of bingo halls in the UK. Online bingo is also a big business in Great Britain. Today hundreds of bingo sites are targeting the UK bingo audience. Gaming industry experts say that bingo has been and still is the fastest growing sector of the gaming industry in the UK.

In 2007 land based bingo halls in the UK suffered a significant setback when a national smoking ban was imposed on the UK population. Many bingo halls went under and were forced to close. Little by little former players returned but operators noticed a sudden influx of younger players who learned the game online and decided to experience the excitement of live bingo. The increasing popularity of mobile bingo is driving further industry growth in the UK. Although online bingo is not widely available in the US due to federal regulations a recent decision by the US Justice Department may change the face of the online bingo industry. The future of bingo looks very bright on both sides of the Atlantic.

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