Bingo for the 18-30 club: Why pensioners are no longer on top

May 16, 2016 | by | 0 Comments

Bingo, it’s a game that’s been around for hundreds of years and one that’s often associated with those closing in on the century mark. Images of the “blue rinse brigade” taking a weekly bus trip to their local bingo for a few rounds of drinks and bingo prevailed throughout the 1970s and 1980s before the industry hit a decline in the 1990s.

As the love for bingo in Britain began to seep through the 1990s and into the 2000s, the number of live venues has dropped dramatically. In 2005 the number of UK bingo halls stood at 600 (which is still down on the 1,000+ that existed during the industry’s boom periods). In contrast, that number had dropped to 400 in 2014.

The Internet Has Changed the Game

The Internet has changed the way bingo is played

The Internet has changed the way bingo is played

Fortunately, as it has done in many areas of our lives, the internet was on hand to inject some much needed life back into the bingo industry. Following the advent of online gaming back in the late Nineties and its subsequent boom in early 2000, bingo has become a game for the masses and as the number of live players has fallen, the number of online players has increased.

The bingo industry in the UK is now worth more than £250 million annually and, more significantly, the drop in live participation has actually resulted in a drop in the age of the average player. Thanks to a study carried out by one of the leading online operators, Wink Bingo, we now know that bingo is a young person’s game.

While it was certainly true that bingo halls used to look like the set of the 1985 Hollywood hit Cocoon (in the nicest way possible), it’s now the case that the average online player is well below retirement age. In fact, according to Wink Bingo’s statistical analysis, 34.7% of its 900,000+ database are aged between 25 and 34 years old.

Of course, we’re not suggesting the average 18-30 holiday crowd are now bingo’ing away instead of boozing it up, the proliferation of online and mobile bingo has made the game a lot more accessible to the younger generation. Indeed, Wink Bingo’s study also revealed that 47% of players now listen out for the “call of the balls” via their mobile device which means more youngsters are anteing on the move.

If you’re a young female then you’ll play bingo (probably)

Playing bingo on smartphones is increasingly popular

Playing bingo on smartphones is increasingly popular

Naturally, the older generation haven’t been completely blocked out of the game by a bunch of entertainment hungry youngsters. The latest stats have shown that 12.5% of 55 to 64 year olds enjoy the game online, while a further 16.4% of 45 to 54-year-olds enjoy online bingo.

Fortunately, for those of a nervous disposition who can’t handle any more shocks to the system, Wink Bingo did find that women are in the majority when it comes to bingo online. The game itself has always offered something of a haven for women away from traditionally male-dominated betting endeavours such as sports betting, roulette and blackjack and the internet hasn’t changed that.

Among the players currently enjoying the game online, 75% are women who spend, on average, less than £100 buying game tickets each month. Essentially, what the latest study in Britain’s bingo habits has shown is that you’re more likely to play if you’re a female in your mid-to-late twenties. Bingo is now less about walking sticks and more about selfie sticks and it’s all thanks to the game becoming a recreational activity that can be played anywhere and at any time.

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