Go on admit it… you love playing bingo. The thrill of the nervous waiting on edge, gasping for the satisfaction of being able to stand up and shout bingo, knowing at that single moment that it will be you alone who stands in the spotlight, graced by the hand of lady luck.
At some stage in our life we will all get a chance to play bingo. Whether as a child on a family holiday as part of the local hotel entertainment, at home via the increasing number of bingo board games available, or on a night out with friends, perhaps before you move on to the more hard core entertainment of drinking and dancing. I imagine also that there isn’t a single adult in the modern world who hasn’t heard of the game.
Bingo, whose roots can be traced back as early as 1530, deriving from the Italian lottery of the time, has always been an exciting and popular game. It has taken many forms over the years, from the early days of playing with beans, to the more sophisticated ball dispensing mechanisms and automated cards. It has evolved initially from being a method that churches used to increase charitable donations, to becoming a popular social activity.
In recent years however, bingo has been seen as a game played mainly by lady pensioners or adults with low income, perhaps because of the opportunity to obtain large sums of money, with little effort and mostly at low cost. Now however, bingo is played by people of all ages, both sexes and from all walks of life. Whether you are a Lawyer, Teacher, Cleaner or Plumber, bingo is now more accessible, more fashionable and more lucrative. However, it is only in the last two or three years that bingo has taken a further step forward, receiving an upturn in the number and type of players joining in the thrill and excitement of the game of bingo.
This upturn and change of demographic is attributed to the ability to now play bingo online. Bingo is a game which has few rules, requires no previous knowledge of the game, requires no in-depth learning of a strategy, and provides players with a quick entertainment fix at minimal cost. The internet is the perfect catalyst for such a game, and being able to play bingo online has allowed many to obtain this fix instantaneously. No longer do players have to wait to organise a group of friends to visit the local bingo hall, and no longer do players have to leave the comfort of their chair to obtain the thrill and excitement of winning at bingo. Bingo has reached the modern age. Internet has made it all possible. Computers have become more popular in homes and broadband has brought technology to our doorsteps. Games are evolving, graphics are improving and prize money is growing.
The age range of online players has widened to 20-55, with the average age being 35. The percentage of male players has increased on some sites to over 30%, from the average of 20% in land-based bingo. Players are spending more money on online bingo too. Though the cards are slightly cheaper, players are averaging £5 per session. The time spent playing online bingo is now around 20 hours per week, as opposed to around 5 hours in land-based bingo. So where are people getting the time to play… at home, at work!
In 2003, 77 million people in the US used a computer, with around 33 million in the UK (two thirds of the population). Well, most of us now use a computer in the office or at some point during our working life. Microsoft’s recent research shows that of working age adults (18-64) 78% use a computer, with 45% of those accessing from work. Of those accessing from work, NetApp, reports that approximately 31% use it for personal entertainment reasons.
Well, if you are one of the many players now accessing bingo while you have a spare moment at work or during your lunch break, but you don’t want the boss to know, there are a couple of neat tricks to fool those nearby. donsbosspage.com is one of the many sites now offering a free downloadable Panic Button, which floats across your pc enabling you to click from whichever site you are on, whenever the boss or a colleague is nearby. This tools opens up either an excel document, or similar document, fooling those into thinking you are hard at work. This site also offers a “sound busy” tool which plays the sound of someone typing away on a keyword.
Some sites also offer an alert button which you can keep by your site for when you are not playing. This allows you to keep abreast of all the latest bingo jackpot and promotional offerings, and current numbers of players online.
So bingo is now modern, fashionable, fun and exciting. Even celebrities are joining in the fun, with many claiming to be fans of online bingo sites. It certainly is a quick fix for those with a spare few moments…but one word of warning, play only when the boss is not looking, that is the boss both at home and at work!!
By Morgan Collins