UK Bingo has enjoyed a short, but rich, history. In the last few years, however, many changes have been introduced to the industry, prompting speculation about what lies ahead for the future of UK Bingo. Let’s explore the current status of UK Bingo and how recent policy might affect your ability to play Bingo.
First of all, let’s establish that UK Bingo is a healthy and strong industry. It’s one of the most attended and enjoyed pastimes in the UK, with three million people playing Bingo in the UK every week. It enjoys particular popularity among women, but men are certainly a strong factor in the game as well. UK Bingo is popular in all corners of the country and with a wide range of age groups. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing leisure activities amongst 20 to 25 year old women!
If you’ve been paying attention, however, you might have noticed that the UK Bingo industry is buzzing with worried whispers. It’s been a constant presence in news headlines for the past year because of a new government policy that’s threatening to put Bingo Halls out of business: the smoking ban.
Introduced first in Wales and Northern Ireland, it became the law in England on July 1, 2007. Smoking is now illegal in enclosed spaces, which includes Bingo Halls. Unfortunately for Bingo Hall owners, more than half of Bingo players are smokers. Although most Bingo sessions last around two hours, games are played throughout, even during break times when themed games, like Speed Bingo, are popular. Now that the smoking ban is in place, players are heading outdoors during the breaks instead of staying to play the themed games. This lack of participation leaves Bingo Hall owners, who count on these game profits, in a bind.
That’s not even the worst part! Not only are players discouraged from participating in the bonus games, but some of them have allowed the smoking ban to prevent them from playing altogether! Some Bingo clubs have lost as much as 10% of their player base since the ban, and this has been one of the primary causes of the recent shut-downs of Bingo halls throughout the country.
As you can see, the smoking ban poses a serious threat to the future of UK Bingo. Not only do millions of players rely on the games as a hobby or for financial reasons, but UK Bingo is also a major industry, employing more than 20,000 people.
We encourage people to support their local Bingo Halls, but if you want to play unlimited UK Bingo, why not try playing bingo online.
By Claire Davis
Claire Davis – Online bingo expert.