Truth to be told, the Bingo industry in the UK has seen a decline in the past decade or so, but the number of regular and occasional users still fluctuates. The new option of playing Bingo online is also a big factor as the virtual version of the game continues to evolve with many online brands taking a percentage of the UK’s live bingo audience to their online platform.
Land-based bingo is still estimated to be worth £1bn, but when the 2020 figure comes out, we are expecting a huge dip. For the time being, the UKGC is still yet to release official figures, which will mostly be tainted by the COVID-19 lockdowns. One thing is still certain, and that is Brits often choose Bingo as their pastime and with online bingo tech improving all the time, the future of the game online, at least, still looks bright.
Online bingo is growing with some big name software developers making a success of the industry with their easy to play bingo titles rising in numbers.
We have seen the likes of Playtech, Dragonfish, and Pragmatic Play (all huge slot developers + virtual table game developers in the online casino scene) start to improve their online bingo games and platforms. Bonus tracking, player loyalty points with VIP bonus programs, regular bonus deals and incentives plus cross-platform access from any device is all now as up to date in the online bingo arena as it is in sports betting and online casinos.
And the big online brand names are taking full advantage of these bingo aggregator platforms able to offer bingo players an engaging online experience. Take, for example, Foxy Bingo, which is one of the most popular UK online bingo sites. PAt Foxy Bingo players have bonus trackers, history trackers, and a plethora of different bingo themes and titles to choose from. All this is thanks to the enhanced tech invested into online bingo to reignite interest in the game through all age groups.
We can definitely say that this shift in how bingo players play the game (online vs. Bingo halls) is largely thanks to the limited movement and social distancing. There is, however, another reason. Some Bingo halls that operate or operated as land-based entities made a switch to online versions with variety in the games present and popular across many platforms.
Online bingo also offers more variety these days. 30-, 70-, 80-, and even 90-ball variants of the game are popular and played across different platforms made by numerous online providers. The programming potential has broadened the amount of thematic backgrounds and crossovers including slots games etc such as Slingo which is a hybrid bingo and slot developed by Slingo and Slingo Originals. While the big fish in the online bingo industry include Playtech, Kindred, 888 Holdings, Dragon Fish, and Pragmatic Play,
Meanwhile, some brands such as BetGames.TV, TVBet, Evolution, and Ezugi now have live casino lotto and bingo games streamed via webcam to online casinos. With this new tech in place, bingo players are likely to make the shift to these live lotto and bingo games. One game, in particular, is Evolution’s live Mega Ball title. This is effectively a live bingo game with multipliers and the chance to win 6-digit wins while there is also a virtual version known as first-person mega Ball.
An analysis made by an independent review site for online bingo games shows that the industry’s statistics have been more than promising. March 27th 2020 marked data that shows that 78% of players use the service at least weekly, 72% have multiple accounts on different websites, and a staggering 27% made more than £50in bets. The appeal of online Bingo games is so large that many, up to 70% of the users, report that they need to limit themselves on how much they deposit, managing their spending that way.
With bingo halls closed because of the pandemic and bingo players finding online bingo sites as an alternative to play the game they love, the future of large bingo halls is not looking bright. Online bingo + a pandemic will certainly hit most land-based bingo halls hard, and many of them will close permanently if they do not recover after the UK’s freedom day.