May 27, 2022

What makes bingo such an attractive game to play?

100 years ago bingo was just beginning to take off in the UK, as a game to inject a bit of spice and excitement into fundraising. The game continued to grow in popularity over the coming decades which forced the government to recognize it as a viable gambling activity.

In 1961, based on the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming, the British government took the decision to legalize bingo as a gambling activity. This change in law sparked an explosion in the popularity of the game.

Bingo halls began to pop up all over the country and at one point, there were 14 million registered bingo players in England. Over the next three decades, bingo firmly cemented itself as a cultural staple in Britain.

Then in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the game that had appeared untouchable at the top of Britain’s leisure activities began to decline at a dramatic rate. The smoking ban and changing public habits were blamed for the closing of bingo halls up and down the country.

Free Dumpsters in Front of Bingo Place Stock Photo

(The sight of bingo hall’s closing their doors like this became all too common in the 2000s.)

By the mid-2000s it appeared as if bingo was on its way out, consigned to the history books and doomed to be forgotten. Fortunately for lovers of the game, it found a saviour in the form of online gambling where it has become incredibly popular.

At that point the online gambling industry was still somewhat niche and was in search of something that would help it catapult in popularity. Bingo was just the ticket.

Thanks to some intelligent marketing and savvy game development, bingo became an online phenomenon, reaching younger and more affluent demographics than the old, bricks and mortar version ever had. If you want to see just what good online bingo looks like, head over to and experience the thrill of one of Britain’s most-loved games.

All of which poses the question then, why is bingo so popular? How has a game that first rose to popularity in the inter-war years remained appealing throughout the remainder of the 20th century? How has a game that seemed to be on its way out, consigned to the scrap heaps of imagination, undergone a renaissance online with a younger demographic of players?

Read on to find out what makes the game so appealing and enduring.

It’s Easy

Risk is one of the best board games invented. It’s full of thrills, spills and intrigue and can keep your captivated for hours on end, but there’s a reason that it isn’t more widely played than it is – it’s difficult to understand.

The rules and strategies behind the game are hard to get to grips with for beginners and oftentimes that is what puts people off from trying a new game.

Bingo however is nothing like that. In fact, in terms of accessibility bingo is one of the most accessible games on the planet. It requires little in the way of skill, there are no difficult strategies or tactics to learn and there is just as much chance of a beginner winning any given game as a player who has been playing for 50 years.

It’s Social

An added bonus of the game is easy to play? It allows more time for people to chat and socialize. Throughout the 20th century, this was the unique selling point of bingo.

Rather than being seen as gambling halls where serious players went to win money, bingo halls were viewed more as social hubs where local people would go to unwind, decompress and socialise. It’s one of the reasons that online bingo providers have invested so heavily in making their online offerings as sociable as possible.

Free Men's White Button-up Dress Shirt Stock Photo

(Bingo brings people together.)

It’s Potentially Life-Changing

The chances of you going into a bingo hall and coming out with a life-changing sum of money are quite low, but they aren’t zero and that’s enticing.

When visiting a bingo hall was all the rage, the newspapers were never tired of writing up stories about housewives who had won the jackpot at a national link-up game in their local bingo hall.

Nowadays there are hundreds, if not thousands of stories online about people who have won big playing online bingo.

All of which is another reason for bingo’s enduring popularity. The almost risk-free, effortless way that the game could make players rich is a huge draw to casual players. After all, could spending £20 in the pub or £30 going to the cinema give you a chance of winning a life-changing sum of money? Nope, but spending the same on bingo could.

In Summary

Bingo has endured over the decades for a reason and despite the disparaging remarks from critics of the game, remains a hugely popular pastime in Britain. It appeals to retired housewives, busy professionals and young people alike who browse their Instagram.

It’s simple, it’s engaging and it’s exciting which, at the end of the day, is all you can really ask for from a leisure activity.

About the author 

Elle Gellrich

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