An introduction to online bingo
Where bingo has for decades been a game enjoyed at the seaside and in local bingo halls, the introduction of new technology has changed things dramatically, seeing a huge rise in the number of bingo sites now in operation.
Effectively digitalising the age-old game, bingo sites are a far cry from the game’s origin, with bingo’s history dating back to the early 1500s
Now, bingo games can be accessed anywhere at any time, with players needing nothing but their smartphone and minimal funds to get an account up and running and join an online bingo room. While having free reign of thousands of sites sounds like an attractive proposition, there are many negatives associated with the emergence of bingo site technology, most of which are closely linked to addiction.
Bingo is, as mentioned, a traditional game that has for years been played in the center of communities. However, taking the game online has opened it up to a whole host of new markets, making bingo a strand of online betting that is deemed dangerous and highly addictive by many responsible gambling groups.
According to a recent market survey, each day welcomes a new bingo site into the marketplace, with the online bingo industry generating over a billion pounds every single year.
A noteworthy change in the world of bingo was the introduction of the 2005 Gambling Act in the United Kingdom. This saw online bingo classified as ‘remote gambling’, restricting access to minors and those with certain disabilities.
Over the last five years, the UK has reported a spike in the number of females indulging in games of online bingo. A demographic taking a liking to the game is mothers, unemployed and retired women; females that largely spend the day at home. With online bingo adverts strategically placed on TV in the late morning and early afternoon, bingo sites have defined and nurtured this very niche target market, bringing women into online betting which has until recently, been male-focused.
According to data, over 33% of online bingo players fall in the 25 to 34 age bracket and 75% of these players are women. This goes to show just how much the bingo industry had changed since it was dominated by OAPs playing for small pots in village halls.
Though waiting to see if you can call ‘line’ or ‘house’ is an adrenaline-pinching experience, the transference to online has diminished its culture, with players able to enter rooms every few seconds and even play in multiple rooms as once. Taking away the specialty and rarity of a good game, we are now seeing bingo approached in the same way as any other form of betting; as a quick way to make money. And, much like other forms of betting, this often does not work, seeing many lose great sums of money and form unhealthy relationships with the game.
Whether registering with a new bingo brand or one of the big providers on the market, as a new player, you will be offered a game of ‘free bingo’. Where propositioned as a way for you to get to know the site and play bingo games with no risk, what this actually does is warms up a player’s appetite for gambling, giving them a teaser of what a game could look like if they were to put some money behind it.
Free bingo rooms are also open at the same time every day, encouraging some to build bingo into their daily/weekly routine. This understandably increases playing activity, heightening the chances of a player losing and the bingo site making a profit from them.
Just like online casino sites and sports betting platforms, bingo providers are renowned for their welcome bonuses, welcoming new players on board with a chance to turn a profit and not spend their own money. But there is always a catch. The majority of bingo sites will offer their welcome bonus in the form of a ‘matched’ bonus. This means the player will have to put their hand in their pocket and fork out a certain amount to claim a ‘freebie’ of the same value.
Just say the bingo provider is offering a 100% matched deposit on sums up to £100. The likelihood is that the player will see the free £100 in bright lights and pledge £100 of their own money to claim it. But, if the offer was not there, they may have only spent a tenner or so. So, what such bonuses effectively do is ensure the new player risks as much of their own money as possible.
As well as incentivising players to start playing on their site, bingo sites will also do all they can to ensure players keep playing, with a loyal customer worth thousands of pounds to them. One way they achieve this is through the promotion of VIP schemes. These are deals that reward bingo players with more free bonuses the more they play. This can however normalise losses, with the bingo provider rewarding players based on activity. Just think, if you are on a losing spree, you may be more inclined to indulge in another game and try and claw losses back if you know that you are working your way towards another bonus regardless.
Over 90% of bingo sites now offer additional betting opportunities. One of the most common is slots; online versions of fruit machines. With low entry prices and a simplistic set of instructions, playing slots comes with its risks. In the last 3 years alone, slot activity of bingo sites has peaked close to 30%!
So, there you have it; a brief introduction to online bingo sites.