When the Betting and Gaming Act of 1960 was passed, it represented an amazing opportunity to tap into a market that was just waiting for a new way to pass the time. Bingo had been around for hundreds of years, spreading from Italy to the aristocracy in France and then to the British upper classes who loved games of chance.
But when it became possible to win big prizes at bingo, and games were set up in dancehalls all over the country, the UK’s enthusiasm for this simple yet fun game. When technology delivered new ways to play bingo, first with electronic bingo, then through online bingo sites like Costa Bingo which have become hugely popular in recent years.
As one of the earlier games to be digitised, bingo has always been at the forefront of technology, and this continued when video gaming was began to become more popular. The simplicity of the game made it an ideal choice for using a computer’s random number generation skills, and when the internet became more widespread, bingo quickly went online.
One of the reasons that online bingo has a fanbase comprising more than three million players is the long tradition of bingo halls in the UK. For many of the most dedicated fans, it is the things that originally made bingo an appealing choice that still attract them to its online counterpart.
The bingo community
In the 1960s, it was mostly women who played bingo regularly, with the safe spaces of bingo halls providing a place to meet friends, have a fun night out, and potentially take home a big prize. Online bingo also has the same kind of community as friends can play together whenever they get the chance, whether they are in the same room or on different continents.
There are also lots of online communities that offer players the chance to virtually meet fellow fans and share hints and tips as well as news and offers. From forums and chat rooms to social media sites and Whatsapp groups, bingo provides an opportunity to meet and make friends with like-minded players all over the world.
Play for cheap or even free
Brick and mortar bingo halls would often have special offers, so players would be given free cards, extra games, and discounted play at certain times. If anything, online bingo is even better placed to offer deals and promotions, and these can be a great way for people to bag a bargain.
Bingo sites offer a range of special offers, deals and bonuses including:
- New player bonus – free games simply for signing up for an account
- First deposit bonus – all you have to do is deposit some money into your account to get a further sum in your account or other freebies
- Deposit matching – transfer some money to your account and have it matched, usually up to a stated limit
- Loyalty bonus – players’ accounts that have been active for a certain length of time can get free games and other bonuses
- Referral bonus – if you want to play with friends, you may be able to get a referral link to earn you both freebies once they sign up
- Free games – some sites offer free games at particular times or on specific days
- Players’ bonus – some bonuses are released when you play games and spend up to a certain amount
- Free spins on slot machine games – many bingo sites also have slots and free spins are a common reward
- Free tickets – if you love bingo, then getting more bingo is an ideal reward, usually when buying tickets
- No deposit bonus – some bonuses are paid without the player needing to put in any cash of their own
- New player rooms – if you want to try before you buy, some sites host newbie rooms that offer new players free games
- Cash draws – many sites hold cash draws which players are entered into when they buy tickets
- VIP rewards – sites that offer loyalty or VIP schemes allow players to earn points that they can convert into bonus funds, usually with exclusive promotions and rooms as well
With so many ways to save and win, the appeal of online bingo isn’t just the fun of playing and the chance to socialise with friends.
A flexible option
Playing online is an incredibly easy way to get a bingo fix, especially as most bingo sites also have their own apps that allow players to log on from wherever they happen to be. You can squeeze in a game on your daily commute, play on your lunch break, or while you wait for an appointment, and designers have even simplified the controls needed so you can play one-handed if need be.
Online bingo is also hugely varied, with a wide choice of different games available with a selection of themes and different formats to keep things interesting. Ninety-ball games tend to be the most popular, but there are also eighty-ball, seventy-five-ball, and thirty-ball games around, not to mention jackpot variants.
For those that like slots and bingo, the relative newcomer to the online game ‘slingo’ combines the two in a game that has all the appeal of both in one fun format. Fans of the traditional game and newcomers to the world of bingo can all find the perfect game for them!