Are we witnessing the Demise of Bingo Halls?

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Bingo halls had a bit of a renaissance in the 1900s, when they took over cinemas as the home television set put these out of business. Now it seems that it’s the bingo hall’s time to sunset, as more and more of us are getting our kicks online. Is this the beginning of the end for bingo halls?

Dwindling Attendance for Bingo Halls

With the rise of online bingo halls, the attendance in the traditional bingo hall has begun to dwindle. These bingo halls have reported that their numbers have been decreasing by around 14%, which has led to the number of halls in the UK reducing from 600 to around 350.

The closure of these halls hasn’t come as much of a shock to those in the industry, as they know this has been a long time coming. With more bingo halls online now, it seems that many of these halls have lost their players to the online bingo world. It’s much easier and more convenient for these players to log in and get playing, rather than trekking out to go to their local hall. With these shutting down too, their local hall may be further away than ever before.

The Smoking Act really had an effect on bingo halls, as those that smoked would rather play from home than stand out in the cold at their favourite bingo halls. Prior to this, people could smoke indoors and frankly they were all accustomed to doing so. When this change was enacted, shopping centres, cinemas and bingo halls saw a dip in the number of people using their services.

It’s understandable when you consider the fact that this would mean that bingo players would have to leave their games to go outside and smoke. Whereas at home they’d be free to do as they please. With the weather in the UK the way it is, we can see why these players would want to stay inside instead!

Does this mean that we will soon see more Bingo Halls Close?

This does seem indicative of an overall trend for bingo halls UK based, as the industry has been going this way for the last few years. Each year, we see more of these halls close as the companies behind them bring in less money because of lower numbers. This amounts to millions of pounds in lost revenue for this industry, fewer staff and therefore fewer locations.

As this trend continues, it’s something of a downward spiral for players. There have been attempts to improve this though, as certain companies have tried to revitalise the industry and make it more appealing to a younger market. Bingo rave nights and party versions of the games are just some of the ways we’re seeing this classic British game coming back to the fore.

Some of these won’t take place in bingo halls, as they are more suited to nightclubs or gig venues. This means that they won’t rejuvenate the bingo hall, but they will bring up more awareness of the game, which could lead to a call for more of these halls.

Some halls have went down a different route and want their players to enjoy a night out at the bingo. New food choices and drinks with nights out are revitalising these halls and making them appeal to those that want a night out, rather than just a game. This kind of revitalisation can do a lot for the industry, but could it be too little too late?

Is the Entire Industry Shifting to Online Games?

With online games, these are undoubtedly getting more popular and overtaking the traditional bingo hall. Some of these halls are actually starting to implement more tech in their halls, with a mash up of both the traditional and the newer tech that players are looking for.

Online games are always increasing their player numbers and there are new, innovative ways to play. This gives players more choice in how they want to play, which is something that online players have become accustomed to.

There will likely still be a place for traditional games, for those that seek them out. There are hardcore bingo communities out there, which have the hall as their social gathering place. While the lower visitor numbers may kill some of the smaller bingo halls, but the ones with larger communities should still be able to thrive.

What does this mean for Bingo Fans?

For bingo fans, there’s still plenty of options out there, whether that’s online or in a bingo hall. With online games, there can be larger jackpots and smaller ticket prices, which is appealing to the player. For those that like to play in halls, we may need to travel further in order to get the same bingo kicks or see more halls experimenting with new tech to bring in those punters.

The increased competition online is actually a good thing for some bingo fans, as it means halls are galvanised to offer something new in order to provide a different experience. This gives you a different experience offline, which is really what these halls have to offer in order to challenge the online giants.

With so much in the way of competition out there, bingo players can really afford to be picky and choose the method of play that suits them. Whether this means that you go to a hall and have a night out, or chat with your roomies online, you can suit yourself.

We don’t want to see the end of the bingo hall, as this would be quite sad to see. These have been a part of UK culture for a long time and these landmarks on the landscape have clearly made their mark. If they were to disappear overnight, these could potentially leave a bit of a big absence for us. Perhaps we should be patronising our local bingo halls in order to make sure they stick around.

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