Bingo is in a pretty good place right now. UK bingo sites are experiencing unprecedented demand, while a growing number of pubs are adopting ‘bingo night’ as a regular feature in entertainment schedules nationwide. Mobile gaming has also been a tremendous boom for bingo, ushering in a new generation of players. But why has bingo remained so popular? Is it really played more by seniors than youngsters? And if so, why?
Who really plays bingo?
If stereotypes are to be believed, a typical bingo player isn’t exactly the ‘springiest chicken’. However, the cliche of all bingo players being old seems to be losing its accuracy. Younger generations are rapidly picking up bingo as a regular pastime. Thanks to the advancement of mobile gaming technologies, such as cloud gaming and live streaming, people of all ages are able to access and enjoy a plethora of games from multiple genres.
Regardless of any shifts in the audience, seniors are often a vital component of any bingo community, which is why marketing companies (and mainstream media in general) push the idea that bingo is reserved for old people. While this perception may have had some truth to it in the past, that’s simply not the case anymore. Research points to rapid growth of all online games, across any and all age groups.
Why is bingo so popular?
Using a broad average taken from every accurate statistic we could find, all data points to a fairly balanced spread of players, at least in terms of age and gender. There is still a significant segment made up of older bingo players, but the spread of age groups has become far more balanced than one might assume.
As we mentioned earlier, seniors typically represent the epitome of a bingo target audience. But what is it about bingo that makes it so suitable for older folk? Is it the general pace of the game? Perhaps it’s due to a lack of significant physical exertion? In order to understand this phenomenon, we’ve put together four reasons why seniors love bingo so much.
Few games are as accessible as bingo. Most of them require quick thinking or reflexive movement, precision timing, physical strength, or some combination of these elements. In general, the higher the intensity of any given game, the less likely that game is to appeal to older generations. This is the primary reason for any significant age gap in entertainment options, regardless of the game in question.
Bingo is low-intensity, from both a physical and mental perspective. Interestingly, the absence of stress is a key driver behind bingo’s recent growth in popularity. This observation makes sense if you think about it; the steady pace of a game of bingo is a welcome relief from the ‘hustle ‘n bustle’ of modern living.
2. Social interaction
The older we get, the less frequent our social interactions become. For many reasons, older people tend to socialise less frequently than younger people. In an age of social isolation, curfews, and travel restrictions, that precedent may be changing. Younger generations are finding solace in the very same games seniors have enjoyed for ages.
Beginning to see why bingo has grown so quickly? Thanks to its slower pace, it’s a game with plenty of gaps for conversation. Players are free to communicate with each other throughout the game, provided of course that the rules are respected and adhered to. Bingo appeals to anyone looking for community-based entertainment, a game where you can sit back and relax, chat with others, and maybe win a prize at the end of the day.
3. Competitive activity
Healthy competition is always a good thing. Though the odds of winning are fairly random, bingo provides more than enough opportunity for said competition. It might not be a skill-based game like poker or football, but you still have to keep your wits about you if you want to win.
Seniors enjoy competition as much as any other generation. Couple this with the fact that bingo provides a low-stress environment and you can understand why the game is so ubiquitous. Everyone has a chance to win and the skill ceiling is fairly low. That being said, there is an element of strategy involved for those who desire it.
4. Health benefits
According to numerous health experts, bingo is proven to boost cognitive ability, hand-eye coordination, and overall resilience. General physical health can also increase, as can the rate of recovery for injured individuals. Increased social engagement is yet another benefit, circling around back to social interaction being a major factor for bingo’s success.
When you begin to lose autonomy, when your movement becomes restricted due to health concerns, when you can’t go out as much as you would like… do these scenarios sound familiar? Therein lies the key to bingo’s success amongst seniors in the UK – we’ve all ‘aged’ a little bit faster than usual lately. Considering what we’ve all been through, maybe bingo isn’t such a bad idea after all.