No one expected the online bingo trend to blow up as big has it has in the U.K. In the last year, more than 3.2 million players have been introduced to online bingo games — variations of the original card-and-marker pastime, which was once best associated with the 65-and-older crowd.
Now men and women, young and old, of varying incomes and backgrounds, are giving their luck a try in these virtual halls — computerized rooms of various sizes where they can form a virtual commroderie, chatting with each other from the comfort of their living rooms. For many players, these online bingo sites have become a sort of escape from reality and the stresses of life and work. Instead of mindlessly milling around the Internet or killing time on Facebook, people are wanting to feel more pro-active about the activities they engage in online, and what better way to feel productive than to win a £500 jackpot!
The online bingo game phenomenon is so big it has even made its way to television. A new lifetime program on Channel 1 goes behind the scenes of an online bingo company, showcasing how regular people — mothers, fathers, professionals, young adults — all get something different out of the game. For some, it’s the thrill of the risk, for others it’s simply a hobby, just like playing any video game would be.
The graphics of online bingo are also improving. This isn’t the one-dimension flash and blinking lights of the video poker of five years ago; these bingo sites hope to simulate the sensation of sitting in a real, albeit much cooler, bingo hall. Realistic-looking avatars sit in for players around tables, making moves in real time. Bingo games go on at all hours of the day on hundreds of U.K. sites, offering something different for everyone. Even the shyest player can feel both anonymous and comfortable at the same time, explaining why more and more people are becoming bingo fanatics every day.