With 100 million online players across the globe today, bingo is one of those traditional games that has remained popular through to modern day. While originating back in Italy in the 1500’s when it was called “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia”, the modernisation of the game through online gaming has meant it has become more popular with younger generations.

Bingo was originally played in traditional bingo halls and was a way to bring communities together, often for fundraising activities for local people. Yet as modernisation has occurred, many of these bingo halls have now shut down. But that hasn’t stopped the game from being popular. Today, players are able to play free bingo games for fun online, wherever and whenever they want.

Below, we will take a look at how the modernisation of bingo has caused a shift in the demographics that the game most appeals to.

The traditional audience for bingo

As one of the oldest and most popular pastimes in Britain, bingo is played by around 3.5 million players in the UK today and in 2020 generated a GGY of £910 million. On a global scale, more than 80% of bingo players are women, and this is rooted in a deep history where bingo was stereotypically a female game. Some of the reasons why bingo appeals to a more female audience includes:

Bingo advertising

Throughout the decades, bingo has been traditionally marketed to women. The specific messaging of ads uses feminine colours, feminine slogans and usually depicts a female voice which automatically appeals to females more. Having been associated with women for decades, advertisers aim to target the majority of their target audience in order to get the best success rates out of their advertising.

As such, many bingo ads feature the social aspect of the game where women can meet up and socialise in online chat rooms. Way back when, women were traditionally thought to be at home more than men, the social aspect was used to bring women together to pass their free time during the day.

Bingo providers have created chat rooms to keep the social aspect of a bingo game amongst their female players.

Bingo is categorised differently from other casino games

When we think of a traditional casino, the advertising is often more geared up for males than females. While casino games often include high stakes and require knowledge and skill, bingo is thought of as an easier to play, lighthearted game than brings people together in an informal way. While anyone can play bingo today, these deep-rooted stereotypes of gender roles and qualities are still enacted in much of bingo’s marketing.

The social aspect

Also way back when, it was thought that women can be more chatty and sociable than men, in which bingo offers the opportunity for women to get together and catch up over a lighthearted game. As a result, bingo halls and online bingo providers market the game as something that is casual and fun, rather than a game that puts you under pressure and is nerve wracking.

Accessibility

Bingo was frequently played in commercial bingo halls and local community centres in the late 20th century. During this time, it was traditional for men to work while women often stayed home as the primary child carer or worked part time to accommodate the family needs.

As such, with men not having as much time for leisure activities like bingo, the game was targeted at women who had a lot of free time during the day and who may have felt isolated at home alone.

While this is very different today, the traditional targeting of women in the bingo sector has carried on until today and is still deep set-in culture as a game for females.

The shifting demographics of online bingo

Today, statistics show that the most popular age ranges to play bingo are those between 35 and 44. Additionally, 38% of these players are men, while 62% are female. While this indicates that the majority of bingo players are still women, it also indicates the changes are beginning to happen in the bingo sector.

Today’s popular bingo brands like 888 ladies aim to appeal to the female audience, especially with their feminine brand name. This indicates that while the bingo industry overall needs to work on its gender-neutral appeal, many of the larger bingo brands are still highly successful in going after their traditional target audience. That being said, with the introduction of online bingo, more men than before are playing. Some of the reasons for this include:

Anonymity

While it may have been embarrassing for a male to attend a bingo venue where the majority of the audience were female, today’s huge variety of online games allows men to enjoy bingo in the comfort of their own home, from a smart device, and without being judged by anyone around them.

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