7 Things You Didn't Know About Bingo

  • Updated
  • By Emma Stokes
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What has 90 balls and keeps the ladies smiling? It’s bingo of course.

A global game dependant on probability and luck, the UK version is considered a leisure industry thought to be worth £1.3 billion – imagine how many bingo dabbers you could buy with that!

There’s thought to be around 100 million players worldwide; 3 million of those are here in the UK.

We all know that bingo is fun to play, but here are some facts you might not know about the fast-paced world of bingo.

1. Beano is my name-o

We’d be wrong to question the sources that suggest the game’s history traces back to the 1500s. First derived from an Italian lottery, Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia is both a mouthful to say and still played every Saturday in Italy.

Flash forward to early 1900s America, “Beano” was all the rage at local carnivals. Rumours claim one player was so thrilled at their winning card that they shouted out “Bingo!” in a combination of confusion and excitement.

The name stuck ever since.

2. Very superstitious, writing’s on the ball

A large number of bingo players are severely superstitious. Some believe in lucky charms, lucky pens, lucky numbers and even lucky pants. It can even draw down to the colour of dabber used – the most popular being purple.

Some even have lucky chairs and clothes, so don’t be surprised to see people walking around their chair three times before sitting down.

3. What’s my age again?

We know stereotypical assumptions are often wrong, as typically a bingo player is usually thought to be an older woman, perhaps with knitting needles at her side.

But, as online bingo games continue to attract younger crowds. 2017 survey data reveals 18-34 year olds are now accountable for 25% of all bingo players.

The gender divide, however, remains the same, with a split of 82% female and 18% male.

So, while seniors should be respected for their contribution to the global game, younger players shouldn't be overlooked as they are quickly becoming the new faces of the numerical game.

4. Winning combinations

We don’t mean to alarm, but with a standard bingo ticket, a player can actually be holding onto over a million different winning combinations. No, we can’t get our head around it either.

5. Bingo can relieve stress

Similar to how board games can improve your mood, (unless you’re that person who flings the Monopoly board across the room in a fit of rage) bingo is thought to improve a person’s cognitive abilities and alleviate stress.

The pros? A fantastic way to keep your mind active. The older you are, the more agile you may be, researchers have found at Southampton University.

Similar studies from Harvard University showed social activities, such as playing games like bingo or going shopping, are just as good for their health as physical exercise. We’ll have more of that, please.

6. The keyword landscape

If you’re familiar with the term SEO (that’s Search Engine Optimisation) you will know just how important keywords are in the digital world.

The Online Bingo Report 2018 revealed the 319 biggest keywords in the online bingo market generate a search volume of around 285,833, with 'bingo' dominating the sector. This keyword alone accounts for 38.5% of the entire search market – hopefully that's how you found us!

7. Social media and all its glory

As technology continues to grow, the leading bingo brands are focused on increasing brand awareness and customer engagement. Facebook remains by far the most active social media channel used by online bingo brands.

Did you know 71% of players are more likely to trust a bingo site that responds to player reviews? Another good reason to engage with the social world.

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