It is believed that bingo was first introduced in Great Britain in the early 1800s, though lotteries and other forms of betting and gambling date back as far as the sixteenth century in the UK. In the latter half of the twentieth century, however, bingo really took off, as brick-and-mortar bingo halls began springing up in Blackpool, London, and many other cities across the country. Today, bingo is played widely both online and in bingo halls, and there is a range of variants, bingo rooms, and even themed games to suit every taste. Players can win physical and cash prizes and socialise with friends from the comfort of their own living rooms, or with a drink in hand at the local hall.
Bingo Halls in the UK
Today in the UK, online bingo is the most popular way to play, as the use of a smartphone or device can allow for bingo games on the move. Yet, while online bingo is fun to play, bingo began in this country in bingo halls with physical dabbers and paper bingo sheets. In the 1950s and 1960s, land-based bingo halls sprung up all over the country, offering players the chance to socialise with friends and family over the excitement of a game of 90-ball bingo.
Ballrooms that hosted bingo brought communities together, and were visited particularly frequently by groups of women who could grab a bite to eat and win prizes ranging from cash to expensive appliances and luxury holidays. In London, some of the most popular bingo halls that are now, unfortunately, either demolished or closed, include those that once stood in Peckham, Bethnal Green, Clapham, King’s Cross, and Hackney. Though far less prevalent today, land-based bingo halls still exist in London and in other towns and cities across the country.
The Rise of Online Bingo
In the twenty-first century, players in the UK favour the variety, convenience, and simplicity that online bingo offers. While 30-ball bingo, or ‘speed’ bingo, for example, provides a quick game that can be played on the commute or between meetings, online 90-ball bingo gives players the chance to win huge cash prizes from their own living room sofas. What’s more, online bingo often even delivers the social element of bingo that made on-land bingo halls so popular. With chat room services, live hosts, and round-the-clock customer service, online bingo sites are a place not only of excitement, but of friendship. With easy-to-navigate websites and user-friendly mobile apps, mobile bingo has never been easier to play.
Online bingo in the UK has had huge successes, and is popular among a wide range of players. While many bingo fans still enjoy the experience of playing in a real-life bingo hall, the popularity of online bingo has skyrocketed in the last two decades. With numerous bingo variants available, plus different rooms which offer cash prizes, physical prizes, and large bonuses, online bingo is great for players who enjoy variety and who lead busy working lives.