A new report from The United Kingdom Gambling Comission (UKGC) shows that despite bingo halls and premise closures, the UK bingo sector has grown for the first time in four years.
The Gross Gambling Yield (GGC) for the UK has increased by 4.9% even with a 10.1% drop in the number of bingo halls in the past year. So where has this growth emerged from? We look into reasons why bingo seems to be the market that just keeps giving.
Bingo Halls Are Still Popular
Although we've seen a rise in online bingo, the bricks and mortar halls still prove very popular. Land based bingo accounts for 6% of the UK gambling market which is currently worth £12 billion. However, the total number of UK bingo premises has fallen by 10.1%, to a total of only 599 halls nationwide. Big name brands like Gala and Mecca make up the majority, with 130 and and 91 premises respectively.
So if bingo halls are closing, how come the market is still growing? Gambling machines contribute heavily to the bottom line in bingo. There are almost 100 times more gambling machines than there are halls across the country, which is a 6% rise on the previous period. These machines count for a total of £304.5 million.
The machines boast a £100 jackpot, so it's easy to see why they're proving so popular. Plus, the introduction of electronic bingo terminals accounts for much of the growth in gambling machines as they are widely used throughout the country.
Online Bingo Continues to Grow
Online bingo accounts for 3% of the UK's Gross Gambing Yield. Whilst this doesn't sound like a large proportion, it's a sector of the online market that just keeps growing. So what trends have driven growth?
Figures show that female players now represent 52% of all online gambling gamers. This isn't a huge shift, but it does show why online casinos are gearing a lot of their content towards a female market. Bingo, is perhaps the biggest sector to do so, and in turn has grabbed a huge female player base over the past decade.
A large number of bingo sites use female-directed graphics, colours and branding, showing just how far developers are catering for women gamers. This has contributed to the growth in players, which naturally, continues the boost the bingo sector as a whole.
Other factors include age, with a much younger demographic playing bingo than ever before. This is partly due to the rise in social media, as younger players are more likely to interact with each other via the lively bingo chat rooms.