There was a time when bingo looked like it would be dead and buried. Bingo halls were closing down all over the world in their thousands, and the pastime alienated major demographics. After having its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, bingo was hit hard in the 2000s by smoking bans in various different jurisdictions, along with the global recession. But, with the odds stacked against it, bingo came back stronger. Other businesses could learn a lot from the resilience of this industry.
Saying bingo came back with a bang would be an understatement. The industry is one of the biggest successes of the internet era, and is growing each year. Online bingo began when bingo halls were still hugely popular. But it was when the halls began to close down that the internet version of the game came into its own. One UK newspaper reported that now online bingo is more popular than land-based, and this is posing another threat to the old institutions.
Online bingo offers traditional versions of the game along with so much more. This has helped it to branch out and attract a varied range of people. Millennials are now being drawn to the game, and greater numbers of men are following suit. Bingo has successfully shed its image of being mainly played by the elderly. It has done this by expanding the games on offer. For instance, there are numerous Lucky Pants Bingo slot games such as Fluffy in Space and Dragon Shard. These iGaming titles are designed to appeal to different demographics. Users may join a site for the slots, and find themselves moving onto playing bingo games.
Businesses who haven’t yet moved online should look to bingo for inspiration. Those that don’t go digital are certainly at risk of being left behind. In a way, bingo was fortunate to be pushed into action due to circumstances outside of its control. The mass closure of bingo halls across the land meant that operators didn’t have a choice but to go digital.
Other businesses never had this catalyst and ended up getting left behind in the analog world. Toys ‘R’ Us is one of the most famous examples of this. The company which once had the monopoly on the toy market was shocked by the rapid switch to online retail and the rise of sites like Amazon. It didn’t make the transition in time, and in March 2018 announced that all its US and UK stores would close.
Businesses owners need to be aware of the changing technological landscape and move with the times when it seems like a shift is coming. Bingo adapted swiftly, and rebranded itself in an online setting. It proved that the internet could be used to reach much larger audiences. But to effectively bring new demographics in, bingo sites also needed to diversify and evolve from the traditional bingo halls from which they originated.