Over the years, bingo has gone into a period of relative decline. The number of people playing the game in traditional halls has dropped significantly and many of the halls have been forced to close down leaving people unemployed and players with no option other than to go somewhere else, online or to stop playing and look for alternative forms of entertainment.
It’s been given an unfair tag over the years as being the kind of game that old people play on day trips or with their pension money. This branding has left many people, who would otherwise play the game, looking for alternative forms of entertainment when they would have something right there, they just don’t want to be ‘the odd one out’ among the old people.
If and when they do play, many of them do so through a typically young person’s approach of playing online, choosing a game or site from one of the bingo comparison sites like twobigladies.co.uk that either appeals to them because of the title or the prize money.
The question is, where has the ‘old people’s game’ tag come from? After all, there are plenty of young people who do play bingo, so is it just that the media focus on those who are older because the young audience has so many more options? That’s the most likely explanation, because there are a number of different stories that have come out in the papers and the regional news featuring jackpot winners at the local bingo hall, and many of them are middle-aged, if not younger.
Then, of course, you have the examples of celebrities who have all either talked about their love of the game of bingo, or been pictured coming out of a hall or mentioned by someone who played in the same game who has contacted the press afterwards.
Two of the original members of Take That, now down to just the three members of course, shared their love of bingo on Twitter last year. Robbie Williams, who went on to have massive solo success before a return to the band briefly in 2013, shared a photo on his Twitter account of Gary Barlow – the lead singer – playing bingo in his own home and even talked about how the band would play before going on stage; while Robbie has frequently been seen coming out of bingo halls himself.
While pop royalty is a vote in favour of bingo, it’s not quite genuine royalty, and it’s well known that Her Majesty, the Queen of England, is a particular fan of bingo – as are her Grandsons Princes William and Harry. Back in 2006, when William was training at Sandhurst before joining the army, he spent an evening with a few friends at a local bingo hall to the shock and amazement of all of the staff. The story was broken in the Sun newspaper, who couldn’t report if the Prince had won any of the main prizes – although he won’t have been too disappointed I’m sure!