‘Full House!’ No one is unfamiliar with what this often frenzied yell stands for. That is because bingo probably dates back to before the invention of the wheel. The gaming format has been used for a multitude of purposes, but mostly entertaining the masses. Nowadays bingo halls are a prominent feature on just about every high street, with brands like Mecca and Gala being the most common.
It is easy to see the appeal, compared to other forms of gambling bingo is cheap, a nights entertainment need cost no more than a tenner, in fact, for that price certain clubs will throw in a bottle of wine too! Until recently, a quick glance inside a hall would leave no illusion that the age demographic is anything but old! However, nowadays bingo is on the rise amongst the younger end of the population, statistics from the mighty gambling commission at the end of this piece prove that.
As a student journalist, with money donated by the UK based Rocket Bingo site, I decided to conduct a study to gain an understanding of the way students (usually aged 18 – 24) see the game of bingo.
I setup a simple survey to try and establish whether university students would go and play bingo and if so, why it appeals to them.. To make the results more interesting I targeted ten UK cities to see if any patterns would crop up, the sample size was 400 and an equal amount of participants were harvested from each city. Although bingo is now available online at many bingo sites for the purpose of this study, our questionnaire focuses on land based bingo halls.
Regardless of whether you’ve ever been interested in bingo or not, the results make for some interesting reading….
‘Whilst at university have you ever played in a bingo hall?’
The results here speak for themselves, students do play bingo! If this isn’t surprising enough, lets look a little closer at the distribution of the results. The most striking fact is that Sunderland is something of a student bingo hotspot, perhaps Sunderland doesn’t have bars? Whatever the reason, a staggering 45% of students in the Mackem city have been to a bingo hall whilst attending the university.
Conversely, in Oxbridge, the uptake of bingo amongst students is significantly lower, at 4% in Cambridge and 6% in Oxford, maybe polo takes precedence?
It is all very well to know that students play,, but what about the motivation? To get into the mindset of our box ticking students, we asked them:
‘What makes you want to go to a bingo hall?’
After a quick scan of the chart, you’ll probably find yourself returning to the ‘hangover activity’ response. We double checked the figures and yes it is true, we have just uncovered that 35% of university students who attend bingo halls do so as a hangover activity, whilst curiously only 20% go because they feel they have a chance of winning.
Although the motive for the study was amusement, the results have actually proven indicative of a change in social habits, it would seem incontrovertible that bingo is on the rise amongst the young, specifically students. The results are not entirely surprising, data from the gambling commission shows that out of the 3.5 million bingo players in Britain today, 700,000 are between the ages of 18 and 24. Data from the commission also backs up that the popularity of the game is on the rise. The number of players under the age of 45 has risen over the last decade from 46% to 62%.
So, the day after a heavy night, get out your daubers and head down to the bingo. If you are in Sunderland, you had best get there early!