Bingo Under The Spotlight

There’s been a lot on Bingo in the mainstream media the last week. We already mentioned the Guardian’s piece on St Minver’s survey, but there’s been a couple more notable items since then that I’ve not had a chance to mention and catch up on.

First up, the business section of The Times Online has an in-depth article on the growth of the game online. There’s some interesting figures and points, looking at both the positive aspect of the game online and the potential issues of the impact of the smoking ban. It makes for an interesting read.

It follows on from last Friday’s Money Programme on BBC 2 entitled ‘Will The Smoking Ban Kill Bingo?’ The programme was fascinating – it took in so much – there was an interesting history of the game with lots of great archive footage, a look at the effect the smoking ban was having on players as well a look behind the scenes of the new Buckingham Bingo club in Preston and how it was aiming to steal market share from it’s competitors. There was really lots going on – lots of little strands and tales.

In amongst the doom and gloom from the industry it featured some glimmers of what could be done. They featured the all electronic Mecca Bingo at Fountain Park in Edinburgh. It was interesting to see the amount of non-traditional Bingo players in there. It highlighted what I’ve been saying on these pages – there is a new audience there to be had. And it’s not just in the electronic version of the game – the traditional halls still haven’t done much to encourage the shift in players.

I have to say it was a great half-hour of TV for me and I’m glad I’d caught it. I was aware it was coming as way back in February the BBC had rung me as part of their research for it, after seeing Playing Bingo and finding it informative. Unfortunately, none of the stuff we discussed made it in to the show, but it would be nice to think maybe I’d given them some pointers. 😉

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