UK Bingo Halls Fight Losses While Online Bingo Flourishes


In the UK, the entertainment market is suffering – something that we are all familiar with no matter which country we live in. In one particular sector, bingo, the losses could not have come at a worse time as the industry has suffered a decline in revenue over the last 10 years. Conversely, the online bingo market is rising in popularity.

The Demise of Bingo Halls in Britain

We only need to look at each form of online entertainment in the UK to denote that online alternatives are taking over. Cinemas replaced by online movie channels, bowling alleys replaced by interactive game consoles, and it will not be long before virtual reality comes into the fold adding further blows to these niche entertainment sectors.

Next on the agenda will almost certainly be land-based casinos and bingo halls – two traditional forms of entertainment hurt badly by recent events. Bingo in particular has seen declines in physical walk-in traffic to their establishments for over a decade now while its online counterpart, UK bingo sites, thrive in the World Wide Web’s virtual space.

Online Bingo Set to Flourish

Things may not look positive for land-based bingo establishments, but online the story is very different. As the younger, more virtually inclined generation matures, it seems inevitable that online bingo sites will become the go-to place to seek this age-old form of entertainment that is made fresh thanks to online innovations.

You only need to look at the variety of bingo games online to see that virtual bingo has so much more appeal. Themed bingo games, Slingo titles, multiple bingo cards, and even bingo streamed via live web cams. According to the WhichBingo 2021 Player Survey the reason why so many people enjoy online bingo is that of the many no deposit bonus offers and 100% deposit match deals. It does not take a genius to work out players are getting far more value playing online.

Understanding the UK Bingo Market & Crushing Misleading Information

There are two ways to look at the UK bingo market. We can take the overall figures whereby the market reported £1 billion in revenue for land-based bingo halls, and we can look at the online bingo revenue recorded via iGaming stats. They are two separate subjects, but when put together, the UK bingo market is worth way more than £1 billion!

Although some publications state that revenue reports regarding ‘bingo’ are coming solely from online bingo sites, as per Mercopress, this report is inaccurate and misleading. If you refer to the Mercopress report’s reference from Statista, it clearly states ‘main stage bingo’, which is not the bingo site itself, but reference to physical bingo halls. Therefore, counting the £500+ million as ‘online revenue’ is misleading.

When it comes to cash games and bets online, we need to understand how the stats are reported to avoid this confusion. For online bingo, we need to extend our research into a new sector which is iGaming. Now the iGaming also has a higher tier as it falls under online gambling, where it shares space with other niche gambling sectors such as sports betting.

  • Level 1: Online Gambling
  • Level 2: iGaming
  • Level 3: Bingo

Where to Find Accurate Bingo States

If you want to find the real figures for online gambling and bingo betting in the UK, then you can get straight from the horse’s mouth. The UK Gambling Commission issues licenses to all UK Bingo sites and publishes month-by-month reports which are available to the public. You can see that non-remote bingo brought in £635.9 million April 2019—March 2020 tax year. Check it out here.

As for online Bingo, well this is part of the statistic that shows the remote betting, bingo and casino sector, all clubbed together as one, took in a staggering £5.7 billion the last tax year. Granted only around 10% is online bingo, which consequently would account for roughly 5.7 million. Add this to the stats in the aforementioned Mercopress report, and the UK bingo market is way above the £1 billion revenue marker.

Tech Digest Correspondent