Once they’re brought online or otherwise moved to a digital format, things tend to change – usually by absolute necessity but sometimes because of the seemingly endless potential of non-analogue formats. Take music, for example. While people still love collecting tapes and vinyl, despite how cumbersome, fragile, and awkward they both can be, digital media has allowed for better quality audio and nearly infinite space to store our favourite songs.
Of course, gaming has gone much the same way. Beginning with the simplest of hobbies, bingo, games developers have turned this modest town hall-based pastime into a multifaceted creature, complete with variants, licensed themes, and embedded social opportunities. For example, the bingo games online at Betfair vary by ticket price, prize money, and even the game show property they are based upon. Combined, all the bingo games are playable via an app, too.
All the above is quite different from the idea of bingo that occupies the imagination of the public. The continued evolution of the game remains a bit of a wonder, though. Chess, for all its many millions of possibilities, has never really got much further than exact reproductions for various computer systems. But bingo, which is based around a piece of paper, continues to change in all sorts of unusual ways. The answer to bingo’s continued evolution is quite a modern one, however – competition.
Competition in business has existed for millennia, simply because trade is one of humanity’s oldest social abilities, going back about 150,000 years. According to CityAM, citing accountancy group UHY, 726,000 businesses were created in 2020 alone, an increase of 14% over the previous year. Anybody new to or otherwise unskilled at entrepreneurialism might consider such numbers an impossible scenario to contend with – and many businesses do go under in their first year.
Competition is industry-specific, though, and there may be more or fewer traders fighting for customers depending on the niche. In the online casino arena, there are thousands of similar operators struggling against each other. This is why things like exclusive games, fancy variants, and lucrative bonuses are such an important element, as they help distinguish one website from another. Brands with just a handful of experiences that can be found elsewhere aren’t going to go very far.
For bingo, this need for innovation has produced variants on a theme like Slingo, which is a mix of slots and bingo, and, as mentioned, licensed themes. In the latter case, the branding of a game around a popular TV show like Deal or No Deal is to attract the same audience. Anybody who has ever watched late afternoon/early evening TV will no doubt have noticed that many sponsors of game shows are bingo operators. Creating familiarity with potential customers is the first step to acquiring their business.
So, while bingo might sometimes be thought of as the game equivalent of a woollen cardigan, the reality is that it has more potential than other pastimes of a similar, traditional ilk.