There’s a tendency to have a very particular image in your mind when you think of bingo, hammered in there by endless sitcoms and media. There’s always a sense that the only people playing it are over 80, and the atmosphere in a bingo hall is about as thrilling as doing the daily wash.
The thing is though, that this is a version of bingo that is very quickly being relegated to more of a memory, and while the classic small-town bingo halls still exist, modern bingo has been taken in a lot of different directions, and it might surprise you to know just how modern it really is.
The World of Online Bingo
If there are two things that the modern human loves, it would be smartphones and convenience, and online bingo does tick those both boxes. Not only does it allow players to join games from wherever they are and from whatever device they want to use, but also lets companies offer things that regular bingo can’t. Operators such as Paddy Power can offer extra stakes to their games with things like bingo jackpots, and developers of these games can add in special win conditions, bonus rounds and many more things only possible digitally.
For lovers of the game who aren’t so interested in the social aspect of physically sitting in a room with people, this is a great option with plenty of extras to surprise.
The New Era of Bingo Halls
There are a number of brands across the UK that have completely revitalised the physical bingo hall too. From those simple setups with just a tombola, a host and a few tables and bits of cardboard to play on, nowadays bingo halls have taken on a much more glamorous feel. The paper is out, and in are either high-end tablets or interactive computer screens to check out your numbers. Numbers are called out and then displayed on monitors around the hall, all while table service for food and drinks moves between the players.
Getting a full house at one of these halls is no longer just a brief moment of excitement followed by a few minutes of checking the card. The computer systems will track the numbers drawn, and it can be instantly verified, usually with a lot of flashy lights and sounds to accompany it. It really does feel like winning something big.
The Unique Case of Hijingo
Based in Shoreditch, London, Hijingo is the self-described “future of bingo” and something of a bizarre performance piece. Looking more like a futuristic game show than a bingo hall, players are bombarded with neon lights, massive game screens and people in strange costumes. As bingo goes, it certainly isn’t one your nan would be playing; this is the new young people’s bingo, and it’s as much of an experience as any kind of bingo game.
Whether this truly is the future of bingo or just an unusual experiment remains to be seen, but all the evidence here should convince you that bingo really isn’t what it used to be and that’s a great thing.