If you associate the word “bingo” with poorly-lit community halls filled with senior citizens, you’re stuck about 10-20 years in the past.
Online bingo – and its younger sibling mobile bingo – are booming thanks to rapid innovation and increased interest from younger players. Increased use of smartphones and tablets by Millennials and Gen Z’ers is fuelling the growth of bingo. According to the latest WhichBingo polls, these days more than half of mobile bingo players are aged 35 or less.
Interestingly, bingo’s rise may be a good thing for humankind. According to the latest studies, bingo has a positive impact on the brain. The findings were consistent across young and old bingo players, proving that there is no right or wrong age to play bingo.
In this article, we look at the key innovations fuelling online bingo’s popularity – and thus improving our mental health.
Innovations in Mobile Gaming Tech
Advances in online gaming technology in the 1990s and 2000s enabled the explosion of different types of online gambling, including online bingo. Similarly, innovations in mobile gaming technology in the last 10-15 years – including larger mobile screens and faster computing speeds and networks – have enabled operators to roll out bigger and better mobile bingo games.
As a representative from gaming developer Microgaming noted in a recent interview, the roll-out of 5G (fifth generation cellular network technology) will enable players to enjoy desktop-quality games on the go. The same representative also noted that technological advances would fuel further “hybridisation” between live and online bingo.
Rich Mobile Messaging
Among all those studies on bingo and mental health was a study from the University of Queensland in Australia that showed how social connections can help reduce depression. According to UQ researchers, people who do not identify with a social group are 50% more likely to experience continued depression in a month’s time than people who do identify with a social group.
The bingo hall has long been known as a place for social interaction, and mobile bingo operators have had some success in transporting this social atmosphere to their own platforms. The earliest online bingo sites included forums where players could discuss strategies and hobbies between games. More recently, most online bingo operators have introduced live chat options to their platforms.
Now, mobile bingo apps are going a step further by integrating rich messaging into their platforms. As mobile messaging consultant Quiq has noted, rich messaging is the next stage in text messaging technology. It comes with cool features like group chat, image sharing, GIFs, emojis, and even video calls.
New Types of Bingo Games
The final innovation we’d like to mention isn’t so much a technological innovation as an advance in imagination. Physical bingo halls usually offer standard forms of bingo, such as 90-ball bingo and 75-ball bingo. Online and mobile bingo operators, less constrained by space and budget, offer a broader selection of games such as shorter 30-ball bingo and themed games like Deal or No Deal Bingo.
While technological advancement has a lot to do with the growth of online bingo, we shouldn’t underestimate the impact of online bingo’s broad catalogue of game themes. Millennials and Gen Z’ers are known for being less attached to the old ways of doing things than their parents and grandparents. What the twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings want more than anything is choice. Like Spotify and Amazon, online bingo operators and developers appear to have found the secret to winning the hearts and minds of younger players: give them a feeling of choice and control, and they will get on board.