Home Entertainment & Arts Factors that have led to bingo being so popular in the UK

Factors that have led to bingo being so popular in the UK


UK bingo is an absolutely huge industry these days, and has been for almost a whole century by now, but really this isn’t much of a surprise, as the UK has always been somewhat of a bastion for the wider gambling world. Regardless, if there is any gambling form that has truly been made a national stereotype, it’s just got to be bingo! 

Whilst bingo is also incredibly popular in places like America and Sweden, there is no beating the UK bingo industry, that is built on a rich and proud national bingo history. We even play bingo in school as children! It’s just impossible to deny the crazy popularity of bingo in the UK these days – learn more about dirty bingo!

But here’s the thing: have you ever wondered why this is? Keep reading for some factors that have led to bingo being so popular in the UK. 

The UK’s long and great love of bingo 

Probably the largest factor that has led to bingo being so popular in the UK is simply the UK’s long, winding, and beautiful love story with bingo. Whilst it was initially devised in Italy, and later refined in France, the UK is where modern bingo really had its flowering moment. It has been used in British schools since the 1800s when teachers took the German schools’ lead, which is a big reason why we have grown to love it so much. 

Furthermore, in the post WWII years bingo helped a very much ravaged country keep a sense of morale and happiness, another reason behind the UK’s innate love for the game. It is one of the world’s great gaming love stories!   

The Betting and Gaming Act in 1960 

Bingo began to gain a lot of traction towards the end of WWII and in the years that followed as a result of American soldiers using it as a way to pass the time during the lulls in fighting. This meant that by 1960 it was well on its way to becoming a commercial gambling staple, which the government allowed with The Betting and Gaming Act 1960. 

This allowed bingo establishments to turn into fully-fledged businesses, and by the end of the decade there had been thousands of bingo halls built across the UK. The iconic Mecca Bingo started here, and in the mid 1960s they had a ludicrous 150,000 bingo players a day passing through their many bingo halls. Crazy! 

Continued and consistent building of bingo halls 

It seems as though the initial surge of bingo excitement just never really stopped in the UK either, as bingo halls continued to be built across the nation, sending UK bingo players absolutely nuts! 

Nowadays a bingo hall is pretty much a staple of any small town or city, let alone the large ones – they are quite simply everywhere, so no wonder bingo is so popular! 

21st century UK online bingo explosion 

As the 21st century has rolled around the emerging online bingo market has made it ever easier for UK players to play bingo, which just further leads to bingo being so popular in the UK.

Andrew Mcaffrey