Why do Women Love Bingo?
Much like our favourite pop stars, bingo has changed its wardrobe many times over the decades to suit its audience. From the elderly knitwear aficionado that warmed old theatre halls in the 20s and 30s to the tech-savvy, daring millennial that bingo is today, our beloved game is a miracle of evolution. Let's be honest, when Erwin Lowe patented the bingo card nearly 80 years ago, he probably never envisioned people playing bingo from a telephone.
Even bingo's demographics, the age and sex of its players, have changed since its inception. Wink Bingo has the pleasure of entertaining people of all types, yet, while most of us are getting older, online bingo has found its own fountain of youth. A recent study from YouGov indicates that the average bingo player is a tender 25-34-years-old, a statistic that owes a great deal to the popularity of internet-enabled devices like tablets and phones among young people.
Bingo remains the domain of women though. The same YouGov study notes that 62% - two thirds - of all online bingo players are female, while a further report claims that 12% of all UK women enjoy the game - twice the number of men that play. It's fair to say that there's something about bingo that attracts women in the same way that blackjack, poker, and craps appeal to men. But why do the ladies among us love our venerable game so much?
Bingo as a Social DriverWhile everybody enjoys the thrill of claiming a full house or four corners after a hard, rainy day at work, the reason for bingo's popularity with women may have little to do with the act of playing at all. Bingo has long served as a social driver, with halls functioning as meeting places for the local community. Our beloved Erwin Lowe, for instance, regularly called on players to band together to raise money for charity and, in particular, the Catholic Church.
In its brick-and-mortar form though, bingo is perhaps better known for silence. Talk over the bingo caller at your peril. That's not to say that hall-based bingo isn't a good place to meet friends; it's just that socialising happens between bingo games or at the bar after all the balls have been called. The online game is different. At Wink Bingo, many of our games have an open forum for players to chat with their fellow players, hosts, and moderators – whenever the mood takes them.
The low overall cost of playing online bingo (our Pretty Penny game is priced at just 1p per round, while Free Tenners and Free Forever won't cost you anything at all) has also allowed bingo to become something of an affordable hobby for people who might otherwise lack opportunities for social engagement. The game has even developed its own bingo lingo too since debuting online. While the staples are there (LOL, AFK etc), players can also use bingo-specific terms, such as BLNG (Better Luck Next Game).
Bingo Marketing Magic
Of course, there's a bit of magic involved in the numbers. More women than men play online bingo because the game is often marketed directly at women. It might sound like an outmoded notion today but gender-based marketing is still just as important now as it always has been. Social journalism platform Medium notes the example of Dove soap, which is square and packaged in grey for men and, for women, oval and coloured pink or light blue.
As far as bingo websites are concerned, the colour palette often utilises soft blues, purples, and pinks to create a more welcoming and 'softer' appearance. Imagery may feature female players exclusively, while the language may include nods to shopping, relaxation, and 'me' time, things that fill young men's' hearts with terror. Gerda Reith, of the University of Glasgow, put it bluntly in a conversation with the BBC: "They're [bingo companies] trying to appeal to people they know like bingo and get them to play online. That's women."
Some women like racecars and football though and lots of men love bingo. So, at Wink Bingo, we offer something that we think appeals to everybody: promotions. We've already mentioned our free games but we always have a range of offers and freebies to ease newbies into their first bingo game or to reward veteran players. Then, there's our Wink Shopping Rewards, which players can trade in at the shop for tickets, extra ways to win, and spins on the Wink Wheel.
All told, women (and men) love bingo because it's one of the most rewarding gaming experiences that can be found online.