There are now more monthly bingo players in Britain than there are tennis players, a recent report has suggested, and that number looks set to grow and grow.
Once upon a time, bingo was considered the pursuit of elderly people gathered together in retirement home lounges, cardigans buttoned and dabbers primed in the hope of winning a picnic hamper or a bottle of gin. But today, bingo is one of the fastest growing leisure pursuits in the United Kingdom, and is popular with people of all ages and demographics — yes, trendy gin drinkers included.
According to a report in The Mirror, the number of people taking part in bingo games across the UK is now greater than the number of people who play tennis. Although some 1.7 million Brits regularly play the quintessentially British sport, an even more impressive 1.9 million Brits now take part in bingo on a monthly basis.
If bingo were a sport, The Mirror suggests, it would now rank sixth in the UK’s popularity index, above tennis and hot on the heels of golf, as exhibited by the following statistics from Sport England.
The news that bingo has rocketed in popularity should come as no surprise to regular players of the game. In April this year, Mecca Bingo staff launched a campaign to make bingo an official event at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and players were quick to add their support.
Even if we don’t see Britain taking the gold for bingo anytime soon, there’s no denying that the game is becoming an increasingly important part of British culture, and has only been spurred on by the advent of online gaming and play-anywhere mobile bingo. At this rate, it won’t be long before we see two million monthly participants!