Whilst bingo has historically been popular on the Isle of Wight and in England in general, the way that we are playing bingo has changed enormously over the years. Many bingo halls have closed their doors for good, but thanks to online advancements, the game remains as popular as ever.
The island has a history of hosting bingo halls, and island residents have been able to play the game for several decades now. For example, the Arcadia Amusements building was once a bingo hall, before becoming an amusements hall. Just this October, plans were announced for the building to become a pool hall. Yet, with online sites offering jackpot priced on bingo games, it is possible that more people are playing bingo than ever, enticed by new forms of bingo including branded games based on TV shows like Deal or No Deal. Rather than falling into the trap of being seen as an ‘old-fashioned’ game, bingo has diversified and found a new lease of life.
That isn’t to say that playing bingo in-person does not still happen on the Isle of Wight. Bingo halls like Leo Leisure in Ryde remain open and welcome players every week, boasting a dazzling history as one of the biggest attractions on the island. In the 50s it was known for boasting a beautiful ballroom and a wonderful theatre and cinema room. To this day, the venue remains a hub for locals to socialise and enjoy themselves.
No-one is suggesting that online bingo can replicate that feeling of community engagement. Friends have met in bingo halls every week for years on end. However, the growth in online technology in the past decade has complemented the island’s history of bingo playing, rather than erasing it. Players have the option to enjoy one method of playing or the other, or even both if they so desire.
Bingo has changed
The advancement in computer graphics technology and the increased sophistication of online betting sites have opened up new ways for bingo fans to play the game that they love. While the basic rules of bingo are adhered to, in that the player should aim to tick off as many numbers as possible to achieve ‘bingo’ before anyone else, digital developers have started to play around with the backdrop of the game. Branded bingo slot games based on popular sports or activities like the Footy Frenzy game or Luck of the Irish add another layer to the playing experience, and potentially open the game up to a new generation of players. New types of bingo games are even cropping up in other areas of the country.
No-one really knows what the future will hold for bingo, but the game’s popularity appears to be in rude health for now. Bingo has been played on the Isle of Wight for years, and that trend looks likely to continue in one way or another. Whether playing the game online or in-person, players have more choice than ever on how and where they wish to play the game.