It's strange how the Internet seems to threaten old ways of doing things but also can open up new opportunities for people to do the very things that the Internet seemed to be threatening. This was brought home to me the other day when I was tallking to an older lady who was complaining about how all the Bingo Halls had closed down.
Bingo was and is a popular game in the UK but it has gone through many changes over the years. There was a time when every town had its own Bingo hall and many social clubs would have a break at half time for a game of Bingo. It was seen as very much a working class game but the Bingo Halls provided a place for people to go and socialise. Over the years the smaller Bingo Halls began to close leaving fewer but larger Halls. The game seemed on a slow decline but remained popular.
When the smoking ban was introduced though the Bingo operators complained that this would hurt their business in a big way and that people wouldn't go out for their usual Bingo game if they weren't able to smoke.
This does seem to have happened and Bingo, like the traditional mens bars, has found it hard to adjust to this change. So hence this older lady talking to me about the Bingo and remembering fondly the old Bingo Halls.
More recently though there are signs that Bingo operators have realised that the game could be made attractive to a younger audience. There has been Television advertising which has been aimed at younger people and companies like PartyBingo have realised that Bingo, like poker and casino games, can be developed online. They have started to develop fresh attractive sites which aim to show Bingo as a fun game and to promote an online social element to the game.
Although the old Bingo Halls may have had there day and are missed by some of our older citizens, Bingo seems far from dead. The Internet and the smoking ban may have threatened these older forms of entertainment but as the development of online Bingo demonstrates they can also give such games a fresh twist.