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Bingo on the High Seas

Apr 1, 2008
After the UK passed a draconian smoking ban last year land based bingo halls saw a drastic decrease in the number of players attending games. As soon as the ban took effect bingo halls were faced with a significant drop in revenue. Many Bingo providers were publicly traded companies and watched in horror as their stock prices plummeted.

Many long term employees were laid off and a chill descended on the brick and mortar bingo community in the UK.

Statistics show that about 60% of bingo players smoke which means a majority of players would no longer be able to smoke during games.

Bingo halls scrambled to find a solution that would lure smokers back to their usual bingo games. Solutions included building outdoor shelters for smokers during inclement weather or extended breaks between games so smokers could go outside and indulge. None of these solutions proved effective and smokers quit playing in droves.

This October one UK based bingo provider came up with a truly original solution. Since the smoking ban does not apply at sea one company has taken the unusual step of providing two day bingo cruises between Hull and Rotterdam. The first trip in October was so successful that others are being planned. The cruise drew rave reviews by players as evidenced by the following quote.
Julie Spicer, from, London, said: "Bingo is a social game.

As a social smoker, I found it great to be able to smoke and play at the same time. Before the trip we were all chatting on-line, joking that we'd have to take heavy coats to smoke out on deck. It was excellent to be able to smoke inside".

Since the passage of the smoking ban online bingo in the UK has been booming. Since the ban does not apply to private homes many players have made the switch to online bingo and the competition to attract these disenfranchised players is fierce.

Online bingo halls are courting potential players with a plethora of promotions, increased deposit and sign up bonuses, and policies that favors players.

A recent survey published by St. Minver, one of the largest providers in the online bingo industry reveals the havoc the smoking ban has inflicted on the land based bingo industry. The results predict a grim future for land based bingo halls in the UK.

62% of bingo players admit to being smokers. This leads us to the conclusion that the same high percentage of traditional bingo club players will be directly affected by the smoking ban.

33% of bingo players who smoke say that they will play less often in bingo clubs than they do at the current time.

10% of bingo players who smoke have said that they will cease playing the game in the traditional club environment when the smoking ban comes into force.

63% of bingo players who smoke intend to play more games at online bingo sites.

Clearly land based bingo halls will see a significant drop in attendance while online bingo halls will benefit from the large numbers of players making the switch to online bingo. It's a players market and conditions have never been more advantageous for those who are considering making the switch to online bingo.
About the Author
Anthony Wayne works in the marketing department of online bingo site BingoHouse in Costa Rica. He is also editor of the Internet Bingo Blog a great source of internet bingo information.
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