This week has seen a court ruling that could change the way bingo is played, with a major pub chain granted permission to run bingo games. Pub chain Greene King took on the Gambling Commission to appeal over their decision to decline their application to allow linked bingo, a game played on tablets or at terminals, where players join in games with others across the UK. This combines the thrill of online bingo with a more traditional, social approach to the game, and because the games are linked they have the potential to offer large jackpots. Greene King own over 1,000 pubs across the UK, although there's no word on how many of their branches they'd like to run bingo games in. However, this could potentially create a lot of new venues where you can enjoy a game of bingo. Many pubs have struggled in recent years because of a combination of the smoking ban and the general downturn in the economy, and so this important piece of bingo news could be a boost to some struggling locals. Many bingo halls in the UK are struggling too, with statistics showing that there were nearly 600 halls in 2005, yet less than 400 in 2014, meaning that many people who enjoy playing bingo live will be looking for a new venue where they can both play and socialise. Having bingo games in pubs could also help shed the game's reputation as something enjoyed by the older crowd, and online bingo has already gone some way to introducing it to the younger generation. The average age of bingo players has dropped to 26, thanks to apps and online games, and being able to play in pubs could potentially make it even more popular amongst twenty somethings. The ruling will certainly be an interesting turning point for bingo games, and has the potential to change the way that many people play bingo. Whether it brings in new players, increases the prizes available, or just turns online bingo into a more social activity, it's bound to be good news for those who love the game.
- Bingo at your local – will pubs soon be running games?