It may not seem like it, but bingo is extremely popular in Europe. Every week, more than three million people play bingo in this continent.
No matter how you look at it, that’s a very large number, even if you compare to the number of people playing other more popular card games around the world.
But there is one thing that could affect this, something that will actually produce positive results in others areas—but something could be detrimental to some businesses: the smoking ban.
The smoking ban was a controversial law that was implemented in the United Kingdom a few years ago. The law prohibits people from smoking inside confined public places.
Before, establishments such as bars, restaurants, and, yes, bingo halls, have special areas where smokers can be situated so they will not affect and interact with the non smokers.
However, with the law in place, even the smoking areas are prohibited. The only place a smoker can do his business is outside the establishment. This means, if a smoker is playing bingo, he will have to go out of the hall just to smoke.
This is extremely inconvenient, especially during winter or summer (or generally seasons of extreme weather). And if you are a smoker, you would understand why this is not exactly convenient.
Now, many businesses are patronized by smokers. Bars, pubs, sports bars, and casinos are generally establishments with a high number of smoking clientele. This should include bingo halls, too.
And the establishments are feeling the effect of this law. In Scotland, the BBC News websites reported that more than 10 pubs were closed down due to a significant decline in their clientele because of the smoking ban. Other establishments are feeling this, too.
The same BBC report said that many bingo halls experienced an eight percent decline in foot traffic because the smokers refuse to be prohibited from their habit. Of course, this doesn’t mean they will automatically give up their bingo playing ways.
Because of alternatives such as bingo TV, online bingo, and mobile bingo, smokers do not even need to go out of their houses just to play bingo. They can play bingo and smoke right inside their own homes.
But does this mean that online bingo owes its popularity to the smoking ban? Not exactly. For one, online bingo has been around longer than the smoking ban.
And for those who really want to play bingo in a brick and mortar store and still want to smoke, there are alternatives for them, too.
They can use electronic cigarettes that emit no smoke at all, hence making them allowable inside enclosed public places.
Besides, every online bingo player would know that even without the smoking ban, online bingo can still become as popular as it is today. Online bingo is exciting and entertaining, and it offers everything traditional bingo can provide.
Smoking ban may have convinced some players, but in the end, even without it, online bingo can still succeed and prosper.