Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Why It's Cool to Go to Bingo Now; ONCE Seen as a Game for Pensioners, Bingo Is Now Becoming Increasingly Popular with People of All Ages. LAURA WOODCOCK Reports

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Why It's Cool to Go to Bingo Now; ONCE Seen as a Game for Pensioners, Bingo Is Now Becoming Increasingly Popular with People of All Ages. LAURA WOODCOCK Reports

Article excerpt

HEN parties and groups of 20 somethings - no not a scene from a nightclub or bar on a Saturday night - but a bingo hall.

Because what was once seen as a game for pensioners who see the game as the perfect opportunity to have some fun, relax and socialise, has now become popular with the younger generations.

But why the surge? Has bingo suddenly become cool? Roxburgh Richmond, manager of Crown Bingo in Redcar, seems to think the game's current high profile has helped it become popular with younger players.

He said: "The game has been brought to the forefront.

"We are seeing it more and more on the TV, newspapers have got it in and there is online bingo.

"This has made people think 'let's give it a go'.

"This has helped the commercial bingo clubs.

"People are starting off online but you haven't got the atmosphere there."

Roxburgh, 53, who been manager at Crown Bingo for seven months and started off working in bingo in the 70s, added: "What you will also find is, it is somebody's daughter or granddaughter or even son and grandson coming in.

"They come along as families here. There has been two or three generations sat around the same table here."

But has this rise in popularity of the game meant more people are coming forward with gambling problems? Looking at statistics from GamCare - a national provider of information, advice, support and free counselling for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling - it seems not.

The organisation's figures show that despite bingo's popularity, it is not one of the main sources of gambling activities for people with an addiction, with 3% of calls from problem gamblers relating to the game.

Roxburgh agreed: "Bingo has always been the softer option. It should be fun and if it's not, something is going wrong."

GamCare's statistics do, however, show that there has been an increase in the amount of 20-somethings playing. …

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