Bingo halls struggling in Canada

May 18, 2010 - by Gladys · Filed Under London Bingo News Leave a Comment 

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We’ve already written how the number of bingo halls has fallen over recent years in the UK, and it seems that we’re not the only country to witness this.

The Canadian market has seen a massive fall in the number of halls. One of the worst affected areas is Ontario, which has gone from 200 halls to a miserly 70. As well as the many people who have lost their jobs as bingo halls close a big loser are charities. Approximately 3000 charities obtain some of their income from bingo, which used to gain more than $250 million a year from various halls.

Lynn Cassidy, the Executive Director of the Ontario Charitable Gaming Association said “The industry has declined due to competing forms of entertainment and that’s not only the rapid expansion of government gaming in the past 10 years – race tracks with slots, charity casinos, the large commercial casinos – but also other forms of entertainment that people have today, like movies and the internet, home theatre and that kind of thing. We need to update the whole industry, we need to modernize the industry. We’re in a world of technology and we need to move forward that way.”  Even some of the biggest UK bingo hall giants like Gala Bingo and Mecca Bingo are feeling the pinch with the live bingo scene

Another factor is the spread of online bingo, which has gained popularity over recent years. In  bid to boost numbers to previous levels Ontario has slowly increased its electronic bingo halls, with 5 eBingo gaming sites in the area, including both computerised and traditional bingo options. These seem to have worked, gaining a more diverse group of players to include both men and also younger participants. There is also pressure on the government to allow bingo halls to include slot machines and other gaming technology.

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