The movie business and gaming have forged an unlikely but strong bond over the last few decades. Directors, scriptwriters and producers have always taken a gamble on films about Las Vegas and all it offers. However, in more recent years, the growth of online gaming has fuelled more betting-based flicks. The now infamous poker scene in James Bond Casino Royale is a great example of this.
The movie came out in 2006 during the height of the online poker boom. Even among casual observers, poker was the hottest game in town and, as such, director Martin Campbell made the poker scenes a central focus of his Casino Royale. British poker professional Tom Sambrook was among the experts drafted in to ensure the action and the player’s reactions were authentic. The end result was an iconic, if not a little overdramatic, poker scene (see video below).
Audiences Love Gambling But What About Bingo?
There are countless other examples of poker and casino games such as blackjack playing a central role on the big screen. However, up until now, bingo hasn’t been part of the mix. That may have been because it’s often seen as a kitsch game played by retirees. However, that’s no longer the case. New bingo sites have not only transformed the game but the players that play. Indeed, today’s platforms not only feature sign-up incentives but high-paced games, slots and progressive jackpots. Then, of course, there’s the fact you can play via a desktop or mobile whenever you like.
For all intents and purposes, bingo is more popular than ever and, more importantly, it’s popular with people below the age of 65. According to the UK Gambling Commission, gross gaming yield for online bingo was up 12.5% in 2019 to £198 million. When you add in revenue from live bingo halls and electronic gaming stations, annual revenue tops £1 billion. More interestingly, various industry reports have shown that approximately 80% of online bingo players are aged 35 to 64. In short, bingo is buzzing and that could help to make it the central subject of a movie.
Bingo Has Undergone a Digital Makeover
Of course, it’s not like we’ve never seen bingo on the big or small screen. Numerous films have featured the call of the balls but never really focused on them. Yet, as we’ve said, it’s a new era. Modern bingo is innovative, exciting and embraces the latest technology.
Could that be enough of a reason to project it onto the big screen? It’s certainly something to think about. What we do know for sure is that bingo isn’t what it used to be. Yes, what we’ve seen in movies and on TV in the past has reflected the game’s old image. However, thanks to the internet, the game has changed for the better. Is that enough for it to play a central role in the next blockbuster? Well, as it is with the famous call of the balls, the results are written in the stars.
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