Channel 4 Study Unearths Young Bingo Rebels
In a televised study on the various subsections of “new millennials”, Channel 4 is attempting to unearth fresh information on what the UK’s residents in their teens and early 20s are doing with their lives. Of course, vital to that is to understand what they like to do in their downtime.
For us, the most interesting revelation had to be the discovery that young people are turning to bingo games in real venues as a means of avoiding a party lifestyle. Since the early 1990s, music and national culture has long encouraged young people to spend their free time in bars, clubs, and at festivals. Now, though, it seems that some are ready to rebel through bingo.
Gary Plays with His Mum
A common perception of the younger generation is that they can be unemployed, lazy, and causing trouble. In fact, just by wearing a hoodie, Gary Dighton from London can draw judgmental glances from the older generations residing in his local area. The 20-year-old told Channel 4 the following: “People around where I live aren’t very polite to me.” And he believes this is because they perceive him to be involved in crime, when he actually isn’t it.
Rather than go out to cause trouble in his free time, Gary instead prefers to take his mum to bingo twice a week. The pair attends a club called Bingo Palace, which is situated within the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre. Conveniently, the club is located in London and within a reasonable travel distance for the mother and son.
In attending the bingo hall, Gary also likes having the opportunity to win money. To date, his biggest win has been recorded as £80. He considers that to be much more productive than just going out to drink his money away.
Rasheeda is Now a Fan
Rasheeda St Louis is another young bingo player from East London. Living in Hackney, she is 22 years old and likes to try out new experiences. After attending salsa and yoga classes, she decided to attend a Mecca Bingo hall. She loved it so much that she has continued to play there.
Her friendly were surprised, though, as they felt that it didn’t fit with their perception of her. However, Rasheeda is delighted to be a bingo player, as it does not fit with the societal perception of young people clubbing, taking drugs, and committing crimes.
More Young People Playing Bingo
To explain the trend, Channel 4 turned to Bingo Palace manager Patrick Kelly. Coincidentally, Kelly is also vice-chair of the UK Bingo Association. These roles have placed him in a prime position to judge the current state of the UK’s retail bingo market.
From what he has seen, Kelly has concluded that the average age of attendees at his club is getting younger. Successful bingo halls getting larger and offering larger bingo jackpots, he says, are driving the appeal. Most importantly, though, he says that young women feel safe when they attend a bingo hall.
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