Bingo Centres Find Ways to Attract Players
We talk a lot about charitable bingo at bingo centres.
How can any bingo centre survive financially just on the income from charitable bingo nights? After all, the proceeds from a charity bingo session should go to the charity involved! The bingo centre rightfully takes a small amount to defray its expenses; we would think that the centre would be unable to stay in business from charitable bingo alone.
Yet, some bingo centres are entirely not-for-profit! The Lethbridge Community Bingo Association is connected directly to 38 charities and indirectly to 50 other charitable organizations. The charities supported (in part) by bingo in Lethbridge include youth sports, education, medical facilities, senior citizens organizations, and service organizations. Clearly, the Lethbridge Centre takes enough to keep its doors open whilst producing sizable donations to all these charities.
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Staying at Home is Just so Convenient
For all we encourage people to go out to play bingo, it's still a lot more convenient to play at home online. So how do bingo centres draw people away from online bingo? How do the real centres compete with the major threat posed by cyberspace?
Using Cyberspace to Compete with Cyberspace
First of all, many bingo centres have websites. You can peruse them to find out dates, times, promotions, and anything else the centre feels will bring you in.
Hungry? Go Play Bingo
Many centres have expanded their menus of food and drink. A bingo centre will never be mistaken for a top restaurant but neither is your refrigerator! You can usually get some reasonable fare at a bingo centre these days. If you love to play online in auto-play whilst you munch on a crunchy plate of nachos, you will never get to a bingo centre because the nacho noise is crunch non grata! If you're prepared to make do with some quiet food, well come on out to your local bingo centre!
Having a Big "Sale"
Bingo centres offer many "sales". Some will brag about "big city prizes at small town prices". A popular sale is half-price day. It's usually in the middle of the week when people are least likely to venture out but half-price is still a 50% discount even if you really want to stay home!
Can't Sleep? Go Play Bingo
Some bingo centres are open almost around the clock with daytime, evening, and night bingo sessions. A night session might begin after 10:00 pm and run past midnight but, for the night owls, it's perfect timing.
Follow the Callers
Some bingo callers are stars in their own right. Bingo centres announce the callers in advance. Every caller has his or her fans; go to the centre's website to find out when your favourite caller will appear on stage.
The advent of the internet means that a bingo hall must have every modern amenity to attract players. Many speak about their beautiful, modern venue even in the first sentence of their website. What makes a bingo centre modern? Cleanliness is an obvious consideration but excellent lighting is also a big factor in attracting players. Most centres will talk about "clean and modern" facilities. Some will come right out and say that they have improved the washrooms! Most women will agree that this is priority one!
I hate coming home with back strain! Comfortable seating is a big advantage at a centre. It's really worth the cost of chucking the uncomfortable seats and bringing in better seats!
No Smoking on Premises
Bingo halls used to be known for the large clouds of smoke wafting skyward. A night of bingo meant first-hand or second-hand smoke! Now, many centres are smoke-free. It might send a few players elsewhere, even to their homes where smoking is still acceptable. But it no doubt attracts more players to the centre, knowing that they won't be breathing smoke for hours.
I hate electronic bingo at a hall, but many players find it adds to the experience. I don't see how it can; electronic bingo is what I do at home! But I will defer to the people who like it at a centre; to each his own.
Some centres have truly gone over to the dark side by offering progressive pots. Again, we are talking about promotions that attract players so, if it works, I suppose it's okay even if I personally don't participate in any progressive action.
On Site Gambling
Yes, bingo is also gambling but it's not casino gambling. Some centres now offer a form of casino gambling. This usually involves lotteries and quiet games like keno which is played in a separate area. I sincerely hope that this is not the beginning of a bad trend because one of the big draws for me to bingo centres is the presence of little kids. Bingo is gambling but to little kids it's a fun game to play, helping to cover the numbers, and once in a while getting to yell bingo with mom, dad, gramma, or grandpa!
This one is a no-brainer. No one would ever drive to a centre and pay for parking. Some centres still make you look for street parking which could be problematic in the winter or during inclement weather.
Marketing Comes to Bingo Halls
The challenge to stay in business is quite profound. Most of the convenience lies with online bingo. Centres must sell the enjoyment of playing in a room full of people and, no less important, the ease of playing at a modern bingo facility.