The simple fact is that online bingo sites cater for women. There is no underhand or devious reason for this; merely that around 80% of players are female.
To investigate how sites market their look, attitude and overall persona to attract and retain their women players we must first understand why the statistics are so high in the female favour.
There are three main reasons why bingo is stereotypically a woman’s game.
The first is that even in our modern society today, men are generally still expected to be, and indeed are, the main breadwinners of a household. This is particularly the case in more developed parts of the world like the UK. Therefore there are more women who are either unemployed as they don’t need to earn too, work part time hours to fit around childcare provision, or are potentially more bored with jobs that make their lives in general more unfulfilling. Playing online bingo may relieve them socially and financially from the same old routines they find themselves in.
This is difficult territory to discuss, as it does suggest a negative reason for the explanation behind the female bingo player phenomena. And it also may patronise women by grouping them all together into a stereotype which only serves to fuel misogynistic ideas.
However the second reason for the popularity of online bingo sites with a predominantly female player base is more scientifically and psychologically based. It has been proven that women are generally less inclined to gamble, and are more likely to play bingo because of the low financial risk involved with the game. With the prevalence of free bingo and 1p tickets, it’s not hard to see why online bingo is particularly attractive to anyone.
The third and major reason as to why most online bingo players are women is that they are much more social than men, generally speaking. Online bingo sites pride themselves on having particularly lively chat rooms running alongside actual bingo games. Women tend to enjoy meeting and chatting to new people more than men do, who prefer using their free time to watch television, play video games or socialise with their existing friends.
Men generally look for more dynamic ways to reduce stress in their lives. Online bingo being a slow paced and socially centred game by nature is therefore not as appealing a relaxing activity to the male gender.
Whether it is true or not, pink and purple are traditionally seen as colours associated with the feminine, and are colours supposedly favoured by women.
This is very much the basis for the design of many online bingo sites. Good examples would be Butlers Bingo, Vampire Bingo and Diva Bingo. They know that pinks and purples are the safest to go for in terms of attracting a female demographic.
Most of the women playing online bingo are of a particular age; between 35 and 50. Although pink would be an obvious choice of colour to attract females, a purple colour scheme is also effective for attracting this age demographic as the site comes across as having a more mature and trustworthy attitude.
Any bright and colourful design is used in general otherwise; as it creates a sense of fun and acts as a call to action (i.e. to play bingo). There are other basic design features that bingo sites may employ to appeal to women specifically.
The writing across the site will tend to be more sloping and gentle, and use a cuter looking font. To complement this, you will see few sharp edges or lines to boxes and sections on a bingo site. Women generally prefer curves and softer lines to harsher geometric outlines. This creates more of a feeling of warmth, and an online bingo site using these design features will generally come across as being less intimidating.
Characters are a big psychological tool in female targeted online bingo site design too. Women generally are drawn towards things that think have worth to be protected (e.g. animals, babies). This leads to the perception of these things being ‘cute’. This explains why we see the prevalence of sites such as Butterfly Bingo and Hippo Bingo.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the lure of an attractive male character. Sing Bingo featuring a rockstar mascot and Booty Bingo having a pirate welcoming players to its site obviously both understand the importance of sex appeal in online bingo!
Away from the look and feel of site, do online bingo companies use a particular vocabulary to appeal to women players too?
Studies have shown that women are more attracted to certain words than men. These include love related words, celestial terms such as stars and heaven, and those related to royalty, such as King and Queen. This then explains the existence of the sites Moon Bingo and Heart Bingo.
Sites know that women generally relate to a more personal and inclusive language spectrum than to a completely fact-based style. On their promotions and offers pages they must use words to excite the player into playing bingo games, but this is done in a way that mentions how much ‘fun’ you will have, how many people you can ‘chat’ with, and highlights the rewards players can get through social interactions, such as referring a friend.
But are online bingo sites guilty of making too many sweeping generalisations in this regard? A pretty design might be more attractive than a corporate style site, but surely there must be more to a woman’s decision as to what site to play on than just looks?
It could be argued that Gala Bingo, one of the UK’s biggest online bingo sites, doesn’t meet many, if any of the criteria mentioned above.
With a blue and yellow colour scheme and no cute characters to be seen on the site, what is it about Gala that keeps attracting so many female players?
They have really embraced the social side of bingo play, highlighting the many chat rooms they have and the community feel this fosters.
The inclusion of the popular TV show Coronation Street into the theme of many games on their website is another obvious draw for the arguably mostly female fan base of the show. Gala also feature Ant and Dec’s Saturday Takeaway, which is another firm favourite with the online bingo demographic.
Plenty of sites actually even look quite masculine in design, such as Betfred Bingo and Betfair Bingo.
But the point remains that actually the most popular sites with the majority female players are probably the most popular because they are the best sites overall. They probably have the most attractive offers and prizes, have a range of different games and are just high quality playing platforms.
In conclusion, women may be more likely to play on a pink site than men, but this can’t be generalised to say that all women are looking for when choosing a bingo site to play on is a cute feminine looking appearance.
Appearances may initially attract, but it’s the substance of the site that really counts in the end.