The appeal and the story of Slingo

The online gaming industry has gotten more and more popular over the years.

The arrival of the internet has seen gambling service operators make the most of the business opportunities the World Wide Web has to offer.

Now a generation of players has its favourite games at their fingertips. They can leap online and get playing whenever they feel like it, rather than just when establishments online.

Of course, in the industry itself, competition is fierce, with operators using every legitimate tactic possible to attract new players. They make games to appeal to all tastes. You name it; you’ll find it on the internet, and it’s led to the creation of games such as Slingo.

But just what is Slingo?

How did Slingo come about?

Originally, Slingo was the idea of a New Jersey businessman and started out as a bit of fun, a trial, free-to-play game. Sal Falciglia was a passionate gamer and gambler and realised there was a way to blend bingo and slots and create something new and exciting from it.

Sal started to take apart old slot machines and put together something new. Unfortunately for him, it took too much physical strength to actually lift his new machine and carry it around to pitch his new game to potential investors.

He knew he was onto something, however. Like any enterprising businessperson, he didn’t give up on his game. Instead, he looked for a better solution.

He soon found it: video games. They’re not heavy… not heavy at all and it was into this direction that Sal carried his idea for Slingo.

Slingo went online on the AOL platform in 1996. Although AOL had some initial doubts, they saw the potential and, much to their pleasure, no doubt, Slingo ripped through the competition. The game was so simple to play and, generally, a lot of fun to play, too, which is partly why it became such a hit.

Slingo moved online in the 1990’s and has been a popular online casino game ever since.

How do you play it?

If you’re not familiar with Slingo, you can soon get into the swing of it and enjoy the game just as much as all the other players out there. Slingo is a cross between traditional bingo and slots. Perhaps it’s this incorporation of the much-loved bingo into the game that contributes to its success.

You have a 5×5 grid. Below the grid is a set of reels. Basically, you just spin the reels and then check your grid to see if any of the numbers or symbols on it match the ones on the reels. It’s like checking your bingo card.

You should also try to build as many points as possible. You get 20 spins in a game for your stake and you must use them within a certain time frame.

Although Slingo is a combination of bingo and slots, if the truth be told it’s closer to slots than to bingo. That’s because the reels will also display bonus symbols, such as jokers, gold coins, super jokers and free spins, all of which you’re likely to find on the classic version of Slingo.

The popularity of Slingo and online gambling

It’s not surprising Slingo has become popular. Bingo exploded in the UK after British soldiers, who had been playing bingo during wartime, returned home from the conflict and continued to play. In the 1960s, the UK government brought in the Betting and Gaming Act in the 1960s and bingo went from being a simple game to being a business for some people.

The game is part of an industry that’s experienced huge growth. In 2011, the gross gambling yield of online gambling operators in the UK was around £8.4 billion. A quick look at stats from 2018 sees this yield jump from that to approximately £14.4 billion, with remote gambling making a massive contribution to this.

The UK government enforced a Betting and Gaming Act in the 1960’s to put restrictions in place for casino games.

Tech wizards and savvy designers paving the way

The growth in popularity of online gambling isn’t an accident, even if the public’s reaction to Slingo might have been a surprise to the creator.

Operators have all sorts of ways to appeal to players and have made their games as accessible as possible, with apps and mobile-friendly websites so that players can play on the go and wherever they are.

They also follow the latest trends in tech: they know that falling behind could easily see them surrender players to competitors who are technically more advanced. If a game takes a long time to load or the website doesn’t have all the relevant security certificates, they know the player may click away and move to a competitor whose website loads faster or is more secure.

Then there are the game designers. Appealing colours, attractive graphics, straightforward gameplay, a good soundtrack and more all keep the player returning. User experience is important.

Will the world see more games like Slingo?

Online slots are easy to play. Online bingo is easy to play. This all adds to the enjoyment, whereas complexity or a greater call for strategy — Texas Hold’em poker, for instance, is very strategic and, despite not being too difficult to understand, it pays to have a solid grasp of the game before you sit down to a game and play for serious money — could detract from it and deter players from playing.

It means there’s every chance we could see more games like Slingo. Variations of bingo are attracting new crowds of players, who are looking for something fresh, fun and exciting. With tech becoming more and more advanced, the industry can expect to see operators catering the demands of players and, hopefully for them, attracting new players.

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