Bingo is not a sport. Bingo has never been a sport and bingo will never be a sport. It is a game, yes indeed. However, it’s a gambling game. You pay your money, you take your chance, you win some you lose some yadda yah. But it is not a sport. You do not compete against anyone, except a random number generator and you do not enter into any league, or win a gold medal for the most numbers called or amount of times you win. You cannot be the best at bingo because the opportunity for that does not exist within the confines of the game.
There are many poker protagonists who try to convince us that poker is a game of skill and should be considered a sport. Indeed it is promoted like a sport on the many TV channels and with the many poker leagues and tournaments available around the globe, one could be forgiven into thinking it is a sport. While, unlike bingo, you do compete against other people during poker, and you can win a single top prize to be the best, those facts do not constitute it being or becoming a sport. We should all be clear on that and then proceed thus.
Online bingo is just a simple game, with simple strategy and simple results. You pay for a card of either 75 or 90 numbers. A random number generator selects and calls a number, and it is either automatically or manually crossed off on your card. The first person who has a line of numbers crossed off, wins a prize. The first person to cross of a full card wins an even bigger prize…. Simple!
Simplicity is the reason why there are 17 million online bingo and online gambling players in Europe, with 3 million bingo players in the UK and 1 million having already played online bingo in Sweden, a relatively new bingo market, with just a handful of sites.
The only thing bingo and sport have in common in today’s internet driven society is that they are both used to drive the expansion of online social networking.
Bingo has a large social following, with the chat rooms that encompass online bingo sites being used by people to meet and greet others online and to keep in touch with new friends. There are many bingo forums out there too, where people can post their bingo questions and get tips and information all about bingo.
Sports sites such as Eurosport and BBC sport also have a large social network following, with many people accessing sport forums and responding to questions set by these types of sites. Yahoo, who recently joined Eurosport in a pan-european alliance, has created the second largest sports site in Europe with the potential to be the largest social sports network in the world.
Sports fans are known for their strong opinions and adamant supportive behaviour as well as their desire to discuss views and events, and so the internet has now turned what would have normally been a chat about sport among friends into a huge global forum.
Social networking sites create huge fan bases and communities. Bingo too creates a large network of players and on networks like that operated by St Minver, it is easy to see how forums and chat rooms are used almost 1 million players that have registered since its inception.
Forums are traditionally male dominated but research shows that women are becoming more and more the mainstay when it comes to social networking sites. That is certainly the case for Bingo, where women are the more dominant force in playing and in the chat rooms, some 60/% as opposed to men who make up the other 40%.
Try suggesting to those women that bingo might be a sport or skill game like poker and you will soon be directed to a little chat room in the corner, all on your own!