As a society, we are often guilty about tagging groups of people and things without knowing the first thing about them, creating tropes to fit a narrative of something being a particular type. Take, for example, the assumptions we make about the four pillars of online gambling in the UK – sports betting, casino, poker and bingo. The first three are often associated with men, and, in a sense, seen as ‘cooler’ than bingo games.
Yes, gambling can bring its share of problems and the use of ‘cool’ is meant very loosely here, but it serves to highlight how marketing and advertising puts bingo in a specific box. When we think of it, we picture bored housewives and grandmothers playing bingo games in idle time. The stereotype is factually incorrect, with the typical bingo player being between the age of 18-34 and at least a quarter of players being men. Sure, women are in the majority, but it’s not as if it is only women playing and, moreover, it’s not just a specific type of person who plays.
Not all players opt for bingo
Above all though, the biggest misconception that might arise from bingo, specifically online bingo, is what is actually found on the sites themselves. If you haven’t been to visit one, you might be surprised. Bingo will play a big roll on the site, of course, but it’s not the only attraction and some players will regard it as almost secondary entertainment compared to what else is found there.
If you take Heart Bingo, a modern, updated site with good reviews, as an example, you will see that bingo gets equal billing to slots and casino games. In fact, many of the casino games are just as ‘serious’ as those you would find at an online casino, with the likes of Atlantic City Blackjack and Caribbean Stud Poker attracting the high-roller type players.
Going further though, you will notice that bingo sites also try to add an extra dimension to the gaming experience. For example, Heart Bingo is affiliated with the radio station of the same name, which can be streamed through the site. Add in the availability of chat games, and you have a social and sensory gaming experience.
‘Mini-games’ big hit with players
Indeed, while Heart Bingo gets plenty of kudos from top bingo review sites, it is not alone in trying to offer something different that traditional bingo games. Many sites offer games that are something of a hybrid between slots and arcade-style games. Many of these titles are offered as ‘mini-games’ in the sense that they can be played on pop out screens as you simultaneously tackle the bingo offering.
Perhaps what is misconstrued above all about bingo sites is the availability of jackpot games. The stereotype suggests that playing online bingo is about playing for low risk and low reward. That’s an assumption that couldn’t be further from the truth. Many bingo games are linked through networks, allowing players to pay in small amounts that create massive jackpots – potentially worth millions. Moreover, jackpot slots are found ubiquitously at bingo sites these days.
The point is that bingo sites might not be to everyone’s tastes. Indeed, one criticism is that they sometimes focus too much on games that are ‘cute’ and ‘fluffy’. Moreover, part of the stereotype has been creating by bingo sites own marketing strategies. However, it’s undeniable that they offer much more than they are given credit for and, perhaps, judged a little unfairly.