Bingo online – a new social network?

If you were asked to describe a typical profile of a bingo player, I bet the words ‘pensioner’ and ‘grey hair’ would be part of the equation.  This is because historically this is exactly the type of person that would play the game, however since this industry has been overhauled thanks to the introduction of the internet, this description is now redundant.  Whilst the gender percentage still sways towards females (70% female, 30% male in the UK), other trends are quite surprising.  The majority of online bingo players are women aged 35 to 44 and most are either part time or full time employees.  They play bingo online after work to relax, but most significantly, to socialise.

Friends

Friends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bingo online is a rocketing industry fuelled a large part by the ability to network and socialise with your fellow players.  The industry has recognised this and now actively facilitates this trend.  For example, sites like Bingodrome have features like the Roomie Gallery where like Facebook players can post their profiles, photos, bibliographies, advice and blogs.  The atmosphere in the Roomie Gallery is warm and friendly and buzzing with activity.

WinkBingo.com was one of the first companies to create its own social network.  Its premise is very similar to Facebook as it allows users to create their own profiles, create groups and interact with fellow members.  This is just a typical example of how far your social networking can go by registering with an online bingo company.

Another popular feature of online bingo is their chat rooms which are managed by the ‘chat host.’  Chat rooms are like Skype i.e. instant messaging.  It allows players to meet each other, discuss tactics and share information.  It is thought that players choose their online bingo provider based on their ability to network and make friends.  This may sound strange but many people have formed friendships on these sites which have resulted in them meeting up in the outside world. Popular social sites include Bingo3X and Mecco Bingo as these sites lend themselves well to social networking.

There is an online bingo company that has taken this social networking concept further by introducing ‘Bingocams.’  This is a website which has a webcam feature, again similar to the Skype with video concept, so that members can chat and play face to face in cyber world.

Thanks to the introduction of the internet, online bingo is now appealing to the mass market and a wider age range.  Members range between the ages of 18 and 80 and all share their common love of the game.  They are able to take this further thanks to the social side of online bingo via chat rooms, social networking sites and even Bingocams!  Thanks to all these trends, bingo online is indeed well established in the social networking industry.

Gamble Aware (www.gambleaware.co.uk) is managed by the Responsibility in Gambling Trust, an independent charity which funds treatment, research and education about responsible gambling. The website has been developed by a Task Force made up of representatives from the Gambling Commission, DCMS, academia and industry.

Gary Beal

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