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Bingo - why it's different to other forms of gambling

Bingo in the UK, or ‘housey-housey’ as it used to be known, actually originated in Italy back in the 1500s, and has become one of our most loved community games since being introduced to these shores in the late 1700s. While it’s technically a form of gambling, there are a number of things which distinguish it from other popular gambling games.

First off, bingo prides itself on being highly sociable, creating tight-knit communities both in bricks and mortar establishments and, more recently, with bingo games online. The social draw of the game is unique as, unlike poker for example, the players have nothing to lose or gain from interacting with other players. As a result, and in contrast to other online gambling games (such as roulette or poker, where etiquette usually dictates that people keep very much to themselves), one of the most notable features of bingo games online is the sophisticated chat functionality that allows players to interact throughout play.

Moreover, the simplicity of chance – eliminating any edge that an individual might have – means that every player, regardless of background, age or knowledge, has an equal chance of winning. As the popularity of online bingo in the UK grows so do the jackpots, and there’s nothing more exciting than knowing that your chances of winning (what can often be a considerable sum of money) are just as great as anybody else’s.

In addition, it’s worth remembering that the majority of gambling games offer an advantage to the ‘house’. For example, in blackjack players are betting against the dealer, who not only has the upper hand in terms of odds, but is also playing to win money for the casino. Bingo providers, on the other hand, are not competing against their own players. The amount offered in prizes is allocated and then distributed to winners in full, so it’s of no consequence to the operator who the winner should be. This, in a nutshell, means users can play online bingo games without worrying about going up against the all-powerful house.

So, the removal of the house edge, the open field and the inclusive nature of bingo all make it distinct from other forms of gambling – it is this last point, however, that is the crux of the matter. Social networks may not be for everyone, but the communal qualities of online bingo games essentially work in a similar way - instantly connecting like-minded people who share a passion. That’s what truly makes bingo different from other gambling games; whether it’s over the internet or down the local town hall, the social side of the game is as important – perhaps more important – than the money. What other form of gambling can say that?

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