People play bingo for the fun of the game
You read a lot in the media these days about the extent to which people gamble - and these are understandable concerns. But when it comes to the analysis of gambling stats there are two things to bear in mind.
Firstly - the stats include state lottery tickets which rather skews the whole picture. Most people buying a lottery ticket each week and having a little fun whilst dreaming about multi millions on an "it could be you" type of basis wouldn't see themselves as out and out gamblers even though it is, technically, gambling.
And the second thing to bear in mind is that the statistics usually include bingo players whether online or in real bingo halls. Again, this is understandable and bingo is, technically speaking, yet another form of gambling.
But unlike other forms of gambling, most people aren't playing bingo with a serious expectation or realistic of winning money - and certainly not over a long time period. We all know it's a game of chance in which the odds are firmly stacked against us - but it's fun. So it's important to remember that people play bingo for the fun of the game first and foremost. Anything else is a bonus.
True, it's rather like the lottery in that it's fun to dream of a big win - and many of us do choose to play bingo games with big progressive jackpots on offer for that very reason; we like to dream about "what if". If you click here to play bingo online, for example, you'll quickly see that there are a lot of opportunities to win big progressive jackpots online with some providers (though not all). But this is much more in hope than in any realistically grounded "expectation". Most of us play for the fun of the game first, and the socialisation second.
Of course the online socialisation is very different to the old-fashioned bingo hall. But hundreds of thousands of bingo players are socialising online and in a safe environment - and having a lot of fun along the way.
What's more, when you're playing bingo online you don't even have to mark the card if you're having too much fun in the chat rooms or if you're doing something else at home like preparing dinner or anything else for the matter.
So yes, bingo is gambling of a sort but it's much more complicated than that and many of us would play the game for free if it offered the chance to play anyway and to socialise with friends - and people we haven't met yet whether in real life or online.
At the same time, many of the sites also offer big bonuses for new players - so we may as well take advantage of those and play for progressive bonuses. After all - having fun whilst playing is one thing, but we don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth if we don't need to!