For most players, bingo is a highly social game. No matter whether the games take place at a bingo hall or an online bingo site, bingo players love to socialize. A survey taken in the UK about four years ago showed that the ability to socialize was more important for players than winning a prize or jackpot. Online bingo has taken the game to a whole new level, and players from around the world can socialize while playing. Bingo halls offer players an inexpensive evening out, complete with drinks and plenty of talk. Players can do the same thing from the comfort of their own home, and the drinks are much cheaper. Online bingo jackpots are generally much bigger than those found at land-based bingo halls. The number of players in a game usually determines how large the jackpot will be, and online bingo sites are capable of handling thousands of players for a single game.
Socializing at online bingo sites is a little different from socializing at brick and mortar bingo halls. In live bingo halls, there seems to be an unwritten rule prohibiting conversations during games. In some live bingo halls, talking during a game can get a player banned. At online bingo sites, players are actually encouraged to chat during games. Online players socialize using chat rooms that are moderated by a chat leader. Chat rooms allow players to exchange information such as email addresses, and many online friendships have resulted in real world meetings. There have even been a couple of marriage proposals in bingo chat rooms, and on both occasions, the would-be bride answered ‘yes.’ One bingo site actually paid for the wedding of two players that had met in their chat rooms. Chat rooms have been responsible for bingo player loyalty in many cases. Some chat leaders have achieved cult status and the industry has an annual award for best chat leader of the year.
One online bingo site has taken socializing a step further.
A popular British online bingo site allows players to use webcams to socialize, adding an extra touch of reality. The site, BingoCams, has received industry awards for innovation. Since webcams have been integrated into the chat feature players can communicate using real time streaming video making the games more entertaining. Some bingo sites have set up bingo communities where players can post photos and share information. A recent survey showed that out of 647 players 44$ made real friendships and about 18% resulted in real world meets. Most of those surveyed described their bingo friendships as strong and constructive in nature.