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Weigh in on Online Bingo

Dear Aunt Bingo:
I would like your opinion on online Bingo.
I have come rather late to trying Bingo on the Internet, but with the winter weather in my area being so treacherous this year, days and weeks were going by when it was simply too risky to drive anywhere—especially in the evening, which is when I play Bingo.
After a while I really began to miss playing, and mentioned this to my sister-in-law when we were talking on the phone. She is a sometimes Bingo buddy of mine and I was curious if she was feeling the same way. She said that although she is not quite the “Bingo Nut” I am, she had begun to miss it as well and had started playing it on the Internet.
This idea had never occurred to me, so I went online and did a search for online Bingo. It was amazing how many different Bingo sites were out there. There were ones for money and ones just for fun. There were also a bunch of apps you could download and play on your phone. So, with the snow and ice coming down again outside, I sat comfortably at my dining room table and took my first tour of online Bingo.
I decided to go with one of the “money” games where you bet and win actual money, because I thought this would be more exciting and fun than non-money games. Plus, a number of these that I found started you off with a pot of money so you could try it out before using any of your own money. I picked a site and dove in.
It was a little weird at first, but after a few games I got the hang of it and pretty soon was playing multiple cards and slowly got used to all the blinking and flashing numbers and images. There was also a place where players were chatting, but it was mostly silly stuff, which I thought was distracting.
I played at one site until my “bank” got low and switched to another one. I did this two or three times. I also tried a couple of the non-money Bingo games, which I also liked, but felt to me more like kids games than actual competitive Bingo.
The thing that struck me most about Internet Bingo was how VERY different it is from Bingo in a real Bingo hall. The way it looks and feels is different, the way you play is kind of different, and the fact that you are sitting in your home or could be playing in a booth in donut shop or on a bench in a shopping mall is odd.
It’s tough to admit it when you’re a stick-in-the-mud, but to be honest, online Bingo just doesn’t do it for me. Even though there are other players, it felt like I was playing alone. Plus, the game felt very automatic/electronic, while I am a traditional dauber and paper Bingo gal.
I am certainly glad I tried it, and will probably play again every once in a while. But it is clear to me that Bingo will never really be Bingo for me unless I’m sitting in a folding chair with other players around me in a real Bingo hall.
—Amy C., Indiana, via email

Dear Amy:
Online Bingo has become hugely popular, which I’m sure you discovered when you began your search. Many of the games offer free gaming money at the start to give players an opportunity to test the site and get used to its operation. Once you get the hang of it, of course, and if your goal is to win money, you will eventually have to wager your own money in order to do so.
I have dabbled in Internet Bingo, and from the start realized, like you, that it has a very different feel from playing Bingo in an actual Bingo hall.
For many enthusiasts, that is exactly what they like about it—it’s private, it’s convenient, it’s flashy and modern, and it has a casino vibe they find fun and exciting.
While it is fair to say that it is a good occasional substitute for playing in a Bingo hall, if you are a true social Bingo player—which it sounds like you are—online Bingo doesn’t come close. But on a nasty winter’s day when the snow is falling and the roads are a mess, Internet Bingo can be a godsend.
—Aunt Bingo

Share your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527, Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at Be sure to include your name and address (you can request that your name not be published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her columns.

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