Video Bingo Machines: Too Little, Too Late
- Updated: June 2nd, 2015
Traditional British Bingo Halls are finally hitting the digital age with the addition of ‘Video Bingo Machines ‘, or ‘eBingo’ for short. What is the point of these new contraptions?
Similar to the machines you might find in a pub, bingo goers can expect a more streamlined playing experience, at the cost of social satisfaction. Each player is focused on their own screen, so there is little chance to bond over your tickets, much like when a family are all glued to their iPhones at the dinner table.
On demand calls only reinforce this isolation, as play stations operate out of sync with each other. It is important to point out that these video bingo machines link together, but not nearly as widely as online bingo networks, limiting the community feel even in the instant message feature.
Sadly, there are very few promotions in eBingo compared to the generous bonus offers you would find on an average bingo site, such as the lack of ‘Happy Hour’ games or ‘Goody Give-Aways’. At least progressive jackpots are still available, and the high return to player (typically 80% to 90%) gives players a winning boost. However, fixed payment prices mean that cheap options like penny bingo are out of the question.
Some benefits can be found in eBingo. For example, players can purchase more tickets online then they would normally be able to keep track of by hand. Also, there is no waste of paper from used tickets, and players still have the satisfaction of daubing out numbers themselves with the click of a button! Another benefit of eBingo is its wide range of customization options. Special modes like Turbo challenge can be activated for a fast-paced, thrilling game experience.
Perhaps its biggest flaw is the time limit players are restricted to in eBingo. After completing a winning card, there is a 3 second window to hit the bingo button. Take too long and you risk someone else earning the prize next call. Needless to say, this can be very upsetting for elderly players who can’t move as quickly as they used to, or even just disadvantageous for the average day-dreamer.
All in all, we already have online bingo to take care of our tech needs. Bringing machines into the bingo hall defeats the point of a traditional experience. . You could just play at home on your laptop! Is eBingo really worth a long trek out of the house?