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B12

"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles CEO, The Sports Network

Bingo Hall
Bingo halls now hold less value to participants as Internet bingo games continue to grow in popularity.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -- That is not the latest diet supplement. Nor is it the bra size for the newest and sexiest Barbie doll on the market at the recent Toy Fair in New York City. It is not the apartment number of your favorite girl friend and it assuredly has no relation to the most recent missiles and/or aircraft being devised by the U.S. Air Force. Nicholas Cage movie? Nah. Tom Cruise? Nope. U.N. Resolution giving Saddam 12 days to disarm or face dire consequences? I don't think so.

It is the winning call for Bingo, one of the latest and hottest games to capture the public's attention (no imagination required) on the Internet. Not that Bingo is new to the world. Adam and Eve held sessions for the various animals with which the Garden of Eden had been populated when they were not munching on apples and committing sins that made us all the better for it.

The audience for this most recent phenomenon to captivate the surfing citizens of the worldwide web is sourced from the same farm that grows brain dead contestants for the popular TV show, "Wheel of Fortune." Their attention and interest level is activated by anything perceptibly amusing and is certainly enhanced through the lack of mental exercise. Welcome Bingo.

It is the game of choice for those inhabiting the local home for the aged, churches of all denominations, Indian reservations that dot the landscape of Canada and the United States and provides a respite of sorts, a happy distraction, for the multitudes that fill the buses heading to Atlantic City, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun on any day of the week. It keeps the elderly off the streets and is now ready to give solitaire and tic tac toe a run for the money.

Bingo What better place for an enterprising and creative entrepreneur to post a game of Bingo for prizes, cash and gifts, than on the Internet? All you need is some software, a domain name, listing on every search engine from Beijing to Budapest, Paris to New York, Cannes to Costa Rica, Malaysia to Manhattan and Seoul to San Francisco complemented by a modest marketing campaign and then off to your next project while the servers begin to whir and keep count. The wheels ostensibly spin in what is perceived as honest and automated fashion, the addition of a lovely voice only serves to enhance the presentation as each numbered ball is displayed and the variety of games to be played are as expandable as one's imagination allows.

Bingo is the pari-mutual event of the Internet. Money in and percentage of the revenue flows back out to the winning players. It is slots with certainty and the regularity that Metamucil promises. Pay to play, track the squares called and someone always wins. It has the simplicity of a Kindergarten reader.

Is Bingo alone enough if you are inclined to travel this route and become the owner of a Bingo site? Probably not. That is the conundrum facing gaming sites all the time - i.e., the degree of entertainment with which to populate the site. Pleasure and relaxation are fine, recreational enjoyment a much sought after non-activity, but a singular aspect of it is usually insufficient. That is why casinos world-wide offer patrons a host of games in which to indulge and titillate their fancy and fantasies. "B12" can weary after a bit. Even the diversification of the games can wear out its welcome with the mat becoming worn and old. Users and players/punters will start to wander more than the Israelites leaving Egypt to escape the Pharaoh.

The NFL will obviously decry this as quickly as they rejected advertising for Las Vegas as a resort destination while members of the teams it lauds without end list spousal abusers, drug users, drunken drivers, rapists, accused murderers and a host of others with similar societal violations. Bingo will predictably be labeled the tool of the Devil and B12 summarily removed from all shoe sizes within the league.

But Bingo will rise as just one of many games being offered to patrons of gaming sites these days and be converted into an activity that creative minds from the corners of one continent to the other will take beyond the trite and mundane, that to which most of the world has become accustomed. They will follow the lead of Ladbrokes in adapting Keno to a new experience, "Balls," and doing remarkably well with it. Coral Eurobet followed suit shortly thereafter with their own distinct and divergent version. They, in effect, met the challenge.

That is the gauntlet laid down on the Internet presently. The holders of gaming sites will have to meet the competitive obstacle and overcome it. They can be expected to surround Bingo with supportive adventures and information of interest to potential players. The name of this game is to create satisfaction, comfort and recreation. If the users can win a few dollars in the process and not really lose that much while seeking to add to their coffers, great. If they can find other things with which to occupy themselves and tickle their fantasy and/or interests of the moment, better?much better.

B12 just might do it for them, and possibly yourself if you choose to play. It is probably, however, not enough in and of itself. It is good, maybe great. Alone, it will be insufficient over the long term and, quite possibly, the short one as well.

Is Bingo here? Yes. As a stand alone site? An individual choice but not recommended. As part and parcel of a larger gaming effort? Absolutely, it is already out there. Will it be spoken of separate and apart from gambling itself? You gotta be kidding!