America is known as the land of hopes and dreams. The first immigrants to the United States brought with them certain ideals that they held close to their hearts, which they in turn taught to their children, and the children of children that followed, until we saw this culture culminate in the rise of a great international power. Instead of becoming immigrants struggling to start a new life for them, we can instead learn these values from an activity called bingo.
Bingo, a game of chance, is a very American game despite having a long history reaching back to medieval Europe. In the land of the free, bingo is often used for entertainment and for raising money for charities and events. This reminds us of the concern that Americans have for others, where their actions as a great country need to help the helpless countries with no expectations in return. Bingo for Americans is for entertainment and used for trying to help others, usually at a cost to themselves with little concern for return.
There is no restriction on the number of cards that can be played by one single player, thus once again reminding that bingo in America falls in line with the American characteristic of being industrious.
Americans are united as a nation, but they have personalities that made America great by investing in various industrial pursuits, such as steel, lumber, weapons and food. As such great feats cannot be done without investing ones time and money so does bingo also require you to make a small deposit for the possibility of greater returns.
In bingo, we have terms like “Jumping the gun,” “False Alarm” and so on. Americans are taught from birth that they are to be fearless, to believe in their own destiny and to never be afraid to speak or to oppose anything. They are free to speak their mind on anything, regardless of whether the timing is correct or whether they are perceived to be right or wrong.
What scholars call American realism is the cornerstone of American culture? They are raised to value and respect individuality and the reality in which they live, they are taught to never give up even if everyone else was against them, to value realism over feelings. In free bingo, this sense of realism has also crept in. Bingo relies on “calling” to determine the winners, and if a person misses a call or calls too early, the game does not allow for them to win on that particular pattern. This is where the other cards come into play if there are others, because missing one card does not mean you miss them all.
These three characteristics are what make up the American Spirit. It has been attained through hard work, and also has not been achieved for free; so bingo is also the same. Bingo in few ways is the manifestation of the idea that any American is free to work hard, be successful, and to benefit from their hard work and some luck of course. And any American can rise from being poor to being one of the richest people. And once that success is achieved, it must be maintained. In bingo, one cannot be great immediately. Getting a few free bingo games is good, and in the long run, the more games you play the better you will get. While bingo halls across the United States are closing because of declining players, it can be revived with a little hard work and reviving the spirit!
Gamble Aware (www.gambleaware.co.uk) is managed by the Responsibility in Gambling Trust, an independent charity which funds treatment, research and education about responsible gambling. The website has been developed by a Task Force made up of representatives from the Gambling Commission, DCMS, academia and industry.