“Bingo” (CC BY 2.0) by byzantiumbooks
If you were asked to think of films which featured bingo, how many could you name? Now, how about brainstorming movies which included a casino or table games? Your second list is probably ten times longer than the first.
But why is it that casinos have been used in cinema so much more frequently than bingo? The random ball game has been a key aspect of popular culture for decades, and now it is challenging casino for supremacy in an online setting. It may, therefore, be time for bingo to earn more recognition on the silver screen.
Bingo Has Appeared a Few Times
It should be noted that bingo has appeared a few times in films, but nowhere near as frequently as poker or casino table games. For example, there was a scene in the 2013 comedy, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, when Johnny Knoxville crashed a bingo game. It was also used in Big Momma’s House 2 in 2006.
For such a popular game which enjoys widespread play across a number of countries, this representation doesn’t seem enough. Casinos, on the other hand, have been seen in numerous films over the years. Some movies have been specifically based on the gambling houses, while others have used them as a setting.
When the casino is depicted in film, it is often shown to be a glamorous and opulent setting. There is an emphasis on excitement and the thrill of playing. Martin Scorsese’s 1995 picture, Casino, is a prime example of this. While bingo halls may not be able to compete with casinos in terms of high-stakes drama and opulence, they possess a charm that would suit many a comedy or drama film.
Bingo Is More Popular Than Ever
The main reason why bingo deserves more recognition is the fact that it is more popular now than it has ever been. During the so-called golden age of bingo during the 1980s and 1990s, the game attracted a lot of players. Throughout that period, though, there was a select target audience of older generations. It was also played by a disproportionate number of women.
Now that bingo has moved to an online setting, operators have tried to expand their player demographics by offering a slightly different experience to the one that came before the internet. Along with traditional games, players will now find games that offer a big jackpot at bingo sites of the modern age. This can come in the form of slots and scratch cards, and it is being used as a way to try to entice online casino players to join.
The fact that bingo is so huge now and played by so many people online suggests that it does deserve more recognition in cinema. More people than ever are able to relate to the game, and it has proven to be just as exciting as the casino. Perhaps over the next few years, there will be more of a shift towards showing the ball game on the big screen.