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Pinays for Bingo!

The game that has a special place in our hearts

Bingo, the game that has a special place in our hearts.

Photo courtesy of WiseMarketing and

Bingo, that globally renowned game of chance that involves marking off numbers on cards, has long had a place in Philippine history. The game was first brought into the archipelago by religious missionaries and their churches. Not long after, bingo became a regular attraction in fairs that were set up during town festivals.   Fast-forward to this decade, and the beloved amusement continues to be significant in different areas, such as charity work and other types of fundraising activities. Pinoy Bingo Night, the country’s version of America’s National Bingo Night, also garnered unsurprisingly high ratings while it aired throughout 2009. For such an esteemed game, no less than the controversial (yet always relevant) Kris Aquino was taken on as the host.

Pinoy Bingo Night, hosted by Kris Aquino. According to gaming authority Bingo Reviewer, women usually comprise around 90% of players in land-based bingo games and 80% in bingo’s online version. The female dominance in bingo has evidently affected gaming companies’ marketing strategies, as well as the portrayal of the game in pop culture. For instance, Bingoleras, a film by director Ron Bryant, tells of six single women, one priest, and a bingo marathon that changes all their lives. Even the game’s online counterpart is not excluded in the feminization of bingo, with high-ranking boutique site, Iceland Bingo they deliberately adorn their site with pink and orange aesthetics so they have a certain appeal that draws in women. Even the fact that outspoken actress Kris Aquino hosted bingo on television points to an eagerness to connect with the game’s female market. Furthermore, several gaming companies have begun to employ female front-end developers who are able to provide a feminine look and feel to online gaming sites. This new niche for female employees in gaming sites comes as another triumph in the struggle for more women in the workforce. In 2013, the MasterCard Worldwide Women’s Advancement Index showed that the Philippines placed third among other countries in the Asia Pacific region for participation of women in the workforce, closely following New Zealand and Australia. Hopefully, the online gaming trend creates more job opportunities for bingo-loving Pinays, as well.