Australian Council on Children and the Media

Bingo - Storm8 Studios

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Short takes

This app is based on the traditional game of Bingo where players achieve winning patterns through successful crossing out of numbers. Players require good reading skills and short term memory. Caution: this game is saturated by gambling elements and is not recommended for children 15 and under. Parental guidance for children 16 – 18.

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Simulated casino style gambling

This review of Bingo was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 October 2017.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Bingo
Developed by: Storm8 Studios
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: 12+ Frequent/Intense Simulated Gambling
ACCM suggested age: Not recommended for children 15 years and under. Parental guidance for children 16 – 18.
Gambling content advice: Simulated casino style gambling. Player is risking money or something of value on an outcome of an event involving chance when the probability of winning or losing is less than certain. Refer to the gambling section of this review for further details

ACCM review

This review of Bingo contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

Played to Level 21

App description

There are several types of Bingo games that you can play within this app including Classic Bingo, Special Bingo, Tournament and High Roller. These are all based on the traditional game of bingo where numbers are continuously called out until someone has made a successful configuration of numbers (e.g. 5 numbers in a line) and the first player that calls out “Bingo” first wins. Players in this app play against large numbers of other online players at a time for a chance of winning. Successful Bingos earn the player rewards such as coins, gems and tickets, which can be used to unlock features that help the player (e.g. spending 5 gems can activate the auto feature on 1 game – meaning that the numbers are automatically crossed out as soon as they are called, providing the player with an advantage on calling “Bingo” before other players).  If the auto feature is not selected, players will need good object location, reading and memory skills to beat other players.

Reviewers comments

This game probably has the most gambling elements that the reviewer has seen to date. Firstly, in order to play a game of Bingo, players must have enough tickets. These are only rewarded in blocks of time (e.g. you’ll receive 26 tickets in 6 hours). In psychology, this is a type of “schedule of reinforcement” – specifically a “fixed interval schedule”. In scientific settings, when the aim is to strengthen behaviour, rewards are provided immediately following behaviour (e.g. when a dog sits for its owner, it immediately gets a treat – hence the dog is most likely to sit again when the owner asks, as it expects the reward like last time it happened). If you do this every time with your dog initially, it will strengthen his “sitting” behaviour (this is called a continuous reinforcement schedule). However, there is another technique called “Partial Reinforcement Schedules” where the response is not rewarded every single time – but in some cases, like Bingo, over intervals of time. This type of technique tends to be less resistant to “extinction” (meaning that the player is less likely to stop playing the game altogether). Furthermore, this technique is more likely to cause players to play more before the next time interval begins (after using up all of their tickets). Effectively, this could cause some players to purchase more tickets to keep playing before they are locked out for a period of time. This technique is certainly not unique to Bingo and can be seen across a large range of current online games. There are also many other gambling elements in this game, including a scratchy (that is presented every time a player returns to the app) – where players scratch the card to reveal prizes, etc. Further to our age recommendations above (PG 16 – 18), adults should also exercise some caution with playing this game, particularly if they have had any type of gambling problem (either currently or in the past).

In App purchasing

Gems

Handful of Gems (120) - $5.99

Pile of Gems (250) - $12.99

Pot of Gems (530) - $24.99

Chest of Gems (1400) - $62.99

Mountain of Gems (2900) - $124.99

Online information

  • Connectivity with social media
  • Log ins

Gambling

Yes, see reviewer’s comments above.

Advertising and product placement

Ads are frequent and provide the player with more tickets if they choose to watch more.

Gender stereo types and sexual references

None.

Coarse language

None.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

See reviewer’s comments.

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About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

Most games contain elements of risk, chance and knowledge, that is why they are fun to play. There is growing concern about the impacts of simulated gambling games on the health and wellbeing of children. That's why we are identifying games that contain gambling elements on our site.

The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.