Web bingo is a right carry on ...
Is there some sort of global bingo revival under way at the moment?
Catch the ads on any one of the myriad commercial TV channels at any time of the day or night and - bingo! - chances are you'll find a fox, a bird, a woman with a bingo ball for a head or Barbara Windsor in a crinoline gown offering you the opportunity to "deposit" a tenner in order to acquire another £20 or thereabouts to squander as you will.
Online bingo is surely one of the major internet growth success stories of recent times. So many of the sites have cheery, upbeat names too - Gala Bingo, Cheeky Bingo, Wink Bingo, Jackpotjoy ...
You just wonder if this merriment is shared by all those who choose to "deposit" with these sites and others like them - particularly in this time of recession. Not everyone who plays bingo is a gambling addict of course. Far from it. But there was something about the old-style bingo hall which had more to commend it than the online alternative.
At least those who played in the bingo halls enjoyed a bit of a night out. Something of a social occasion. The internet version is hardly that. To someone who doesn't play it seems like a soulless, solitary sort of way to while away a bit of time - and doubtless a chunk of money.
The bingo bosses are the ultimate winners. And judging by the proliferation of sites - they're scooping a major jackpot of their own right now.