Here at Essentially Sports, we like to look at all aspects of sport and the Olympics is a topic that comes up frequently on our site by both our writers and readers. When the games come around there is always debate about the types of games that should be included and with the games set to take place in Tokyo in 2020, yet again people are debating which type of games should be included. One of the more left-field suggestions that we have seen recently is the argument that bingo should be included at the 2020 Tokyo games so could this actually happen?
A key requirement for a game to be considered for the Olympics is the existence of the International Federation to administer anti-doping procedures and this does not seem to have put off people arguing that bingo should be included at the 2020 games. Indeed, some have even gone as far to apply for the game to be included by appealing to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Indeed, bingo giant Mecca is lobbying for the game to be included so is this really a feasible idea?
Of course, bingo sites are popular in the UK but most players on most bingo sites will hardly expect for the games to make the Olympics. However, it certainly is a topic that stimulates debate so what exactly counts as a game that could be an Olympic sport? Mecca is following an example of the game known as Bridge and although you wouldn’t consider this a sport, it was set to become a sport until the application was declined. However, it did open up the debate about what could and couldn’t be a sport.
The good news for bingo fans is that the process for reviewing what can and can’t be a sport is under scrutiny. The IOC is considering the potential for “normal people” to be able to take place in the Olympics and while it still seems highly unlikely that bingo will be added in the future it is refreshing to see that the IOC are at least listening to stakeholders as well as the public when it comes to what should be included in the Olympics. Mecca, on the other hand, continues to argue the case for bingo.
A spokesperson even went so far as to argue that bingo doesn’t require participants to train for months on end and that there is definitely an interest with the next step being the establishment of a bingo federation. The company further went on to create a poll where you could vote on whether or not bingo should be included as a sport in an official capacity. The key argument is that bingo requires a number of skills namely intense concentration, a steady hand as well as mental agility.
Whether the campaign is a success or not will determine on how people vote but overall, it would seem that Mecca are simply having a bit of fun and perhaps highlighting the fact that the game requires skills that are also required for other sports as well. The game has enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence in popularity recently when the UK government actually announced tax cuts for bingo clubs back in 2014 to encourage more people to try out the game and it has been working with the increase in young people trying the game now higher than ever.
It will certainly be interesting to see how the game fares over the next 5 years.