People’s perceptions of is steadily changing. The main trend is the surge on online bingo, which is making the game appealing to a broader demographic spread. Also, modern and younger versions of the game are now being played, one of which is discussed below.
Fresno Brewing Co.
On every second Tuesday of the month, coffee shop/bar Fresno Brewing Co. hosts its monthly bingo night. As soon as players walk in, they reach over to a five gallon bucket full of bottle caps and grab a handful. These will act as the markers for the game. Then players grab a card and take their seats in anticipation of the game.
H. Steele, who has helped to run the event for four months, spoke of how well the game works alongside the quirkiness of the venue. “Brew Bingo is modified to fit the atmosphere.”
Games and Prizes
The games are free and each player is only allowed to play with one card, so that each player has the same chance of getting a bingo. Prizes get donated from nearby shops, such as Misc. Trading Co. which is situated round the corner. There is little consistency in the value of the prizes; it depends on what gets donated. At one point, a bike was generously donated to the game. In another month, the winner walked away with a mere Willy Wonka chocolate bar..
A guest celebrity is brought in each month as the bingo caller, who calls the numbers as they fall from the cage. The more creative amongst the callers add their own twists to the game. Once a celebrity hosted the ‘naughty’ round, where each number came with an adult description; an adult version of bingo lingo, if you will.
They have invented a number of quirky rules to give the game a bit more character. For example, if someone shouts bingo, without having a winning card, they owe the caller a drink. Similarly, when the B9 ball is called, the first person to should “B9” wins a free drink.
To make it a smooth and easy-going night, the rounds do not last long and time is allocated for breaks and drinks etc.. “As people get more and more drunk, it becomes more and more fun” says Steele. The consumption of alcohol throughout the duration of the night undoubtedly helps the event’s social aspect. The concept has been so successful, bringing in punters and making money; it would not be surprising to see this sort of night happening elsewhere.