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No Longer for Grannies: How the Internet Changed Bingo Forever


Isso é rebel bingo!” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by veioescroto

Only a few years ago, the idea of a bingo rave night would be unthinkable – that they were even happening for a start, and second that anyone would want to go to them. In fact, though, they’re hugely popular and the latest in a series of evolutionary steps that the traditionally rather staid game of bingo has taken.

The reason why bingo’s enjoyed such a revival in recent years can mainly be attributed to the popularity of online bingo, which is how many younger players were first introduced to the game. And now that the humble game of bingo can be played in a number of different ways, it seems that there’s no stopping its rise in popularity with people young and old.

Online bingo sites first started appearing at the turn of the millennium, and today there are multiple different sites to choose from. Not only can people play online at any time of the day or night as bingo sites run round-the-clock gaming schedules, but there’s also the option to play on their phones as most sites now provide mobile bingo games as well. Online bingo providers such as Sun Bingo have taken care to add different flavours to their games in addition to social elements such as leaderboards to provide for the social experience that bingo has traditionally been associated with.

You’d think with the increased numbers of people choosing to play online that this would spell the end of the road for the traditional bingo club. However, there are plenty of bingo clubs that are still thriving and it’s clear that the online game has had quite an influence on the land-based game’s format. For instance, if you play at a Mecca or Gala bingo hall, there’s still the traditional paper version, but there’s also an electronic bingo room, where players use tablet-like devices to play multiple games at once.

So, where and how can you play bingo in the Warrington area?

  • Online is undoubtedly the easiest and most accessible way to play bingo. It’s also great value thanks to bonuses. On the aforementioned bingo website, players are rewarded with an extra £30 credit when they make an initial deposit of £10, giving them a total of £40 to play with. There are also free games to play every day. As playing online is so easy, because the matching numbers are marked off automatically, the online game can be pretty sociable too, as you can chat to other players in the bingo chat rooms, while keeping an eye on the game in progress. In this way, the online sites have managed to maintain the community feel that traditional bingo halls have always had.

  • To play the land-based version in Warrington, there’s the Gala Bingo club at the Cockedge Centre. There are morning, afternoon and evening sessions every day, so it’s always possible to fit a few games of bingo into a day, whether you make a special trip there, or just drop in when you’re nearby. While it might not be as convenient as playing online, playing can be combined with meeting up with friends. Though this tends to be how the older generation plays bingo, it’s become quite popular for groups of young people to start off a night out with a few rounds of bingo in the early evening session before moving on to the bars and clubs. In St Helen’s, a Mecca Bingo offers similar —facilities.
  • While no Warrington venue has yet been host to one of the pop-up bingo events organised by Rebel Bingo or Bongo’s Bingo, it’s no great distance to go to Manchester or Liverpool, both of which are regular on the rave/club night bingo event circuit. Both companies have taken the traditional game and given it a savage twist. You still use dabbers to mark off your bingo numbers but it’s pretty standard to leave a Rebel or Bongo bingo night with your face covered in dabs from other players! The prizes vary wildly – from crates of cider to mirrorballs, and if the venue’s got a gambling licence, some cash prizes too. Although bingo’s the focus, dancing, general revelry and frivolities are just as big a part of the night.
  • And in yet another tweak on the original game, you can now play Rock and Roll Bingo at an increasing number of venues – from school PTA evenings, to pubs like The Talbot and The Peacock and even at certain Mecca Bingo clubs. Rock and Roll Bingo isn’t played with numbers; instead, there are bursts of songs that you have to match to the artists and song names you have on your bingo cards. First to correctly mark off all the artists and songs on their card is the winner and if there’s a tie, the play-off is usually some kind of zany forfeit. Some Mecca clubs hold Rock and Roll bingo sessions which are free to play and take place after the regular bingo games.

Without the existence of online bingo, it’s conceivable that the traditional game might just have died out with the older generations who played it. But, actually, the phenomenon of online bingo and its’ uptake by younger people has led to the game of bingo being played in more formats and more venues than ever before.


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