It’s not your grandmother’s game anymore—unless you want it to be.

It’s not your grandmother’s game
anymore—unless you want it to be.

The Business of Bingo

Bingo packs a unique correlation to
gaming. It links eras.

Unlike its casino-floor
counterparts, like craps tables and slot machines, this centuries-old game
recruits patrons during their adolescence.

Bingo was designed for the pace of
leisure, the cause of community fund-raising and the social interaction of
neighbors. Yet now, in the high-tech, high-adrenaline gambling world, bingo
connects kitchen parlors and charity halls to the gaming floor and some
lucrative jackpots.

The balls come faster, at
slot-machine speed. Cards have an infinite supply. There is no problem keeping
up, because a tablet or machine can accomplish that for a player. Convenience
comes with higher stakes and buy-ins.

Bingo is a both a niche and a
revenue stream for casinos. Throw high-roller parties, for bingo players.
Target them for hotel specials, restaurants and shows. Invite them to the
property. Make them part of the gambling world.

However casinos bend, shape, expand
or contract this game, bingo spells victory.

B—Business: Commercial games offered in Nevada and throughout many
Native American jurisdictions offer substantial jackpots. In some cases, a
series of properties can be linked to one payout. Casinos offer full-fledged
weekend bingo tournaments.

I—Innovation: One can now find it on tablets or on casino floors. The
speed of play can resemble that of a slot machine. It can also be intertwined
with lotteries.

N—Natural Fit: It goes with any environment. Dress it up with lights,
music and dancing. Dress it down with traditional daubing, cards and
number-calling. It can entail social chatter or an adrenaline rush.

G—Grandiose: Major properties celebrate it. Foxwoods has a bingo
facility offering 3,600 seats. The Potawatomi Tribe in Milwaukee actually ran a
bingo casino for nearly a quarter century before adopting additional forms of
gambling. Its bingo hall measures 45,800 square feet, which can accommodate
around 2,500 players.

O—Online: Online for social gamers. On property for casinos
wishing to lure foot traffic. On the
balance sheet, as a revenue triumph.

The celebrated game does not require
a particular type of player, or marketing strategy. Bingo’s realm is unto
itself a rare wild card for an industry hard-pressed to find an edge.