Rebel Bingo Goes Global

A new phenomenon that started in the United Kingdom has spread to the United States. Rebel Bingo was started by two friends after a drunken bingo game in London. Rebel Bingo started out as a series of short notice parties similar to raves. The parties were held in unusual locations. At one party held in a church basement partygoers found a bingo machine and bingo cards and what started out as a drunken debauch turned into rebel bingo. Rebel bingo has evolved into a highly entertaining bingo game featuring outlandish costumes and behavior, music and live entertainment.

Rebel bingo players are informed of game locations with very little notice. Players pay an entrance fee and pick up bingo cards and daubers on their way in. Players then fill in the cards while dancing and listening to music. Bingo calls are far from traditional and at many games players use daubers to mark each other. Most rebel bingo games take place well after 9:30 PM and go into the wee hours of the morning. In London the rebel bingo club attracts between 400 to 1,100 players for each game. Land based bingo halls have noticed the success of rebel bingo and are adding similar late night games to try to increase revenues. Kieran Simmonds, the manager of the Mecca bingo hall in South London started After Dark Bing-glo, a more staid version of Rebel bingo.

According to several bingo news sources revenues at the Mecca hall have increased by 25% after the launch of the late night games. Simmonds stated “With the concept of After Dark, we altered the demographics of our customer base. Some of them are now in their 20’s. It is designed to be a bit of fun, but obviously there is the incremental income we want to make as well. The idea is to get people to drink a lot more.”

In the meantime rebel bingo has gone global according to several bingo news blogs. In addition to London rebel bingo games are held in New York, Philadelphia, Madrid, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, Las Vegas, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Ibiza and even at the ancient city of Oxford. The rules are very simple; no old people, no boring people, no office parties, no hen parties, no stag parties, no work suits, no cameras, (although that rule appears to have been changed) and no customer service. Rebel bingo is probably the hottest phenomenon to hit the bingo scene in a long time and is sure to continue well into the future.