High Street Bingo Halls and Events

Updated July 11, 2024
It’s 2022 and the face of bingo is changing faster than ever before. Traditional bingo clubs like Mecca Bingo and Buzz Bingo are being challenged for the younger players by challengers bringing a more rock and roll edge to the bingo game we know and love by the likes of Bongo’s Bingo and Bingo Loco.
bingo halls

Live Bingo and Bingo Raves

The face of bingo is changing faster than ever before. Traditional bingo clubs like Mecca Bingo and Buzz Bingo are being challenged for the younger players by challengers bringing a more rock and roll edge to the bingo game we know and love by the likes of Bongo’s Bingo and Bingo Loco. No more will chatty players be told to ‘shush’ by others in the room, the new generation of bingo is noisy and loud and usually involves a lot of alchohol. In recent years the bigger brands have closed dozens of sites across the country and small independents really have very little chance of survival. A classic example is Martins Bingo Hemsby, a hall in a small seaside resort of near Great Yarmouth only had one bingo hall remaining and as of mid-2023 the owners of Martin’s Bingo decided that the business is no longer financially viable.

The venue was opened back in 1978 by the Roberts family, and over the years, the Roberts’ say that it’s “been a massive part” of their lives. Although the family say that Hemsby was once home to 8 bingo clubs, theirs was the only one remaining, and due to factors such as staffing costs, overheads and dwindling visitor numbers, they decided to close the doors to their bingo hall after 45 years. Mr Roberts said that due to the cost-of-living crisis, “people don’t have the money to spare” while the town’s younger residents and visitors “aren’t as interested” in playing bingo as older generations.

What is a bingo rave?

Well, if you imagine a normal rave with lots of people, lots of booze and lots of flashing lights and dancing, but throw in a set of bingo games with weird and wacky prizes then you get part of the picture. The hosts are usually bold and brash and sometimes in drag and basically almost anything goes at these events.

Check out our comprehensive list of both high street bingo halls and the new wave of bingo entertainment ventures and take your pick of which you would like to try.

Bada Bingo

bada bingo hall

It isn’t just the new young upstarts that are getting in on the ‘live bingo with a twist’ action. Bada Bingo has been in the plans of operator Buzz Bingo for quite some time, but those plans got put on hold by COVID-19 just like so many other things. Friday 23rd July 2021 finally saw the project launch on the high street at the Buzz Bingo Fenton venue in Stoke.

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Bongo’s Bingo

bongos bingo

The home of traditional bingo with a wacky twist, Bongo’s Bingo offers a unique and immersive bingo experience that combines the thrill of the game with raves, audience participation, dancing and wild partying. Right now, Bongo’s Bingo is probably the best known and most widely available bingo rave night and a lot of work has gone in to make sure it was a success.

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Dabbers Bingo

Dabbers Bingo Review

Dabbers Social Bingo was created with the aim of catapulting the game of bingo into the 21st century and creating extravagant experiences that would draw in new audiences.

After opening the UK’s first built-for-purpose contemporary bingo hall in East London, Dabbers Bingo has gone from strength to strength as players relished the chance to play bingo for luxurious all-expenses-paid holidays and huge cash prizes while enjoying cocktails and live comedy shows.

The success of Dabbers Bingo has led to its arrival in cities outside of London, and players in Acton, Margate and Coventry have embraced the concept, which includes a variety of different bingo games and a high-quality food and drink selection at every venue.

Dabbers Social Bingo has something for everyone, and whether you’ve been playing bingo all your life or you want to try it for the first time, you will find your needs are catered for by the experienced entertainment team behind Dabbers Bingo.

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Mecca Bingo Halls

Mecca Bingo Hall UK

Once a catering business and dancing company managed by TV host and Miss World pageant founder Eric Morley, Mecca Bingo was established in the UK in 1961 as a means to fill up increasingly empty dance halls. Today, Mecca Bingo is the biggest National Bingo Game operator in the country, and it boasts a whopping 76 bingo clubs in cities and towns across the UK, including three in Leeds, five in London, and three in Newcastle. As well as brick-and-mortar bingo clubs, Mecca Bingo, which is owned by The Rank Group, also hosts a website for online bingo and multiple mobile apps for bingo on the go.

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Buzz Bingo Halls

Buzz Bingo Hall UK

Over the course of Buzz Bingo’s long history, the company’s branding and ownership has gone through numerous changes. In the early 1980s, the venues known today as Buzz Bingo were Coral branded, and as it expanded in the early 1990s and took on Granada’s chain of bingo clubs it was rebranded as Gala Clubs. The Gala clubs were sold to Caledonia Investments in 2015, and following that, in 2018, Gala became the Buzz Bingo we know and love today. Ownership of the brand continues to change hands as happens when private equity groups are involved and is currently in the hands of Intermediate Capital Group (ICG), who acquired the business from Caledonia in 2021. While the operator has closed a number of its halls to enable it to remain profitable as a business, it seems that fake news also circulates. As an example the press were told that Buzz Bingo Scunthorpe was going to be closed early in 2023, but this proved to just be a case of scaremongering and the site remains open to this day.

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Club 3000 Bingo Halls

Club 3000 bingo hall UK

A family-run business established in 2006 by Brian Fraser, Club 3000 is today the third biggest bingo chain in the UK, boasting 19 brick-and-mortar bingo clubs in locations such as Edinburgh, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool and Manchester. As a relative newcomer to the bingo industry, Club 3000 has fast become the face of modern bingo.

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Carlton Bingo Halls

carlton bingo hall uk

Established in 1998 when George Carter, Chris Barr, Brian King and Peter Perrins bought out Taylor Clark Limited’s bingo interest, Carlton Bingo today operates 10 bingo halls across Scotland and has its head office in Inverness. Carlton Bingo’s bingo clubs are located in city centres and smaller towns around the country and can be found in East Kilbride, Stirling, Elgin, Inverness, and Patrick, among other places.

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Majestic Bingo Halls

majestic bingo halls uk

Majestic Bingo started life back in 2014, with the purchase of seven bingo premises owned by Seldis Cooper, followed by the purchase of several Top Ten Bingo Apollo Clubs. Today, Majestic Bingo is owned by Real Fun Group following a spell in Administration, but the clubs remain part of one of the biggest bingo operators in the UK, with a total of 10 bingo clubs in a variety of destinations such as Cornwall, Skegness, Castleford, Donnington and Gwynedd.

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Merkur Bingo Halls

merkur beacon bingo hall uk

Merkur Bingo began life as Beacon Bingo in 1963, when it was founded by Jimmy Thomas. After the first of the company’s bingo clubs opened in 1966, Beacon went from strength to strength, opening the first new build bingo club in the UK in 1978 and opening the biggest bingo club in the world in 1995 in Cricklewood.

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Bingo Loco

Bingo Loco hall uk

Dubbed an ‘entertainment phenomenon’ by Lonely Planet, Bingo Loco is as far from a traditional bingo hall game as you could possibly get, and yet it still centres the thrill of bingo that we know and love. What makes Bingo Loco stand out from the crowd, however, is the fact that it transforms bingo into a theatrical, immersive, interactive experience of mammoth proportions.

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hijingo bingo UK

A show experience and a game of bingo all rolled into one, players who try their hand at Hijingo will begin their game in The Lucky Cat Bar, enjoying drinks with friends until the timer tells them the game is about to begin. They’ll then head to The Hijingo Room for a 90-minute show. Here they’ll enjoy cocktails and delicious street food as they play for mind-blowing prizes against a backdrop of video and motion graphics, an epic soundtrack and a high-spec light show. If it sounds unimaginable, that’s because it is!

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Bingo That’s Bonkers

Bingo That’s Bonkers

If you’re after a bingo experience that is as unforgettable as it is enjoyable, then Bingo That’s Bonkers might be the game for you. Offering traditional bingo combined with wacky party games, rave intervals, DJs playing legendary anthems and sing-a-long tracks, special FX, state-of-the-art sound, confetti showers and drinks galore, Bingo That’s Bonkers has turned the game of bingo into an experience that players will never forget.

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Clubingo Majestic Review

Just like BadaBingo by Buzz Bingo before it, Clubingo is the foray into the new bingo entertainment market by the team at Majestic Bingo. The aim is to provide the best night in town you can get and consists of crazy bingo nights that involve live music with top DJ’s and some famous name artists whenever they can.

Launched in October 2021 this is one of the newest bingo rave nights to hit the streets and while they can’t give us the biggest names like Lady GaGa and Ed Sheeran they can go the next best things and bring us the tribute acts to provide the music people love alongside some fun bingo games.

LOL Bingo

LOL Bingo harpuryhey

LOL Bingo aims to bring the buzz back for players who seek a smaller, cosier, friendlier place to play bingo.

The brainchild of two entrepreneurs with over 50 years of experience in the bingo industry, LOL Bingo has been in the pipeline for many years of careful planning, with the aim to offer bingo players flexibility to pop in for 10 minutes or stay all day if they wish to.

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Bogan bingo

Bogan Bingo Review

Bogan Bingo is an experience unlike any other, in which a pair of Australian hosts with wild haircuts and a penchant for classic rock music turn the game of bingo into something altogether louder and more raucous than it has ever been before!

You can find Bogan Bingo events bringing an Aussie-themed party to venues all over the world, with more than 500 shows taking place every year in Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

While bingo remains at the heart of the experience, Bogan Bingo is as much about comedy, blasting rock hits at high volumes, and hilarious 80s fashion as it is about winning the somewhat ridiculous prizes that the hosts put up for grabs.

Whether you find a Bogan Bingo event taking place in your local pub, nightclub or student union, you can be guaranteed a hard-rocking, memorable night of high-octane fun.

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Drag Bingo

Drag Bingo Review

Ever since the idea of having drag queens host games of bingo to raise money for AIDS charities came about in the 1990s, this match made in heaven has been delighting players the world over with the most fabulous games and the sassiest banter.

You can find drag bingo taking place almost anywhere, with events taking place every week throughout the world. When you make your drag bingo debut, you should be prepared for plenty of lip-syncing, dance-offs, and banter for days as your extravagant hosts deliver bingo games with a dose of raunchy humour. Drag bingo is all about expressing yourself, so get dressed up in whatever your heart desires and get ready to dab for your life as you discover the joyful combination of drag queens and bingo!

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Musical Bingo

Created in 2007 by experiential event specialist Johnny Unknown, Musical Bingo has grown into a hugely popular event and one of London’s foremost interactive club nights. In a city that now boasts a vast range of choice for people looking for a night out with a twist, Musical Bingo can pride itself on having been one of the pioneering events whose success paved the way for many others to follow.

Musical Bingo’s original home is at Dabbers in Houndsditch, where events continue to take place in the shadow of The Gherkin building. The venue aimed to revolutionise bingo when it opened in 2018, saying it would “replace cups of tea with cocktails; bingo callers with comedians; and dreary prizes with incredible experiences”.

Dabbers certainly achieved that when it invited Musical Bingo to start hosting events through its doors, and its success spawned events across London at venues including The Phoenix in the West End and The Old Queen’s Head pub in Islington.

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Ginger’s Big Drag Bingo

Ginger’s Big Drag Bingo promises “balls, babes and bingo” but delivers much more on its regular nights where revellers can win big prizes, get rowdy to party anthems, and compete for glory in team games, dance-offs and outrageous competitions.

The original venue for Ginger’s bingo extravaganza is Kachette in East London’s trendy Shoreditch district, and the atmospheric interiors of the venue itself are an ideal place to enjoy some games, glitter, and one hell of a show.

The success of Ginger’s Shoreditch shows has led to Big Drag Bingo hitting the road and lighting up venues all over London and beyond, and she kept bingo lovers happy during the coronavirus pandemic with her lockdown-busting Big Drag Bingo virtual events.

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Blingo Hip Hop Bingo

Blingo Hip Hop Bingo

Blingo is similar in concept to Bogan Bingo, but in place of AC/DC and Bon Jovi there is Run DMC and the Beastie Boys, and instead of hair-raising rock antics there are lip-sync battles and dance-offs, all against the backdrop of “an all killer, no filler hip-hop and RnB soundtrack”.

The hosts of Blingo Hip Hop Bingo are Grandma Flash and her 87-year-old lover Harry Spelvin, who have been in the entertainment for over two decades and combine their comedy industry expertise to create an unforgettably hilarious bingo rap show.

Blingo took London by storm after its initial launch, embarking on a successful run of sold-out shows that generated widespread demand for more events. You can now book tickets for Blingo events over at HipHopBingo.com/liveshows.

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Since 1987, Dreamboys have been thrilling crowds across the UK, and the country’s foremost male strip show now has its own brunch and bingo event, Dreamboys Dreamballs Bingo.

If you’ve been to a male strip show, you will know all about the raucous atmosphere and sizzling entertainment that punters can enjoy, and Dreamboys Dreamballs Bingo delivers an unforgettably saucy show with no shortage of balls – bingo balls that is!

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Figs in Wigs Astrology Bingo

Bingo is built on the principle of fun. Simple rules, a splash of nostalgia, a cheeky tipple with friends and a lick of luck. And somehow, the cosmos has deemed that this timeless game is perfectly aligned with the Figs in Wigs production style, giving the world Astrology Bingo.

Made up of Ray Gammon, Suzanna Hurst, Sarah Moore, Rachel Porter and Alice Roots, Figs in Wigs are a female-led quintet who travel the UK putting on genre-bending productions. A night with Figs in Wigs promises everything surreal: identical outfits, synchronised dancing, original music, a little satire, and a healthy dose of irreverent humour. Described in the Guardian as “effervescent” and “alien”, expect a unique combination of theatre, music, dance, and comedy with an unforgettable Figs in Wigs twist.

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Buff Bingo Bottomless Brunch

Buff Bingo Bottomless Drag Brunch is an event like no other, combining the glitz and glamour of drag queen bingo hosts with a team of irresistible buff butlers to cater for your every need while you party the afternoon away.

Bingo games with prizes worth up to £200 run throughout each four-hour event while guests enjoy plentiful brunch dishes and bottomless drinks served by scantily clad lads.

Fabulous Beyond Productions is the company behind Buff Bingo Bottomless Brunch, and the events have earned the firm a strong reputation for memorable live performances packed with happy crowds of dabbing, dancing and occasionally drooling customers!

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FunnyBoyz Benidorm Bingo

Co-founded by drag queens Dys Alexia and Linda Gold, the FunnyBoyz are a drag force to be reckoned with. The entourage is made up of resident queens from Liverpool, Manchester, Brighton and Glasgow. Keep an eye out for Carmen Sutra, Imani Versace, Alex Fincher, Tequila Thirst, Ruby Pain, Miss Grace, Angelina Hoeli, Dorian T Fisk, Antonina Nutshell and Aunty Ginger as they tour venues with their outrageous Benidorm Bingo show – you really don’t want to miss this.

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UKG Bingo

Fans of UK Garage, get ready for the re-wind. UKG Bingo will have you counting your lucky stars while you groove along to killer basslines. This experience offers a unique blend of bingo merged with party game nostalgia and great music. Expect to find yourself with your drink or your dabber in one hand, with the other in the air as the DJs blast out your favourite anthems.

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Bingo events powering hospitality sector through Christmas

by Anita Heffernan, 18/12/2023

After a tough few years for everyone in the hospitality sector, bars and pubs are finding new ways to get punters through the doors all year round and bingo party events are proving a surefire hit with a wide range of customers. It seem, however, that bingo is helping bars to bounce back and this Christmas revellers are flocking to bingo-themed festive parties to help the end of the year go out with a bang!

It has been another tough year for bars, pubs, clubs and hotels as people throughout the UK tightened their purse strings to cope with the cost of living crisis.

Nights out are one of the first things to get culled when people look to cut their outgoings, and the hospitality sector was already struggling after the double blow of Brexit causing staffing and supply issues, and then Covid-19 preventing everyone from going out for long periods.

But these challenges have prompted events planners to think outside the box, and this has led to imaginative new nights drawing diverse crowds of people back to venues for a range of events that have bingo at their heart.

Going out to win

The new trend that is helping to bring people back to bars and clubs has been dubbed “competitive socialising”, and it can look like anything from indoor crazy golf, to axe-throwing, to shuffleboard, darts and bingo.

While pub games are a longstanding tradition, modern bars and entertainment venues are updating competitive experiences for a new generation, many of whom are now deprived of regular social contact due to working from home.

Kate Nicholls, the chief executive of the trade body UK Hospitality, told The Guardian: “We’re seeing an uptick in the number of venues themselves and the footfall they are attracting. Post-Covid, we’ve really seen a boom in the outlet numbers and investment in the sector of competitive socialising.

“There’s more people working from home, not in the office as part of a team and socialising. Activity is being used at a corporate levels and among groups of workers and friends as a value-added get-together.”

From futuristic bingo to rave-inspired escapism

Two of the early entrants into this burgeoning marketplace put bingo at the centre of their offering to customers, and found it to be hugely popular.

Hijingo welcomes players to its multi-sensory futuristic bingo experiences in Shoreditch, London, where players are immersed in a high-tech environment of light and sound as they enjoy rounds of bingo hosted by glowing neon dancers surrounded by stunning motion graphics.

In contrast, Bongo’s Bingo has built its reputation on wild party nights that blend bingo with dance-offs, ridiculous prizes and music you’d normally associate with all-night raves than an evening at the bingo.

Both have proven highly popular in recent years, paving the way for many imitators and innovators to follow in their footsteps.

Feeling the festive bingo fun

A somewhat unexpected upshot of the success of bingo party events has been the emergence of festive bingo parties that cater particularly well for office nights out and teams of colleagues heading out together for a Christmas celebration.

While Hijingo is hosting a futuristic ‘Electric Christmas’ and Bongo’s Bingo takes its Christmas Special on the road, you can also find Christmas bingo events taking place at all sorts of venues across the country.

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Anita Heffernan Whichbingo Author

Author And Managing Editor

Anita Heffernan

Anita is well-known and respected within the online bingo industry, she loves all things bingo and slots and has been involved with online bingo and gambling sites since the late 1990’s. She has been the full-time writer and Editor of WhichBingo for much of that time and is respected by operators and players alike for her no-nonsense judgments and opinions. Anita has seen the highs and lows of the industry she loves, has seen it grow and develop and contract again into what it is today. She has worked with the biggest names in the industry and has a reputation for being fair and to the point in her writing.