An Aging Game Finds a New Crowd Happy to Yell Out ‘Bingo!’

Photo by Marlin Levison

Photo by Marlin Levison

Move over grandma. The classic game of bingo is finding fans among a new generation that likes partying as much as playing. Star Tribune, February 2013

The room goes dark and music blasts. Then tiny dots of red and green neon dance across the walls, while a line of people snake out into the lobby at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake.

Cosmic Bingo is about to begin.

“I have a good feeling,” said Cynthia Raymond, 18, about winning one of the $100 jackpots at this late-night bingo session.

The first-time player and her friend Haley Gazda are feeling lucky. As Raymond debates which song request to tweet to the DJ, Gazda jumps and catches one of the glow-in-the-dark necklaces flung into the screaming crowd.

Bingo has left the church basement.

It’s left that sedate setting for more raucous surroundings — from casinos like Mystic Lake to bars dotting the Twin Cities metro area. Along the way, a younger, louder clientele has wrestled those colorful daubers away from the gray-haired crowd, sometimes leading to a culture clash. Still, bingo emporiums say, the new blood is helping to reinvent this aging game. Read more