It’s a big, bold, bingo summer at New York State’s No. 1 bingo hall.
First, Turning Stone Resort Casino’s recent $350,000 Summer Bingo Blowout started with a raucous cheer and ended with one man celebrating a six-figure haul by high-fiving everyone in sight. If that wasn’t exciting enough, our beloved bingo bivouac is now the site of two black-light late-night games: One that plays like a 1980s dance party and another that thumps like a nightclub.
“We try our best to make it as fun as possible,” says Samantha Archer, director of bingo operations.
The most recent big game certainly fit that bill.
The event, which doled out a total of $350,000 in cash prizes, ended with Greg from Albany taking home $100,000—then parading around the bingo hall for a victory lap.
Just over 1,800 players participated in the July 24 event— the largest bingo crowd we’ve had since the casino reopened following the COVID-19 shutdown. In all, there were more than two dozen winners. One, named Heather, came all the way from California and took home a $15,000 prize.
The crowd was electric throughout the event, with players seeming to hang on every number. Thanks in part to a new big-event system through which players can purchase boards and reserve seats in advance, check-in lines and wait times were smaller than usual. This made the entire experience more enjoyable for everyone involved. Saturday nights in the bingo room have a much different feel; every other week Turning Stone puts on a different after-hours session that begins at 10:45 p.m. and goes past midnight.
The first Saturday of the month is Boogie Bingo, which unfolds like a black-light 1980s dance party. DJ Bill T and Emcee Jammin’ Joe spin the tunes, and players use fluorescent bingo cards and ink. There are different themes every month and the top single-game prize can net as much as $500.
On the third Saturday of the month, Turning Stone hosts “Mark in the Dark, ” which is a similar concept but has much more of an emo and nightclub vibe (read: the music reverberates in your bones). These events dole out a total of $6,000 in prizes, and include drawings, prizes, dancing breaks and specialty cocktails.
Our next big bingo bash is the Fall Festival on September 11, and we’ll be doling out a total of $135, 000 in cash. For more information, visit turningstone.com/gaming/bingo.