Bingo has long been a popular pastime in Ireland and contributes significantly to the €5 billion spent each year on gambling.
Across the whole of Britain there are around 3.5 million bingo players. Whether it be socialising at a bingo hall with friends or relaxing at home while playing on your phone, many of us enjoy the game and chance to have some fun and hopefully win a bit of money.
The game of bingo has existed for centuries, with its roots dating back to 15th and 16th century Italy. As it became recognised as a fun, sociable pastime it quickly spread across Europe and around the world.
Bingo became particularly popular in Ireland in the 1960’s when it was introduced by the Catholic Church and has continued to gain popularity there ever since.
In the early 2000’s advancements in technology made the internet readily accessible to everyone and online bingo sites began to pop up. With the sudden boom in online bingo operators, land-based bingo venues across much of the UK began to suffer, and many were forced to close down for good.
However, this trend was less evident in the city of Belfast, where bingo venues continue to thrive and compete with online bingo sites. Whether you are a resident of Belfast or just visiting for the weekend, there are a number of venues to check out across the city.
Finding a great club to play bingo at in Belfast really isn’t a difficult task, here are just a few venues to consider trying out:
Star Bingo, North Street
First up is Star Bingo on North Street, this club is well respected in the city and is well known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. There is plenty of parking in the vicinity if you are traveling there by car.
While this club has no morning sessions, it opens for afternoon sessions at 3pm and night-time sessions from 8pm every day apart from Sundays. It is the ideal low-key location to socialise with friends in the evening.
Galaxy Bingo Club, York Gate Shopping Centre
Another popular venue in Northern Ireland’s capital is Galaxy Bingo Club. You will be instantly drawn into this club by its glamorous retro exterior and impossible-to-miss glowing Galaxy sign. The club also has a fully-stocked licenced bar and arcade area.
This bingo venue is open every day from Monday to Saturday from 10am. On weekdays it closes at 10:30pm and at midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. If you would like to join a session, morning session starts at 12pm, afternoon sessions at 2pm and evening sessions at 8pm.
Prices for games vary depending on which session you join and what game you are playing. The price of games in main events are on average £6 to £18, while optional extras such as Green Scoop and Golden Numbers are another £1.
This venue is ideally situated in a busy retail park, why not stop for a bite to eat or do some shopping while you are there?
Flamingo Bingo, Glenwell Road
Next up on the list is Flamingo Bingo on Glenwell Road in Glengormley. What this club lacks in size, it more than makes up for in great jackpot prizes and exciting game choices.
Flamingo Bingo is a great option for a birthday celebration or evening out with friends. There are a number of great promotions on offer, for example parties of four players or more who have pre-booked will receive two free bottles of bubbly and a free upgrade.
Unlike many other venues, Flamingo opens on Sundays. The club operates between 11am and 3pm Monday to Saturday for daytime games, and between 6pm and 11pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays for evening games.
Westway Bingo Club, Falls Road
Westway Bingo Club is a large bingo, snooker and all-round gaming venue in the heart of West Belfast. First established in 1991, this club offers a great choice of food with a breakfast menu, hot food menu and sandwich board, an extensive range of gaming machines and the chance to win one of many big jackpot prizes. The free tea and coffee is a nice touch too!
Westway Bingo is open every day, Monday to Saturday, between 10am and 11pm. Daytime bingo sessions start at 12:05pm and evening bingo sessions commence at 6:30pm.
Game prices vary depending on the day, the time and which game you decide to play. If you are looking to play a few games, take advantage of the club’s Genie packages. On weekdays, you can grab an all-day genie deal from £15.50. Also, the ‘Double your Money’ game is played every night on the 5th page.
Planet Bingo, Stoneyford Street
Planet Bingo is a fun filled venue with a friendly atmosphere. The club is located on a high street and open between 10am and 10:30pm every day from Monday until Saturday.
This venue is part of Northern Ireland’s premier bingo operator, The Planet Bingo Group, and offers some of the biggest prizes at the lowest cost to play.
Jackpot Bingo Club, Dairy Farm Centre
Located in West Belfast, Jackpot Bingo Club is part of the Bingo Magic Group.
The club is well known for its polite, knowledgeable staff and warm hospitality. It opens Monday to Saturday from 10am to 12pm and on Sunday evenings from 6pm to 12pm.
Jackpot Bingo Club is one of Belfast’s larger venues and is an ideal location for birthday and christmas celebrations. Bingo parties can be organised for five or more friends and include a free PHD board, free upgrades and balloons, cake and two bottles of bubbly to celebrate with.
Playing bingo is part of this city’s culture and is a popular pastime for many locals. If you are planning a trip to Belfast, checking out one (or a few) of the city’s top-quality bingo venues should be top of your to-do list