Are millennials putting their own stamp on bingo after incorporating their own slang?


It must be hard being a millennial.

More often than not, those who were born at the turn of the century are blamed for a whole host of changes and industry declines. Whether that be spending too much time on their smartphones or not being as active and sporty as their predecessors, millennials tend to foot the blame.

Something which has come to light in recent times is that millennials are having a negative influence on bingo, one of the oldest and most loved pastimes of our generation. Typically, the game is enjoyed by middle-aged players but it appears that youngsters are spending more time playing – and they’re even adopting their own slang!

Why bingo?

Now, we know that millennials might be regarded as lazy but it is refreshing to read that there appears to be a new-found love for bingo. There’s plenty of positives for the industry to take from the sudden influx of youngsters attending their local halls, but why now and why bingo?

According to the Telegraph, bingo halls have become more hipster and tailored towards younger players but perhaps the biggest hook is vegan-friendly food and drink. Something of which is becoming common practice to entice a new style of clientele, no matter what type of business or industry.

More and more bingo halls are putting on student nights which is helping ramp up attendances across British towns and cities; and this is where the apparent problem lies. Students are renowned for drinking to their heart’s content and a number of them have taken it upon themselves to start mixing up the traditional bingo call-outs.

New lingo

The biggest gripe around the new nicknames stems from the older generation, who aren’t happy about the changes to modernise the way bingo numbers are called out. To give you an idea, here’s some of the most notable changes so far. The number 14 is referred to as ‘Instahipster scene’ and 48 is ‘Not another Brexit debate’ with 56 perhaps the best yet, ‘Scrolling through the ex’s pics’.

Arguably the most famous bingo call-out is in reference to the number 88, which was traditionally known as ‘Two fat ladies’. Nowadays, you’ll tend to see or hear it referred to as ‘Two body positive ladies’.

We’re sure that over time, those pesky millennials will have new nicknames and lingo for every number on the card– and it’s certain to go a long way in revolutionising the future of bingo. Arguably, this could provide a very positive change in the long-run, even if it does upset the most loyal of players.


Understandably, there’s been some mixed feedback regarding the changes and Miles Baron – the CEO of The Bingo Association and the National Bingo Game – certainly saw the pros and cons from the new verbal inclusions.

“In some of the newer bingo contexts out there at the moment, which are a bit cutting-edge and are aimed at younger people, some of the innuendos are very offensive.

“If you’re a traditional bingo customer in a bingo club and somebody calls 69 and says 6 and 9, sixty-nine, you mark off 69.

“But if you’re in one of these more risqué, food and drink, aimed at young people-type environments the innuendos on 6 and 9, sixty-nine, probably wouldn’t be appropriate.”

Baron is very much right with what he is saying but bingo is entering a new era with a different type of player entertaining the game altogether, and it’s vital they’re catered for as much as possible to keep the industry on the rise.

“What they’re doing is absolutely brilliant because it’s changing perceptions and it’s trying to bring bingo into the future.

“Our younger customers who come at the weekend would probably embrace it and think it’s okay, but our bread and butter – 45 to 55-year-old females – who come on a Wednesday or Thursday night, I don’t think would be impressed,” he said.

“There are people out there trying to take bingo into the world of the 20-year-old and with it comes some behaviour that perhaps people might find risqué.”

So, there you go. It appears that a lot of the old phases and nicknames we’ve become accustomed to, will become a thing of the past. But if you still want to play and not have to mix it with the millennials then check out the latest offerings from Paddy Power:

Image Credits: Bingo from jrockdesign/Shutterstock