International singing sensation Macy Gray recently told British newspaper, The Telegraph, that she’s somewhat of a gambler in her spare time (Photo credit: sjsharktank – CC BY SA).
Although not quite on the level as some of largest whales in Vegas, Gray admitted that she’s probably spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.
So what are her favorite casino games? Well, according to the interview, blackjack and poker are the singer’s main vices; however, in the word of celebrity gamblers, it seems as though bingo is the new craze.
The Celebrity’s Game
Although more of a favorite in Europe, well-known figures such as U2’s Bono, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kate Moss and even former US President, Bill Clinton, have all reportedly enjoyed “the call of the balls” at one time or another. However, for all its popularity with some of the world’s top celebrities, bingo isn’t as widely available on the Las Vegas strip as you might expect.
Despite being the world’s top gambling destination with more ways to wager money than virtually anywhere else in the world, bingo seems to have become the forgotten child among casino owners. In fact, unlike the online casino world where sites such as Betfair bingo have become big business in recent years, Sin City’s brick-and-mortar venues offer very little for bingo bandits.
Fortunately, some casinos are still equipped to offer bingo in Vegas. Although you may have to venture off the strip, places such as the Gold Coast, the Riviera and Arizona Charlie’s, all offer daily bingo sessions with guaranteed jackpots. Whether you’re a player or a fan, bingo offers a way to make some money and, possibly, spot some celebs away from the buzz of the city’s top casinos.
How to Play Bingo Like Clinton
OK, so it was once a game enjoyed by Bill Clinton and you can still find some outlets in Vegas, but how do you play bingo? In terms of gambling games, bingo is one of the simplest.
To take part in a session of bingo you’ll first need to purchase a game card. Each game card will have a 5X5 format which means there are 25 numbers on each.
Although the main premise of each bingo game is the game, the number of balls can vary. In general, bingo comes in the following formats: 90-ball, 80-ball, 75-ball or variations of speed bingo.
Once you’ve purchased a game card and understood the overall structure, the aim of the game is simple: blot out as many numbers as possible. Each session of bingo involves a single person calling a series of numbers as they emerge from a large machine.
Every time one of your numbers is called your job is to mark that on your game card. If you can fill a vertical or horizontal line on your card before anyone else then you’ll win a prize. This process of marking numbers continues until a player in the game is able to fill two lines and then a full house (all the numbers on their card).
The player that’s able to mark off all their numbers and hit the full house will win the game’s main prize which can often top $1,000.
Although bingo doesn’t have the luster that some casino games, such as blackjack or roulette, do, it’s certainly an entertaining and accessible option for punters of all persuasions. Although Macy Gray might not be able to get the adrenaline rush she could if she was playing poker for thousands of dollars a hand, other celebrities have certainly found bingo to be an enjoyable option on the Vegas strip.
Does this mean we’ll be seeing an influx of bingo brains to Sin City in the coming months? Probably not, but if you’re celebrity spotting in Vegas and haven’t seen anyone of note inside the city’s main casinos, then take a walk off the strip and maybe you’ll see some in one of the larger bingo halls.