Somewhere along the way to its decline, bingo achieved camp status, and entrepreneurial nightclub promoters have been busy putting their own quirky spin on this age-old pastime. Drag queen bingo games started popping up all over the country in the late 1990s from a disco bingo version in Chicago, to beach blanket bingo in Denver, to weekly bingo games at the Meteor Lounge in Houston and across California. (For the uninitiated, drag queen bingo is just like regular bingo, except it's hosted by drag queens or drag queen- friendly staff and draws a similar clientele.)
The avid players who flocked to bingo halls in the 1980s are getting older, while new players are lured to out-of-state casinos like Foxwoods. The statewide smoking ban hasn't helped bingo attendance, either. The Massachusetts Lottery Commission continues to boost bingo it does, after all, collect a 5 percent tax on the gross proceeds of licensed games but its new one-day bingo license for nonprofits hasn't turned the tide despite its promotional celebrity bingo game hosted by New England Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown at Gillette Stadium.
Ognib will continue through the beginning of May. [Michael Capone] plans to put the game on hiatus during the summer because the club opens the pool, the volleyball court, and the outdoor bar and grill during the warm-weather months. Capone plans to bring Ognib back in the fall.