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Bingo part of Cyprus hip scene

28 April 2008

CYPRUS -- As reported by the France 24 News: "For teenagers and 20-somethings in the capital of the affluent Mediterranean island of Cyprus, the traditionally tame pastime of bingo has become part and parcel of a hip night out on the town.

"'This is the one game that brings all the ages together in Cyprus,' says Nikos, alias "The Stallion," a Rambo-like gym instructor who stands guard at the door of the club in downtown Nicosia that has become a hit with young Greek Cypriots.

"Walking down the stairs of what used to be a basement cinema, you enter an upbeat world more akin to a mini-Vegas casino than the humble bingo hall beloved of senior citizens.

"State-of-the-art equipment -- giant glass-encased bingo globes on a stage linked to cameras, flat screen TVs galore, digital boards with numbers flashing -- has been imported from Spain for a cool 2.5 million euros (almost four million dollars).

"No expense has been spared, right down to the red seats and plush carpeting of US gaming houses.

"...Hundreds of clients have been flocking each night to the club since it opened in late January, including a high percentage of trendy under 25-year-olds.

"...With 'Bingo Jackpot Burgers' and 'Bingo Platters' on offer on the restaurant menu, a well-stocked bar, a coffee shop, and with not-too-loud MTV and music on tap between games, the club also provides a relaxed atmosphere for women-only groups.

"...With its 650-person seating capacity, about 1,500 customers pass through on weekend nights..."

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