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The world's Top-10 bingo parlors by seat

24 March 2008

It's difficult to fathom if you walk the grounds of the majestic Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut today, but what is currently known as one of the world's largest casinos got its start as a modest bingo hall.

That's right, the 4.7-million square-foot edifice that is home to 344,000 square feet of casino space, began its gambling existence back in 1986 when the late Lim Goh Tong, who founded the only legal casino in Malaysia, opened a bingo hall.

Six years later the Indian tribe known as the Pequots got the OK to add table games to the mix and by 1993 slot machines made their presence felt. The rest, as they say, is history as today Foxwoods welcomes 40,000 visitors a day and employs more than 10,000 people while ringing in more than $200 million a year in gaming revenues.

But despite its reputation was one of the world's biggest and most lavish gaming venues, Foxwoods hasn't forgotten its roots. According to Casino City data, Foxwoods features the largest bingo parlor in the world with the capacity to hold 4,000 players. The doors open everyday at 8 a.m. for the start of two daily sessions – a 10:30 a.m. matinee and a 6:30 p.m. evening gathering. You can even reserve your seat in advance either online or via a special Bingo Reservation hotline.

Top-10 bingo parlors by seat

1.) Foxwoods Resort Casino – 4,000

T-2.) San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino – 2,500

T-2.) Isleta Casino & Resort – 2,500

4.) Cherokee Tribal Bingo – 2,000

5.) Penobscot High Stakes Bingo – 1,800

6.) Ft. McDowell Casino and Radisson Hotel – 1,700

7.) Turning Stone Resort & Casino – 1,400

8.) Potawatomi Bingo Casino – 1,354

9.) Gala Bingo Peterborough Westfield – 1,300

10.) Sycuan Casino & Resort – 1,246

A further look at the Casino City Top-10 also reveals that Foxwoods hasn't cornered the market in for bingo in New England. A more modest, but almost as large option, sits 340 miles north where the Penobscot High Stakes Bingo Hall can seat 1,800 bingo enthusiasts in one sitting. That's enough to rank fifth on the list.

Foxwoods, however, does hold a decisive edge as the Bingo Capitol of the World as the closest that any venue can get to its 4,000-seat capacity at the San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino in Highland, Calif. and the Isleta Casino & Resort in Albuquerque, which both seat 2,500.

San Manuel always has a host of promotions scheduled for its bingo room, events such as next month's Beat the Taxman Bingo where 15 regular games will pay $1,199, one dollar below the amount you would have to report to the IRS. Isleta prides itself on the art of high-stakes bingo. In fact, this week there is already a Bonanza Jackpot on the line for $39,424.

Sitting fourth on the list is Cherokee Tribal Bingo Hall in Cherokee, N.C. where you can sit elbow-to-elbow with 2,000 fellow bingo enthusiasts. After Penobscot, Fort McDowell Casino and Radisson Hotel in Arizona, which can house 1,700 players, comes in at No. 6 and features a special "sunrise" game every day at 6:45 a.m. and a "last chance" game at 3:15 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, N.Y. lands at No. 7. on the list. Turning Stone's 1,400-seat Oneida Indian High Stakes Bingo Hall was on Bingo Manager magazine's Top 10 Bingo Halls in North America thanks to a variety of specials that include Double Payout Nights, Triple-Pay Weekends and a complimentary Birthday Bingo event every month.

The lone non-U.S. venue to make the list is England's Gala Bingo Peterborough Westfield, which comes in at ninth and uses bingo as its centerpiece, but also offers £500 slot machines to play in between sessions.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee, which can seat just over 1,300 bingo players amidst a full range of casino games, and Sycuan Casino & Resort in El Cajon, Calif. the No. 10 bingo hall on the list, featuring 1,246 seats and an endless stream of bingo-related promotions.

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