Channel 4 News has released an interesting report into a growing trend for young Londoners.
Apparently they are turning their backs on getting into trouble by going out to play bingo!
Held by many in society, the stereotypical view of a young person these days seems to revolve around them being jobless, poor, pessimistic about the future, and having people assume they’re lazy, or out to cause trouble.
However, in Channel 4 News’ report, they’re finding that young Londoners are turning to playing bingo as a way to spend their free time!
They went down to Palace Bingo inside the Elephant and Castle shopping centre in south London to talk to young players there.
They found Gary Dighton, who was there with his mum. For him it’s all about the win: “I’d prefer to make money, than just go out and drink.” The most he has won is £80, but this is a big club with national games – players regularly win up to £1,000.
He enjoys taking his mum out to play bingo twice a week for a night out. But merely being a 20 year old man who likes to wear hoodies means people get the wrong impression about him and make assumptions.
“People around where I live aren’t very polite to me. It’s their influences, they just think I’ll be involved in crime or something”, he said.
And he’s not the only one who’s more likely to be at the bingo hall than down the pub. According to the manager of Palace Bingo, Patrick Kelly, who’s also vice-chair of The Bingo Association, says the average age of players is getting younger.
“Young people are always attracted to clubs that are bigger, busier, and offer good money. It’s like everything – it’s about the atmosphere that goes with it”, he said.
“They come in the evening. People often meet up, and you’ll see them moving from table to table. It’s a very safe environment, especially for women.”
In Hackney, east London, 22 year old Rasheeda St Louis says she first went to her local Mecca Bingo when a friend invited her along for the ride. “I enjoyed it, so I kept going”, she said.
“My friends were surprised – I guess it doesn’t fit in with my stereotype, whatever that is.
“Some people can only do what they know or what is shown to them, I don’t think anyone should be afraid to break away from the crowd”, she added.