Have There Ever Been Fights at Bingo?

Bingo FightsEveryone knows that bingo is a social activity where friends congregate to have a good time and play their favourite game together.

On this very site we extol the virtues of visiting your local bingo hall as a way to make friends or socialise with existing friends, so this article about bingo fights isn’t intended to put anybody off.

It’s true that bingo halls are friendly and welcoming places, but just like anywhere else, there are those odd occasions when things go belly up, and handbags start flying.

Us humans are emotional creatures, and there are many situations that might make us lose our temper, although we can usually control ourselves enough not to end up in a fight.

Throw a game like bingo into the mix, which involves a healthy dollop of competition and can on occasion cause jealousy, and every now and again there are going to be fireworks – especially if someone has already had a bad day, or they haven’t had enough sleep, or perhaps have visited the bar too many times that night.

These are a few real-life examples of when a visit to the bingo hall ended up being a little bit more exciting than anyone had anticipated.

We bring you, Britain’s bingo hall fights.

Bingo Brawl at Gala in Derby – 2016

Bingo Brawl DerbyIn what was supposed to be a light hearted evening of bingo and fun at the Gala Bingo in Derby, chaos erupted as a brawl broke out between two groups of players just after the evening session began.

The fight involved approximately 10 individuals, with one group of rowdy players in their twenties clashing with middle-aged players who were irritated by the noise they were making during the game.

One woman, a 20-year veteran player called Wendy Lee, was there with a friend who was a first timer, and said:

“One minute we were looking down waiting for the numbers to be called, the next minute there was a fight breaking out. It was unbelievable, I’ve never seen anything like it in all my life.”

Hilariously, her friend said that if this was what bingo was like they would definitely come back again.

It’s not really funny though, as the staff at bingo halls aren’t expected or trained to deal with fights so it must have been a difficult night for them, and on this occasion the police had to be called.

Another bingo player, Jim Hamer, described the altercation as nothing more than “handbags being thrown,” and actually blamed the older group. He said the noisy younger players were just a group of young people enjoying themselves on a Saturday nigh, adding that:

“It was just a few stuffy old sorts getting their knickers in a twist.”

Whatever the truth, it was certainly serious if the police had to be called, and is nothing like we have ever seen at our local bingo hall.

Banned For Life After Fight at Gala in Torquay – 2013

Banned From bingoMaybe it’s something about Gala bingo halls that gets players so worked up?

We shouldn’t joke though, because this fight was especially vicious, even involving chairs being thrown and two people needing medical attention.

It all started with a disagreement in the foyer before anyone had even sat down, but whatever caused the falling out was clearly not over by the time the game began.

Insults were thrown from one group of women to the other, and then those insults became physical attacks, and in an instant there was pandemonium.

The fight was so bad that an ambulance was called as well as the police, and although no arrests were made, 2 of the women had facial injuries and all 6 were banned for life from all Gala venues.

One of those involved ended up having a suspected panic attack too.

That’s one way to ruin bingo for yourself, isn’t it?

‘Lucky’ Seat Causes Punch Up at Castle Bingo in Bridgend – 2002

Aggressive Elderly LadyWe all have our superstitions, but these two… ladies… were really attached to their favourite seat at Castle Bingo in Bridgend.

The big problem was that both of them had the same lucky chair.

Apparently, they had been adversaries for a long time before the fight took place, but on this particular evening, with a packed house of 500 other eager bingo players, one of them snapped.

Sandra Fry saw that Lynn Want was already in the seat that she had hoped to claim for herself. Enraged, she later approached Mrs. Want and punched her in the face, breaking her nose and causing the fight that would follow.

This seems unreasonable, and it was, but it goes a little deeper.

Fry said of Want:

“She called me names for months before I snapped and hit her. “It was wrong of me but I didn’t plan it. It was one lucky punch. I don’t know where it came from – I was just as shocked as she was.”

The pair both received a lifetime ban from Castle Bingo, which is a very sad end for two people who had loved bingo for years.

Sandra Want explained:

“I used to go to the club most nights and felt I knew everyone. Now I’m stuck in the house staring at the wallpaper. Even a murderer doesn’t get life.”

She was arrested and charged with assault, but Lynn Want didn’t, erm… want… to press charges, despite having to undergo a painful operation on her broken nose, as well as suffering two black eyes.

Sandra Fry must have had quite a right hook on her.

Fight with Bouncers at Mecca Club Night in Paisley – 2019

Bouncer DoormanThis wasn’t a regular night at the bingo, and not just because it ended with a woman being dragged across the floor on the pavement outside.

Many bingo venues now run alternative bingo nights, where the atmosphere is a little more rebellious than usual, and this was one of them.

They attract a younger crowd, and music, dancing, and drinking are all staple features.

This is why bouncers are employed on such nights, and a good job too on this occasion, because they were needed.

The fight occurred because one particular woman had taken off her shoes, which is against safety rules inside the club, and whatever happened when she was asked to put them back on led to a situation where she was escorted outside by two bouncers.

The woman’s husband was not happy about this and tried to intervene as they got to the exit, at which point another bouncer got hold of him and they both ended up on the floor in a tussle.

The carnage that followed was basically the whole team of bouncers trying to restrain first the man, and then the woman, as both fought against the security team with their full force.

The woman was eventually dragged off the premises in an extremely undignified manner, while her husband was pinned to the wall outside and presumably followed suit not long after.

The whole thing was caught on video (see it here) and although prosecution was threatened by the couple, it never happened, with the bouncers being cleared of any wrong doing.

Broken Nose at Flamingo Bingo in Haverfordwest – 2019

Broken Nose at BingoThis is another of those crazy bingo nights.

It wasn’t actually held at a bingo hall but at the Parkhouse Building in Haverfordwest. It was a bingo night not dissimilar to Bongos Bingo, but run by a company called Flamingo Bingo.

These are fairly rowdy occasions so things can get out of hand – at one similar event a woman almost took out her own eye while waving a double ended dildo around her head – but there were no comical sex toys involved in this particular altercation.

The police never really found out what had caused the issue, but at some point in the evening, a woman had gone into the ladies bathroom and ended up dragging two other females out of a toilet cubicle and really giving them a beating.

One of them was pulled out of the loo by her hair, while the other was punched and kicked so hard that it is believed she had her nose broken.

Whatever this was about, we don’t think it was the bingo that caused the fight. Nevertheless, it happened on a bingo night, even if it was Flamingo Bingo, “Pembrokeshire’s Craziest Bingo Night.”

It certainly lived up to its name in 2019.

Bingo Fight Bingo Calls

Just for fun, here are a few humorous bingo calls in honour of all of our duelling dabbers:

Call Number
Last man standing Number One
Out Cold on the Floor Fourty Four
Banned for Life Fifty Five
Anger and hate Sixty Eight
Slaps and Kicks Fifty Six
Going the Distance Number Twelve
Tougher Than You Twenty Two
Can’t Hurt Me Eighty Three
Trouble in Devon Thirty Seven
Assault is a Crime Twenty Nine

Not that we are making light of these serious incidents of course, we just thought it would be nicer to end the article with something a little more light-hearted after all of this fighting!