The Windy City is best known for its unique hot dogs, deep-dish pizzas, jazz music, gangster history, and various attractions, such as Millennium Park, the Riverwalk, Magnificent Aquarium, and the Skydeck. Hence, gambling is not an activity most associate with either Illinois or Chicago, despite the Prairie State and the home of Al Capone boasting a storied past with this hobby, dating back to the 1830s, when horse races and riverboat casinos ran rampant all over Illinois.
Well, for the uninformed, Chicago may not be New Jersey, but several gaming establishments are operating not far from the city, hosting traditional table games of chance and slots. Those who do not want to leave the city borders but wish to do some gambling, all the same, can partake in some bingo fun at multiple parlors across the greater Chicago area. It is illegal for anyone to operate lottery draws without first attaining a license from the Illinois Department of Revenue. Thankfully, multiple organizations have gotten such approval and offer bingo draws in Chi-town.
Of course, online bingo games are always an option for those that wish to test their luck remotely. Individuals that want to see if they can yield profits from their good fortune while socializing with others should visit the following Chicago spots.
Best Places to Play Bingo in Chicago
According to the official Illinois Bingo website, a branch of USA Bingo, over fifty venues in Chicago, which are members of this network, run regular bingo games. Most of these are churches and schools that organize charitable draws. Nevertheless, there are also a few dedicated lotto-style parlors in the city and multiple bars that feature bingo games with cash prizes. The latter has been the cause for some controversy, as establishment owners have got around the state’s not-for-profit bingo law by employing a sweepstakes model instead of the standard participant buy-in one.
Below we rattle off what most veteran players believe are the best places to play bingo in Second City.
Located on 4100 South Martin Luther King Drive, the Met is near Bowen Avenue and 41st Grand Boulevard. The Met is short for the Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church. It is an impressive building that runs Monday Bingo Blitz games in its gymnasium. Draws usually start at around 5 PM, and their starting cost is $20. There is a concession stand here that sells decent food and drinks. The Met will also consider providing transportation for groups larger than five people.
The American Legion Post 1941
Located on 900 South La Grange Road, around twelve miles from downtown Chicago, the American Legion Post 1941 is the Illinois chapter of the American Legion, which numbers over one hundred thousand members in Illinois. Same as the Met, it also runs bingo draws on Mondays, with doors opening at 6 PM, and the games starting at 7 PM. What is unique about this location is that it offers a $10,000 jackpot and that visitors can play ten games for $15.
City Life Restaurant & Lounge
City Life is a dive bar with low-lighting, comfort food, and the occasional bingo game on 712 E 83rd Street. It is open every day of the week, except for Sundays, from 12 PM to 12 AM. City Life is a family-owned joint that has attained a reputation for its $100 booking parties that serve pans of wings with fries and champagne. The patio here often gets praised, and so does the karaoke setup.
Columbian Club of East Chicago
Everyone can find the Columbian Club of East Chicago on 1104 Knights of Columbus Drive in the east part of town. The club features a vast hall with chandelier lighting. It can get rented for wedding receptions and the like. Most Tuesdays and Thursday evenings, and Sunday afternoons, bingo draws that place here with a max payout of $6,000. During these events, a full-service bar is usually operational.
Best Bingo in Chicago
Per online reviews, the most novel and best bingo game in Chicago is at the Hideout. That is a prohibition-era bar on 1354 West Wabansia Avenue. It is a small space that frequently hosts live musical performances and offers dancing on its modest floor. Bingo games get organized on the Hideout’s patio, and instead of providing cash prizes, lucky players here can win rewards in the form of fruits and vegetables. It is a terrific way for locals to support Chicago’s community gardens.
To Sum Up
Chicagoans looking for some real money bingo action with dramatic prize potential should stick to playing online. The city’s establishments that host lotto-style draws cannot compete with online casinos that feature multiple bingo variants, including the popular Slingo variation that mixes slot gameplay. The wins these products provide go into several thousands of dollars.
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