Eyes down! It’s a full house of cocktails and comedians as modern bingo comes to Shoreditch

New bingo in Tower Hamlets Pic: Dabbers Social Bingo

A bingo hall “for the modern age” is to open its doors in East London this November.

Dabbers Social Bingo, which owners claim to be “the UK’s very first modern bingo venue,” will open near Liverpool Street station at the end of the month.

Partygoers will be able to play bingo with “interactive game show elements” while drinking in a space filled with 80s memorabilia and live DJ sets.

The bingo offers a party place Pic: Dabbers Social Bingo

Performances, pyrotechnics and old-age veteran callers will all be featured.

The venue hopes to breathe new life into the iconic British pastime, which is traditionally associated with older generations.

Dabbers Social Bingo Pic: Dabbers Social Bingo

A spokesperson for the company said: “Dabbers will reinvigorate traditional bingo, replacing cups of tea with cocktails, bingo callers with comedians and dreary prizes with incredible experiences, whilst celebrating this classic British game and remaining true to its cultural heritage.”

They added: “Guests will leave their problems at the door as they collect their bingo cards.”

Partygoers will be given bingo cards Pic: Dabbers Social Bingo

However, the opening of Dabbers comes at a time when the UK bingo hall industry is in sharp decline.

Although halls are still considered a national institution, the number of physical clubs has substantially dropped – from nearly 600 in 2005 to fewer than 400 today.

The decline has been blamed on the presence of online bingo sites, which in contrast, have witnessed an unprecedented rise in popularity.

In just under a decade, the online bingo industry, alongside online casinos and poker, increased from £817 million to £4.5 billion between 2009 and 2017.

Dabbers hopes to reverse this trend by tapping into the 18-35 demographic.

Entrepreneur Ed Wethered, the founder of Dabbers Social Bingo, said: “It is not enough to just offer up a night club any more. We’re taking the underlying core attractiveness of bingo and repackaging it for the twenty first century.”

Wethered previously worked in wealth management before setting up his own charity, Raise Your Hands, in 2014.

He made the move into “immersive” bingo after seeing a gap in the market.

Drag queen as part of the show. Pic: Dabbers Social Bingo

Wethered said: “I ran bingo nights as a part of the way to promote the charity work that I was doing with Raise Your Hands.”

He continued: “I was blown away by how many people came to enjoy bingo, the power of the game and how appealing it was to pretty much every person in London.”

He has also paired up with the teams behind Musical Bingo, Gospeloke, and Comedy House Party to bring Dabbers to the public.

The founder of Picturehouse Cinemas, Lyn Goleby, has also financially backed the venue.

Dabbers Social Bingo will be open to the public from November 28.

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