All-day bingo 'hub' opens in Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi bingo players are starting the new year with a win.
Golden Bingo Family, a San Antonio-based company, opened the first section of Bingoland, a set of four halls at 4834 State Highway 286, on Dec. 21. The second section is expected to open by Feb. 1.
Bingoland is a one-stop bingo hub that allows customers to play from morning until late night without driving from one location to another. Texas law limits each hall to two bingo sessions per day.
“We wanted to be a spot where people can come in the morning, play a session or two and be able to play another session within an hour,” said General Manager Justin Aguilar.
Bingoland’s four halls play host to daytime, afternoon, evening and late-night sessions. All four halls are operating in the two buildings that opened in December, but the afternoon and late-night halls will move into the additional two new buildings when construction is finished later this month.
The four buildings combined total more than 48,000 square feet and represent a roughly $10 million investment, Aguilar said.
The Golden Bingo Family has more than two dozen halls in the Rio Grande Valley, Central Texas, Houston and San Antonio areas. The company opened its first Corpus Christi hall, Las Vegas Bingo, in 2013.
“When we came into Corpus Christi we found out here was a really good market for bingo,” Aguilar said.
Besides Bingoland, the company owns Crosstown Bingo, Las Vegas Bingo and recently acquired All Saints Bingo in Corpus Christi. Crosstown Bingo will close when the new Bingoland halls are fully operational later this month.
Bingoland is the company’s first attempt at combining multiple halls into a bingo hub. The location near the intersection of South Padre Island Drive and the Crosstown Expressway was appealing, Aguilar said.
“We found out we can get everybody in South Texas, from Kingsville, Robstown, mainly because of that freeway,” he said.
Proceeds from bingo halls in Texas are distributed to 501c(3) nonprofit charities in the counties where the halls operate.
In 2018 charities received $29.7 million in distributions from charitable bingo, the Texas Lottery Commission reported. Bingo pumped $216.4 million in direct spending into the state's economy in 2017, while accounting for 2,961 direct and indirect jobs, according to a report by the industry group Texas Charity Advocates.
A 5% tax is collected on all winnings. Half of that 5% goes to the state, and the other half is split between the city and county.
Strict sanitation measures are in place at Bingoland, and customers are required to wear masks and social distance.