Diversification is the name of the game at Circus Circus!
Pride Family Bingo is run by a couple of drag queens at the Las Vegas casino Circus Circus. The bingo event is held on the first Wednesday of each month, and will continue through December. The Southern Nevada Association of Pride, Inc. receives all of the drag queen bingo night proceeds. A local Pride parade and festival are produced by this nonprofit organization.
Casino Diversification Policy
MGM Resorts owns Circus Circus. Some of the MGM Resorts holdings donated much of the prizes given out at the bingo games. A Nevada law prohibits the distribution of monetary prizes at bingo fundraisers, resulting in the gift awards such as show tickets. The value of each prize was approximately $200.
Money is the bottom line at casinos, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community in Vegas provides a lucrative source of revenue. To that end, and also as a
humanitarian effort to promote understanding and equality, Circus Circus has established a pro-active policy of diversification. MGM Resorts has further created a Vegas style gay celebration, calling it Fabulous 2012. That three-night party was initiated in 2010 and includes reduced rates for rooms and entertainment. Price reductions also extend to shopping, dining, club entrance fees and bar tabs. Activities with gay themes are available to all participants.
The History of Pride Family Bingo
Ernie Yuen, Pride association president, initiated Pride Family Bingo ten years ago. The bingo event was held at a hamburger joint on Paradise Road in Las Vegas for six years.
Hamburger Mary’s closed in 2008; so Pride Bingo took a vacation for four years. It just so happens that Ernie Yuen is the catering and banquet manager at Circus Circus. His employer has now become the willing host of Pride Family Bingo, which fits neatly into their business diversity plans.
Pride Family Bingo at Circus Circus
Two drag queens, Norma Llyaman and Diana Prince, ran the first Circus Circus monthly Pride Family Bingo in the casino ballroom, with 300 players present. A very good sport, Aletha Stainbrook, got mixed up and yelled “Bingo” for nothing. She’s not your average bingo player to say the least. Perhaps she got carried away by the excitement!
Far be it from Llyaman and Prince to let a potentially funny episode pass them by. They hauled the hapless Stainbrook onto the stage and proceeded to stuff cotton candy into her mouth while she was directed to say “chubby bunny” aloud. Stainbrook loved the cotton candy! But the words were mighty slurred. After being one of the anonymous 300 individuals in the crowd, the young bingo player was also more than a bit joyous at the celebrity attention that she received. Having acquired a once-in-a-lifetime Vegas tale, the champion of premature “bingo” is contented.
Reasonably-priced nachos and prime rib were sold prior to the games, creating happy and satisfied players. Yuen commented that the number of participants exceeded casino expectations. He added that the long bar lines will be shortened at next month’s bingo event by the addition of a second bar. A well-attended and entertaining casino event always spells success!