Boston Mayor Uses Bingo to Jumpstart Local Business


Excessive snowfall has plenty of negative effects. From disrupting traffic to causing problems with utilities, not every result is as enjoyable as the famous day out of school. One side effect that you may not have considered, however, is the intense pressure that blizzards can place on local economies, particularly in the case of locally owned and operated businesses.

With over 100 inches of snowfall in less than a month, businesses throughout Boston were beginning to feel the effects, as consumers throughout the metropolis stayed home out of the cold instead of frequenting the city’s multitude of shops and restaurants. In order to get people back into the swing of things, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced “Boston Bingo”, which served as a way for residents and visitors to win awesome prizes for supporting the local economy.

By picking up a bingo card at businesses around Main Street districts or printing one online, players could begin their unique game. Bingo cards included a variety of economy-driven tasks such as “Grab a Burger” or “Let’s Hit the Gym”, which encouraged participants to get out and help the city’s businesses get back on their feet following a winter with an historic amount of snowfall.

To play, residents were required to take a photo of each location they completed and post it to social media with a unique hashtag, providing local businesses with increased publicity to help drive improved sales figures over the coming months. While the possibility of prizes definitely upped the enjoyment factor for the game’s participants, there’s no question that its true benefits were realized by Boston’s network of small businesses.

“We are excited to launch Boston Bingo,” said John Barros, Boston’s Chief of Economic Development. “The weather has taken a toll on small business revenues, making it harder for them to pay their employees, or keep up with the costs of keeping their doors open. It’s so important that we do what we can to support them, and encourage our neighbors to do the same.”

Residents and visitors had the choice of submitting cards with one line completed for a single entry into the grand prize raffle, or a completed card for seven entries into the sweepstakes. Potential prizes included Hockey tickets or a chance to have coffee with the city’s mayor. With the promotion ending just days ago, the overall results appear to be extremely positive for the city’s economy.

“Boston Bingo” is the latest in a long line of examples of the classic game being used to inspire positive, effective results. With a nearly infinite number of tweaks to fit nearly any situation, bingo is among the most universally applicable games for inspiring action. With this successful solution recently wrapping up, look for similar solutions in the future to get citizens out and about while supporting local businesses and other important causes.

From classrooms and retirement homes to city wide events, bingo continues to grow in popularity and appeal. Where will the next groundbreaking use of the popular gambling option take place? Only time will tell.