Bingo was shown at both technology trade shows, like the 1998 SIGGRAPH conference where it was shown as the grand finale of the Electronic Theater, and at more traditional film festivals. Some notable film festivals that showed Bingo during its initial release include the Sundance Film Festival, the Ottawa International Animation Festival, the Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival, the Aspen Short Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival.
The film received critical acclaim upon its release. Landreth did not submit Bingo to the Sundance Film Festival, but the festival organizers asked to show it anyway—a rare honor. At the Aspen Short Film Festival it won the "Animated Eye" award, it won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, and it won the Media Prize for Best Computer Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.