- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (AP) - Local nonprofits host bingo nights each week, but have seen a decline in attendance recently.

The decline might be due to brutal winter weather, but local leaders involved with bingo at different locations are hopeful the number will improve.

Logansport VFW Post 3790 has witnessed a drop in attendance in recent years, but the number is slowly going back up, post commander Mike Sims told the Pharos-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1nLVPmq ).

Since the Logansport Eagles closed, VFW Post 3790 has picked up involvement from some of the Eagles’ members, Sims said.

Weather has also caused problems in attendance for the nonprofit.

Bingo is available every Thursday at VFW Post 3790, 1023 Erie Ave., with early bird bingo at 5 p.m. and regular bingo at 6 p.m.

The challenges for charitable gaming - bingo, raffles and pull tabs - span the state. Charitable gaming has taken a hit in recent years.

Charities were generating $560 million in gross gaming revenue 10 years ago. The number has steadily dropped and last year just $465 million was generated.

Bingo had a similar drop. Annual bingo gross revenue in the state dropped from $425 million in 2007 to $182 million in 2012.

Other locations in town offering weekly bingo are the Downtown Senior Center and American Legion Post 60.

Cathy Martinez, transportation director at the senior center, said she would like to see attendance improve.

Attendance has dropped some weeks because of the weather. On a normal week between 25 and 30 players play bingo. Martinez would like to see upward of 50 people participating.

“The biggest problem we have is a lot of people think because it’s a senior center it’s only for senior citizens,” Martinez said. “Bingo is open to everyone.”

There are varying cash prizes for bingo, with most payouts being around $40, Martinez said.

The Downtown Senior Center, 115 S. Sixth St., offers bingo every Wednesday with early birds at 6 p.m. and regular bingo at 6:30 p.m.

Bingo takes place at the American Legion Post 60 Monday evenings with early birds at 6 p.m. and regular games starting around 6:45 p.m. Several individual games, including pull tabs, are available, and those who attend can play one of everything for $20.

At the VFW, the game is a way both to raise money for charity and offset some of the nonprofit’s expenses, Sims said. Money is directed to various charities in town including Emmaus Mission Center, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and a softball team the organization sponsors, Fred Packard, gaming chairman for VFW Post 3790, said.

Varying monetary prizes, depending on the game of bingo, are offered to winners, Packard said.

“We’ve seen a decline in attendance, but it’s starting to come back,” Sims said.

Local nonprofits might be affected by the charitable gaming bill that would raise the prize limits that charities and churches offer.

The potential bill would raise cash prizes from $599 to $15,000 for individual games and boost the top prize to $30,000 for “super” bingo games.

This could potentially make charity gaming across the state more competitive.

___

Information from: Pharos-Tribune, http://www.pharostribune.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide