Press-Republican

Local News

August 2, 2013

State officials discuss senior bingo

PLATTSBURGH — Assemblywoman Janet Duprey has vowed to see if something can be done to keep bingo alive at Robert S. Long Apartments.

“It’s certainly something I’m going to pursue,” she told the crowd gathered at the complex Wednesday for an open discussion on bingo regulations.

The meeting, attended by both bingo players and representatives from the State Gaming Commission, came after the building’s weekly, recreational bingo club of 40 years shut down in March after learning it did not have the proper permit to operate. 

The group had been hosting games, attended by seniors and disabled individuals from throughout the area, at which cards could be purchased for $1, 25 cents and 1 cent. 

USE OF FUNDS

Hazel Nichols, who had been the group’s president, told the Press-Republican after the meeting that they had been putting half of the proceeds from their $1 cards back into the club to cover the costs of supplies and dinner outings, as well as $30 Christmas bonuses given to active members. The other half was dispersed as prize money, which could sometimes be as much as $30. 

All of the proceeds from the 25-cent and 1-cent cards were given as prize money. 

In addition, the club charged an annual $3 membership fee, which went into the club’s account.

Duprey asked State Gaming Commission officials to come talk with seniors about the situation that led to them ending their games.

Rich Kuczynski, deputy director of the Division of Charitable Gaming, explained that his agency regulates games of chance and bingo in the state.

Current statute allows for three types of bingo: regular licensed bingo, free bingo and limited-period bingo. 

LIMITED-PERIOD BINGO

Limited-period bingo, he said, allows the game to be played for a certain number of days at a festival or carnival setting and likely doesn’t apply to the apartment complex’s bingo club. 

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