Electronic Bingo machines are expected to help Bingo Halls increase profits, and serve a more diverse group of people.
A Bingo Hall is betting technology will pull it from the depths of profit loss. Electronic Bingo machines and the gaming commission’s revamped profit sharing plan are expected to increase revenue in an area that has experienced a loss of $200 million in Bingo Halls. Ten years ago, the area flourished in Bingo. Over 100 halls have since folded. The electronic machines are intended to spur a renewed interest in the game and draw more players.
Electronic Bingo Machines
The Bingo machines have been in place for five years. One of six facilities in the area is up to 110 units. The digital units are called geckos, and store a variety of Bingo games. The hall is expecting to receive 90 more machines. The gaming commission specifically stated the units are not slot machines, but instead takes Bingo to a new level, and the commission is hoping they will attract an expanded Bingo following, which includes men. In the past, Bingo hasn’t drawn a male population as much as the Bingo operators would have liked. Traditional Bingo with manual dabbers and cards is still available to patrons who prefer it to the electronic units. Digital Bingo does the dabbing for its users.
Sharing the Bingo Profits
Profit sharing is a mainstay in Bingo, and the commission’s revenue plan will continue to serve nonprofit organizations. Under the new plan, nonprofits receive 25 percent of the revenue; the gaming commission, 25 percent; Bingo operators, 47 percent; and cities and towns, 3 percent. The plan is now uniform for all Bingo Halls in the area, and benefits nonprofits, which sends people to work shifts during their assigned months. A total of 44 nonprofits reap the rewards from Bingo profits at one hall in the area. The plan goes into effect in the fall, but an idea of how much revenue it will gain isn’t clear just yet.
New Owners Breathe life into Bingo Hall
At least one Bingo Hall will receive a total transformation. A large Bingo operator in the area has purchased the hall, and with the new ownership comes a more modern facility. In addition to bringing in more Bingo electronic machines, the hall will offer more food and beverage options to patrons. It will also feature a lounge and serve alcohol, as well as a new sign on the front of the building. The gaming commission projects Bingo patrons will receive a well-rounded experience.