Win some cash at Myrtle Beach bingo!
A bingo hall that is offering cash prizes has opened up in Myrtle Beach and is operated by Allen Deaton, a former mayor of Surfside Beach. After a yearlong procedure to get the required licensing and zoning permits, Beach Bingo has finally opened. Deaton is the promoter and is partnered with VFW which already had a bingo license. Every day of the week, players can buy conventional paper bingo cards or use electronic bingo machines. The jackpots can be between $150 and $20.
The Myrtle Beach Bingo Tradition
The bingo hall is located by the Nance Plaza fountain and attempts to draw on the tradition in Myrtle Beach that dates back to the era of Sloppy Joe’s. Sloppy Joe’s was in operation nearly 50 years ago and was located where the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum now stands. At Sloppy Joe’s the players used kernels of corn to mark their card. Along Grand Strand, bingo is a popular activity where over 10 bingo halls are licensed to operate. Beach Bingo opened with the goal of becoming a more family-friendly bingo hall where everyone is welcome to join the fun. One of the disadvantages to a rise in popularity of Beach Bingo is parking. Currently, Beach Bingo does not have a parking lot – only street parking and a paid parking garage. Despite this fact, Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment executive director Dave Sebok says that Beach Bingo could revitalize the downtown area in the evenings and afternoons. Sebok says BB is an innovative approach to a traditional game.
South Carolina regulates the operation of bingo and only gives licenses to non-profit organizations that share taxes and revenues on the paid games. These non-profit organizations work with promoters who are in control of the entire operation. The VFW had a bingo hall in Florence that closed 2 years ago but still had a valid bingo license and was searching for a new bingo hall partner. VFW found Deaton’s request for a license and decided to team up with him to create Beach Bingo. Deaton said that it was a great opportunity and VFW will use their part of the revenue to help veterans by giving them free meals, support groups and several other programs. Deaton believes it will do even better than it did in Florence because of his management and the great location. Deaton owned the building where Beach Bingo is now held for over 30 years and ran a dance, gymnastics and karate studio out of the building.
The Agape Christian Fellowship had used the building for 17 years until it relocated to another building last year. Deaton said that he put $60,000 into renovating the building, paying various startup costs and purchasing the bingo equipment. Beach Bingo can accommodate 200 players and plans to hold games the entire year. Deaton also plans to team up with some of the hotels in the area so that tourists will visit BB while they are in town. He believes that BB will see the busiest time of year as many retirees travel to Myrtle Beach during winter to escape the cold conditions that affect many parts of the country.