Bingo and St. Gregory: A Story of Charity

Many Catholic parishes and schools benefit from the influx of funds from bingo And the benefits of playing bingo are being felt by communities far and wide.

Bingo is more than just a game of chance. Many of the local non profits benefit from using it as a tool to raise funds for social welfare programs and the like. The Catholic Church’s official stance on bingo is that they do not forbid gambling, and bingo is not a sin. As a case in point, in South Hampton Roads $3.34 million was grossed for the fiscal year of 1999-2000 for 6 Catholic parishes and schools. This information was documented by Virginia’s Charitable Gaming Commission. Many causes like parochial schools received $392,882 of the sum raised.

St. Gregory the Great Church

St. Gregory Great Church Men’s Club donated $61,000 to the local parish school. On Friday nights the St. Gregory Great Catholic Church is packed with people ready to play bingo. There are plenty of cash prizes on offer, ranging from $100 to $3,750. Some of the players are bold enough to play up to 21 bingo cards. They also offer instant bingo, which is similar to scratch-off lotto tickets. These tickets can instantly be redeemed. For many of the players, the fact that the funds go to charity is seen as a plus point.

The Men’s Club at St Gregory runs the game. They provide bingo players with responsible gaming advice and safe & secure bingo gaming. The club rejected a proposal to install an ATM machine, and they do not accept checks. However, there is an ATM for a credit union located in the parking lot. For schools such as St. Pius X School located in Norfolk, their budget runs solely on the tuition collected from students and charitable donations. The money coming in from bingo has made a big difference in the lives of the students at the school.

Generating Funds from Bingo Games

Hosting bingo can be a terrific source of revenue. However, even though it is being run by volunteers, there are still large costs that need to be covered. If an organization does not have a venue, they have to pay to rent a bingo hall which can range from $1,800 to $2,700 per week. And provision of the bingo prizes is in itself a big cost – but one which is certainly appreciated by players at the games.