Electronic Bingo Helps Foot the Bill for the New Viking Stadium

The largest gambling expansion in 25 years is underway in Minnesota. Electronic gaming vendors are clamoring to win contracts that could prove to be quite lucrative. Minnesota legalized Bingo in 1946 and Pulltabs in 1985. This is essentially the activation of change on a very large scale for the state. Minnesota currently has a $1 billion-a-year charitable gaming industry that funds a vast array of community organizations and efforts. State officials anticipate a significant increase in revenue brought in with the e-gambling additions. The Minnesota Gaming Control Board expects to generate $348 million in taxes to subsidize the new Viking Stadium

Advanced Technology Appeal of Bingo Gaming

The Minnesota Gambling Board hopes to attract a younger generation of Bingo players and draw out new gamblers with the addition of electronic gambling devices and games. Younger crowds tend to be more technologically savvy than those in previous generations and will likely find the electronic gambling options more appealing than the historic cardboard pulltabs. Electronic pulltabs are games played on an iPad -like device complete with audio and visual effects. Currently found in very few states, including Illinois, Florida, and Idaho, it is hard to determine precisely how readily consumers across the board will embrace the additions. The Minnesota Gambling Board projects a rough estimation of locations that will install the pulltabs at 2,500 of the state’s 2,800 sites that currently have gambling licenses.

In addition, they expect to see 1,500 new electronic Bingo games installed, as well. Equipment vendors are reported to be visiting the state, particularly in Metro areas such as the Twin Cities, examining the landscape and comparing the market to that of their own state. Uncertain about the response of his clientele, Rick Rone, Manager of a VFW near the Canadian Border believes that a majority of his customers will have no interest in the new technology. Many clubs that hold gambling licenses, organizations such as the Elks, the VFW, and the American Legion cater to members who are 65 and older. Appealing to this particular demographic may prove to be a quite a challenge.

Charitable Gambling Rolls Forward

There are some skeptics who have voiced their concerns over a variety of unknown factors. Hiring new staff and orienting existing staff will become more complicated as employees and volunteers will require specialized training to operate and manage the new equipment. Laurie Gluesing manages numerous bars and restaurants throughout the state and says that she will likely try the new games in some of her larger establishments, but is not in favor of the extra work and stress at the smaller sites. As vendors scramble to check out the e-gambling landscape in Minnesota and examine the profitability of such ventures, the dice are rolling in the competition to land contracts.

The Gambling Control Board revealed that they started processing the financial and criminal background check on the first vendor to submit an application last week. Executive director of the Minnesota Gambling Control Board, Tom Barrett is scheduled to visit equipment testing labs this week to acquire information on how the equipment and products will be tested prior to sale and installation. Regardless of the legwork still necessary to iron out the wrinkles, the groundwork has already been laid and the wheels are spinning. The dream of a new Viking Stadium is one step closer to reality as virtual gaming takes the lead in Minnesota.

Decline of Nebraska Charitable Bingo Gaming Revenues

Nebraska charitable bingo gaming becomes an endangered species.

 The entertainment of bingo is reaching fewer and fewer people. The “regulars” are declining in number. There’s a law of attrition at work here. As older folks stop going out, no one is taking their places at the bingo tables. That creates a shortfall in revenue for dozens of Nebraska charities. During the past 10 years, charitable organizations have seen the negative effects of big business gambling. Bingo halls are shutting down left and right. The records of the Nebraska Department of Revenue indicate that in 2011, seven bingo operations closed their doors.

One of those charitable bingo-style operations was the Holy Name parish. Established in Omaha in the 1950s, it flourished for 40 years. The church and its elementary school relied on the $250,000 per year in bingo revenue. Unfortunately for the church however, the state lottery came into existence in 1993, followed by casinos. Soon after the advent of the lottery and big business gambling, church administrators could see and feel the writing on the wall, until there was no longer a financial benefit to continuing their bingo operations.

Diminishing competition among bingo halls does not mean increased profits

 In 1993 there were around 279 Nebraska bingo licenses. Today there are only 93. Bingo in Grand Island tells the story well. Bingo used to be played every night of the week in Grand Island. The town is now down to just three bingo operations: Elks Club, VFW Post 1347 and the Knights of Columbus Grand Island Chapter. Seven nights a week of bingo is just a thing of the past.

The three remaining bingo establishments are all experiencing a drop in income. The collateral damage of that diminished revenue involves a difficult decrease in church contributions. The difficulty arises when churches have to run their activities with less money. Ultimately it’s the community that suffers. A necessary fire engine replacement can’t be made, or youth activities are cut. Industries other than just bingo are endangered due to lottery, casinos and insufficiently protective provisions in the current gaming laws. Thoroughbred horse racing has also suffered the effects of statewide gambling alternatives.

History of the Gambling in Nebraska

In 2002, to finance local government, the state offered every town the option of opening keno operations. Immediately, bars throughout Nebraska became gambling establishments. While keno wagering has steadily risen, pickle cards have fallen. For those who have never played, pickle cards are the paper pull-tab tickets game that supports nonprofit organizations.

In 1993, $177 million was wagered in Nebraska on pickle cards. That amount has dropped drastically, and in 2011 the total was only $28.7 million. The primary necessity of the bingo industry is to attract new players. A younger generation needs to be the focal point. The perception of bingo is one of slow action and old folks’ entertainment. It’s not accurate. Bingo today is fast, furious and varied. There’s Instant Bingo; Tournament Bingo; Jackpot Bingo; Team Bingo; Poker Bingo; 30, 75, 80 and 90 Ball Bingo. The game has already been adapted to the 21st Century. In many places in the U.S., men and women of all ages are turning on to the social enjoyment and challenge of bingo games. “Fun” still and forever defines bingo. That message should and can be transmitted to the now generation. The media is effective, but it must be utilized. Playing dead doesn’t work.

Necessary changes in Nebraska

 According to Steve Schatz, retired Policy Manager, Charitable Gaming Division, Department of Revenue, the state can make adjustments that would be beneficial to bingo, and hopefully reverse the charitable gaming revenue decline in Nebraska. One innovation would be the establishment of a simulcast bingo. This involves a video feed of bingo games to locations outside the live bingo operation. The purpose would be to decrease the costs and increase the pots, to lure former and future bingo players.

Schatz also suggests changes in the Nebraska gaming laws. He is, however, pessimistic, and believes that the nonprofit organizations can’t get it together sufficiently to lobby for those changes. Energy and dedication are all that’s needed. It’s essential that bingo operators wake up and begin to use the media to spread information about bingo innovations. It’s also essential that the Nebraska State Legislature take the bit in its mouth and tweak the gaming laws to protect the endangered bingo, horse racing and pickle card industries. Competition is the way of life in America.

Silver Legacy Resort Casino and Bingo Goes Under

Reno and Atlantic City casinos are the negative recipients of legalized gambling and a long-lasting recession.It’s business as usual for the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno. It’s also a pending, voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In the 1,700-room resort, there are 1,800 employees whose jobs are presently secure. The casino is owned by Circus and Eldorado Joint Venture, and opened its doors in 1995. Bingo is one of the casino’s featured attractions too.

Staggering Debt at Reno Casino

A positive note by Gary Carano, CEO of Circus and Eldorado, assures that a healthy cash flow continues. The purpose of the bankruptcy is to reorganize the casino’s $142 million debt. The bankruptcy gives the Silver Legacy protection against creditors and time to negotiate with those creditors. The parent companies hope to establish a stable financial position through the negotiation process.

Joining Other Casinos & Bingo Halls in Bankruptcy

 A University of Nevada economist, Bill Eadington, has observed that the worst gaming markets in America are concentrated in Reno and Atlantic City. The proliferation of Indian casinos, legalized gambling throughout the states and a lengthy recession have taken their toll on the former centers of the gaming industry. According to Eadington, bankruptcy has touched, or is being considered by MGM Resorts International. The CityCenter Las Vegas property, owned by MGM Resorts International, is carrying billions of dollars in debt. Another endangered casino, Harrah’s properties, a subsidiary of Caesars, has present debts in excess of $20 billion.

By contrast, the Chapter 11 that the Silver Legacy filed, was the result of a $142.8 million mortgage note due on the first of March. Various other Nevada and Atlantic City operations have filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Station Casinos of Las Vegas remained in bankruptcy proceedings for two years. After completing their reorganization, they emerged as a stable financial entity. Several Atlantic City properties owned by Donald Trump have gone through the process of Chapter 11. In 2010, the Siena Hotel Spa & Casino of Reno was closed down after filing for bankruptcy. That property was sold at auction. The new owners re-established the casino in 2011.

Legalized Gambling in 50 States – It’s True

 Gaming has been legalized in every state in the U.S., other than Hawaii and Utah. Poker, blackjack, bingo, craps, slots, roulette and a host of other games are present in almost everyone’s backyard. As an added attraction, online gaming has brought the casino to the living rooms of America. Sweepstakes arcades, with poker, keno and bingo, have opened in Hawaii. Additionally, the Hawaiian legislature has been considering the legalization of gambling in an attempt to reduce their huge state deficit.

In Ohio, the voters approved the establishment of casinos in the cities of Cleveland, Toledo, Cincinnati and Columbus. A comprehensive gambling bill has yet to be enacted by the state legislature. Nevertheless, the first of the casinos opened its doors in Cleveland on Monday, May 14, 2012. Eadington, the economist and Reno gaming expert, has concluded that this is the wrong time, and Reno and Atlantic City are the wrong places for the existence of casino enterprises.

Potential Bingo Charity Abuse?

Charitable Bingo is currently regulated by the Texas Lottery Commission’s Charitable Bingo Division. The Commission is examining methods to improve the oversight and regulation to ensure that charitable Bingo in Texas is not ‘taken advantage of’. During a recent investigation News 4 WOAI trouble shooter Mireya Villarreal reports that due to a possible lack of oversight, charitable Bingo in Texas could be taken advantage of.

Fraud Being Committed with Bingo Charity Causes?

Villarreal found that some Bingo management companies charge so much for expenses and operations that there is little to nothing left for charitable contributions. Jose Menendez, State Representative said “We should do a lengthy audit of all of them (Texas Charitable Bingo) to see what percentage is actually helping charities. Menendez asserts that his office is already working on a solution to the issue. There is a clear need for a system of checks and balances to ensure that left-over money is allocated to the appropriate charities.

What’s The Scoop on Charitable Bingo Operations?

Bingo halls are regulated by the Texas Lottery Commission’s Charitable Bingo Division under the Bingo Enabling Act. The guidelines and monitoring protocol of operations however, are quite vague. The only mechanism of official oversight is that Bingo halls must claim that their expenses are ‘reasonable and necessary’. Therein lies the potential problem-Bingo companies are charging so much for expenses that there is very little leftover for charity.

The majority of the money brought in goes back out in the form of cash and prizes to the players. After salaries, fees, and operation expenses are paid, the remainder of the money is earmarked for charitable contributions. Villarreal spoke with Percy Spence, Commander of the Randolph Area Chapter 17 of Disabled American Veterans who said he studied the books in depth after 11 months of business and realized that there was money coming in, but the flip side is the money was going back out. Percy explained that his organization signed up for charitable Bingo a few years back. He claims that the Bingo hall they signed with was making lots of money, but they were in turn charging him exorbitantly for expenses.

Percy eventually had to surrender the non-profits Bingo license just to keep from going bankrupt. In answer to Villarreal’s question as to where the money was actually going. The bottom line is that Charitable Bingo in Texas is a tax-based, complex operation with ample opportunities for fraud. A very clear need exists for the program to be examined and monitored more closely to ensure integrity in charitable provisions are actually met.

The Texas Sunset Committee Convenes

A recent review conducted by the Texas Sunset Committee in early April points out that Charitable Bingo could very well be taken advantage of due to the lack of oversight. Phil Sanderson, Director of the Charitable Bingo Division declined an interview with News 4 during the investigation. Villarreal found video of him testifying before the Sunset Committee stating that monitoring needs to be increased. The problem, claimed Sanderson, is that they just don’t have enough money in their budget to audit or inspect halls as often as they would like.

Much of the bingo license fee revenue that the State collects is not appropriated back to the agency for Bingo regulation. Furthermore, the agency does not have authority to charge fees for some of the Bingo regulation that it does provide. Bingo licensing fees are insufficient to fully cover the costs of regulation. The committee made recommendations as to how monitoring can be improved, but when these recommendations could be implemented is not clear.

Enter Jose Menendez, State Representative that currently sits on the state committee that oversees the Texas Lottery Commission and Charitable Bingo. Menendez believes that audits are necessary. Menendez assured News 4 that his office is already in the process of working on potential legislation that will address these issues.

The Mystery Behind the Doors at Piedmont Bingo on U.S. Route 278

In 2010, the once hustling and bustling Piedmont Bingo shut down due to waning business

and diminishing profits. Recent talk about the Piedmont re-opening with new electronic gaming format is all-the-buzz. It is causing quite a stir, while opposing ambitions seem to be in play. The legality of the electronic operation and exactly who is behind it remains quite a mystery. Local authorities insist that the machines are illegal and will seize them as soon as they are in operation. Jack Draper, attorney for National Promotions, informed the Piedmont Council that if the electronic sweepstakes machines are seized, he will prove in court that they are, indeed, legal.

 Pop Goes the Bingo

Last managed and operated by the VVA Chapter No. 502 (Vietnam Veterans of America), the Piedmont Bingo hall has been closed since December of 2010. All Bingo at that time was paper based. Enter – National Promotions, a Birmingham-based company that now plans to introduce electronic sweepstakes machines in lieu of the traditional paper Bingo cards. Attorney Jack Draper initially approached the city at a council meeting in August of 2011 about the opening the Piedmont. At that time he stated that he was representing the VVA Chapter No. 502 and there was no mention of electronic machines.

Draper also represents a company near Glencoe which operates electronic sweepstakes machines and his plan is to prove in court that these machines are legal. He told reporters that he will sue if the business in Glencoe, Calhoun County, is forced to shut down. In addition, he stated that he will file a judgment if the Piedmont equipment is seized by the local authorities. Calhoun County District Attorney Brian McVeigh has other plans, however, stating that the machines are illegal and following a thorough investigation he plans on shutting National Promotions down. The tug of war over electronic operations at the former Piedmont Bingo begins. 

Smoke and Mirrors

The website for National Promotions, winandbid.com, shows the Piedmont as the site for its business. The website itself is registered to Promotions LLC. An email address on the site is registered to a man by the name of Chad Dickie and is also listed on a job-search website. The same telephone number is listed on several websites for both the Piedmont Bingo and National Promotions. A phone call made by a Star reporter was greeted by a man who initially identified himself as Dickie, but when asked about his involvement with National Promotions, the man said that he was “Fred”. Provided with another number, the reporter was able to reach ‘Buxton’ who claims to be the owner and manager of National Promotions and that Chad Dickie is the assistant of operations. Draper, attorney for the company told the reporter that he cannot disclose the identity of the owners.

The Piedmont building itself is owned by Craig Potts, an Arizona resident. Potts was the CEO of a company called Cash Systems, Inc. until 2005. Potts was quoted in 2011 article in the Concord, New Hampshire Monitor saying that he owns several gaming facilities in the Turks, Caicos, and in New Hampshire. In 2008 Potts was acquitted in federal court on 26 counts of bribery following allegations that he attempted to bribe leaders of the Ojibwe tribe that operate casinos in Minnesota. In another disreputable twist, Chad Dickie was allegedly the manager of the White Hall Gaming Center in Lowndes County in 2009 when it was closed by then Governor Bob Riley’s office for illegal gambling. A lot of uncertainty clearly remains and details forthcoming are murky, at best.

Bingo and the St. Mary’s Polish Country Fair

Fun, food, rides, music and Bingo – what more could we ask?

In the entire United States, the largest high school country fair is the St. Mary’s Polish Country Fair. It has everything for everyone. This fair defines Memorial Day Weekend, and has done so for 41 years. Whoever plans the Polish Country Fair’s events has a talented eye for people-pleasing action. This year, there will be live music, rides, great Polish food and Bingo.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Preparatory

 This is the fundraiser of the year for the school. Be prepared for crowds and smiles. Over 100,000 visitors enjoy the fair each year. ADMISSION IS FREE. The high school is located at 3535 Indian Trail in Orchard Lake, Michigan, at the corner of Commerce and Orchard Lake Roads. The fair hours are Friday, May 25, 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM; Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27, 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM; and Monday, May 28, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM.

Bingo and Black Jack at the Polish Country Fair

This year, there will be a separate Bingo tent for some fast-action games and cash prizes. The cards are $1.50 each. Best of all, the profits go toward the support of a great school. There will also be a Vegas tent for the delight of adults, 18 years and older. Black Jack, Craps, Roulette, Big Wheel and Texas Hold’em will all be played.

Rides and a Kids’ Zone

 Expect to see 40 Midway rides; thrill rides; Merry-go-Rounds; and the biggest ride of them all, an 80-foot roller coaster. There will also be a Kids’ Zone, filled with crafts for youngsters. Live music by many bands, from Rock to Jazz to Polish Rock, will add to the entertainment. The satirical group, The Polish Muslims, will be there to amuse.

Bingo and Food Aplenty

 Kielbasa, five kinds of pierogi, kapusta, Polish sausage, golabki, and a Polish Combo Plate are all on the $2-$10 Polish side of the menu. Add to that hamburgers, corn dogs, fresh baked goods, smoothies and ice-cold adult beverages, and you’ve got a meal. Fun for the fair goers and money for the school. It’s the best.

Minnesota Permits Electronic Bingo Gambling

Business owners hope to boost revenues with Electronic Bingo Gambling

Electronic pull tabs and bingo games will be permitted in bars and restaurants in Minnesota. This could be very good news for many, but for Rochester’s clerics, this could be a temptation to sin. Mike Benson, a Republican Representative from Rochester, said that preachers were scared about the consequences that this could bring to their congregation. According to the pastors, there are many individuals who have lost all of their belongings due to their gambling addictions and the fact that these games are being allowed, increases the temptation of such people.

Fear Not: Bingo Players Help their Communities

On the other hand, many people are very excited about these new allocations. These individuals strongly believe that electronic pull tabs and bingo games in their bars and restaurants will increase their business revenues. Dick Kari, owner of Powerhouse Bar in Proctor, said that he is in favour of electronic gambling since it can help him, and other businesses, bring in new and younger customers into their bars and restaurants. In addition, he said that given that many bars and restaurants are in bankruptcy, they need this helping hand to be able to motivate new customers to go and have some fun in their places.

The Last Word in Favour of Bingo Gambling

Furthermore, Patron Scott Mullen from Hermantown said that he is aware of the difficulty that electronic gambling could cause to those fighting gambling addictions; however, he believes that the benefits are much higher than the disadvantages. According to Mullen, this development is essential since it will create new jobs, and it will help in building the new stadium. Further, it will generate a lot of economic rewards, and basically, the whole state will benefit from it. Nevertheless, some legislators are worried that the electronic gambling extension will not be as trustworthy as they expect it to be. According to one of the legislators, Iowa did the same before; however they only recovered one fourth of the expected sum.

Tribe in Martha’s Vineyard Votes to Open Class II Bingo Gaming

A surprise voting issue was presented on May 6, 2012 at a Wampanoag Tribe general membership meeting: The question was whether to use an as-yet-unfinished community center for class II gaming. No announcement preceded the vote, which came down along geographic residential lines. Those tribal members living in Aquinnah generally voted against, while those living on the mainland voted for.

The Governor of Massachusetts and the town counsel have determined that per the 1983 Settlement Act, the tribe waived its rights to gaming. The government’s view is that the Settlement Act limits the Tribe to town zoning in effect at the time of the Act, and that the Aquinnah zoning laws at that time did not allow a casino, gaming facility or other gaming activities.

The Tribe’s attorneys in Spokane, Washington

 Martha’s Vineyard is located on the other side of the world from Spokane, Washington. Nevertheless, the lawyers of the Massachusetts tribe are housed in the State of Washington. The Tribal Advocacy Group of the Crowell law office represents the Tribe.As in all matters legal, there is an opposing view concerning the controlling law. According to Mr. Crowell, the Indian Gaming Regulation Act (IGRA) pre-empts the Settlement Act in regard to all gaming issues.

High stakes Bingo, but where?

 The Wampanoag Tribe has definitely decided that high stakes Bingo will happen in a Massachusetts town. They have also concluded that their tribe will be the one to open the Class II gaming casino. However, the tribal members do not appear to have determined exactly where the facility will be located. All members interviewed, agreed that a casino in the tiny town of Aquinnah would drastically change its character. They all seem to care. Yet the vote was taken. However, there remains a question as to whether the Tribe will bother to challenge the town’s counsel.

There is a three-member board of Selectmen. One of the members, Selectman Beverly Wright stated that the board would discuss the issue “if it comes to fruition. I think it is a matter of debate, whether it is going to come to fruition.” The focus of the Tribe seems to be on the mainland towns of Lakeville, Freetown and Fall River. There are three hoops to jump through, however, before anything becomes a reality: 1) Host community approval; 2) Mashpee Aquinnah must be outmaneuvered; and 3) The legal perspective of the governor, that the Settlement Act precludes the Tribe from all gaming activities in the entirety of Massachusetts, must be legally overturned.

Class II gaming and Class III gaming compared

 High stakes Bingo, poker, pull-tab cards and electric games without coin slots comprise Class II gaming. If the tribe’s state allows the type of gaming intended, then the tribe has the authority to regulate Class II gaming on their own lands. The state’s authority is not required. Class III involves all types of gaming. It requires a tribe-state agreement. In many instances, tribes obtain a Class II license while their Class III permit is pending. The Seminole Tribe of Florida for example, utilized a Class II contract during the years that they battled the state. Finally, in 2010 they obtained their Class III permit.

Bingo is Big Business

There is a Boston public relations firm for the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah. Slowey/McManus Communications seriously represents the gaming intentions of the Tribe. There’s also a California casino development partner for the Tribe: KMD Consulting services. The Wampanoag Tribe had meet and greet programs in Lakeville and Freetown on the mainland. The plan is to develop a casino on land connecting the two towns. Another focus is Fall River, where the Tribe is considering a real estate purchase. There are only three casino licenses being given out in Massachusetts. The Wampanoag Tribe wants one. That’s the prize.

Bingo is the Life of Riley

Every once in awhile, you win. Always, you belong.

 Bingo is a time-tested game of chance. Half of the enjoyment of bingo is that there is no skill needed for winning. But it takes more than just plain luck; it takes concentration and memory as to which pattern is being used in any one game. Bingo today is more interesting and more challenging than it was when first introduced into American culture in the 1920’s. Today, it’s fast and varied. Bingo players know that “two or three missed numbers means money.” So said East Helena bingo veteran, Nancy Lanier.

The Bingo Lifestyle in Helena

There are 3 bingo halls in Helena: Best Bet Casino on Euclid, the Senior Center at the Rocky Mountain Development Council and the Moose Lodge on North Montana. Close by, is the Eagles No. 4040 in East Helena. Most people saunter in with friends or family. It’s the life. Real people play bingo. Lanier reasoned: “It’s a game of chance. If you win, you can keep playing, but if not, you’re in trouble.” When she was younger, she played bingo seven nights a week in Great Falls with her mother and two aunts. Now she’s the mother of four grown, 40-something children. Lanier, and many other veteran players, bring along a bingo bag with little pockets, each carrying one type of item: colors of daubers, a tape, a pen, a little cash, and some hand lotion. Once a week she can be found at Best Bet; once a month at the bingo hall in Great Falls; and she says that “Everyone once in a while you win.”

Bingo is Enjoyed the World Over

The manager at Best Bet, Terry St. Clair, observed that “Bingo is not a grandma’s game anymore. It’s for everyone.” She described the players as men and women from their early 20s to their late 80s. St. Clair also commented that people from all backgrounds enjoy the game. One of the couples who play bingo at Best Bet, Don & Norma Pigman, make bingo their entertainment once or twice a week. They’ve been enjoying Best Bet for five years. They have a realistic perspective: “We just try to break even.” They play for the sheer fun of it. A young day care worker, Tashina Waltz, recently went to Best Bet for the first time: “I’ve wanted to play for a long time, but nobody would ever go.” She brought along a friend of hers. Expectation often determines the result. Her friend was disappointed that he didn’t win, and commented: “I didn’t really like it. It was boring.” Waltz on the other hand was really into the game: “I’m not bummed I didn’t win, because it was my first time. I wasn’t really expecting to win.”

The Cost and Pots of Bingo

Another Best Bet player is Margaret Hoffman from East Helena. She retired from Associated Foods 29 years ago. Hoffman is a practical person who reasoned: “I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. So I figure I can play bingo.” For a regular game at Best Bet, the prices begin at $15.00, including free drinks. The usual pot is about $100.00. Lanier put the pot into perspective when she said: “Years ago I won $500.00, but they don’t give that kind of money anymore.” Times have changed, but bingo is still bingo…

Bingo Magnate on Trial

Milton McGregor is the owner of Victoryland, a complex located in Macon County, Alabama that comprises a casino, a luxury 5-star hotel and a greyhound racing track. In 2010, McGregor was arrested on charges of conspiracy and fraud. Nevertheless, this was not the last time he was accused of unlawful acts. He has repeatedly been accused of corruption and recently, he was charged with manipulating the rules of bingo for personal profit. District litigant lawyers have finally achieved what federal prosecutors were not able to do: to put McGregor in the spotlight of a civil court.

Standing Trial for Bingo Fraud?

In previous trials, McGregor was never called to be on the stand, and more than that he was always declared innocent. However, this time could be different since he has already been defending himself for two days with no verdict in sight. Furthermore, he was also charged of suspiciously covering certain rules for charity bingo and with conspiring, along with the sheriff of Macon County, against potential competition to his Victoryland business. McGregor has, of course, denied all the charges in his testimony. He even said that he hired two expert lawyers to write the eventual rules, and that his only sin was attempting to be cooperative and supportive.

Closure of Casinos for McGregor’s Victoryland

In addition, McGregor’s Victoryland casino was closed. The electronic bingo machines offered in Victoryland seem to look a lot like slot machines; hence, the legitimacy of that equipment is under discussion. The complainant lawyers in the case have also brought Lucky Palace, a potential rival, as evidence against McGregor. They claim that they were deprived of the right to raise money through bingo.The case might be going little bit slowly; however, significant achievements have been made with regards to McGregor’s illicit activities. Now, it can only be hoped that justice will be served.