Grinch Kills Small Town’s Bingo Games

Bingo has been an effective fundraising tool for churches, charities, veterans groups, schools and communities. In some areas charitable bingo games are under pressure due to commercial bingo operations. The smaller games cannot compete with the huge jackpots and prizes offered by the commercial operations. For decades community bingo games were popular as a way to bring community members together and raise money for local charities and causes. Local people got together for a good time and a few bingo games. In many rural communities bingo games are a cherished local tradition. In one northern Canadian town it appears that there is a bingo Grinch.

Internet Bingo’s Global Impact

Port Sydney is a small community of about 800 people. It is located in the scenic Muskoka region of Ontario, Canada, one of the top ten countries for internet bingo (source: “Internet Bingo’s Global Impact“). For over six decades there have been summer penny bingo games held between the Utterson and Port Sydney community halls. The profits from the bingo games were used by the parks and recreation committee for upgrades to the hall and the playground. The family oriented events were staffed by local youths giving teens a place to volunteer their time and energies. Now, thanks to one grouch, the games may be over.

Bingo is a Harmless Social Activity

A sign at the entrance to Port Sydney reads “Home of 800 nice families and one grouch.” Evidently an ill tempered person called the police and complained about alleged illegal gambling. A letter was sent to the groups sponsoring the games by councilman Chris Zanetti told reporters “Both in Utterson and Port Sydney they’re being run by the local parks and recreation committee — that’s an entity of the Town of Huntsville,” said Zanetti. “Municipalities aren’t allowed to run a bingo or have a bingo licence.” Zanetti says the problem is the way the laws regulating bingo are written. Zanetti said that provincial legislation was designed for commercial bingo halls that can afford to give away thousands in prizes.  Local residents are not happy about losing their beloved bingo games. Councilman Det Schumacher stated “There’s some folks very upset in the Port Sydney and Utterson area due to the fact that the family games night has been shut down. The government is legislating the fun out of everything.”

As can be seen it only takes one bluenose to spoil everyone’s fun. In the world of online bingo such a thing would be impossible. Online bingo games are available 24/7 worldwide. Online bingo is particularly popular in rural areas where residents do not have access to a live bingo hall. Even better, no bingo Grinch can spoil everyone’s fun!

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