Bingo Still Makes Money for Charities

Bingo has been used as a fundraising tool by charitable organizations for decades. In the past few years traditional bingo halls have seen a large drop in attendance usually caused by various state indoor smoking bans. Despite the obstacles bingo halls face they continue to raise money for charitable organizations, churches, veteran’s organizations, and other worthy causes.

For the Ladies Auxiliary Unit of the American Legion Post 80 in Andalusia Alabama bingo is still the fundraising tool of choice and is used to fund scholarships, help needy veterans and send young ladies to Girl’s State. Despite the competition from internet bingo, the brick and mortar bingo games at the Legion Post pay out almost $1,000 every Tuesday and Friday night.

Sue Threatt, a member of Post 80 coordinates the games, oversees the payouts, and is one of the officials who confirm winner’s cards. On a typical bingo night at Post 80 there are usually 30 to 100 players and there is a guaranteed nightly payout of $800. Post Commander Bobby Barton said “What’s interesting about our bingo is that it’s not the bingo we remember from our childhood. It’s not just a straight across line or diagonal that can win. Now, we have all sorts of pattern games to make it interesting.”

On bingo nights there is no smoking, the bar is closed, and children are welcome eliminating the need for a babysitter for many players. The post has been approached by gaming operators to provide electronic bingo but no decision has been reached. While bingo halls across the US are closing the bingo games at Post 80 are thriving. Besides the chance to win some serious cash the bingo players of Andalusia are also helping to support out veterans in need.

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