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Feb
14th

Mecca Raises Big Bucks For Cancer Charity

For the Catholic Church bingo has been one of the most successful fundraising tools and in the US bingo has had a long association with the church. In fact, the very first charity bingo games were held by a Parish in Pennsylvania. A priest approached Edwin S. Lowe, the inventor of the modern version of bingo, and asked him to produce bingo cards with random numbers. Since then bingo has been used by charities and veteran’s organizations on both sides of the Atlantic and over the years bingo has raised billions for various charities.

In Great Britain commercial bingo halls routinely partner with charities to raise money for various good causes. In Ireland bingo halls are required by gambling law to have a charity sponsoring bingo games and bingo halls must give a certain percentage of the take to their charity partners. A few years ago even US President Barack Obama’s stepmother sponsored a series of online bingo games for the Sue Ryder charity which provides services and support for the terminally ill. In the UK the Bradford Mecca bingo hall was thanked by Brenda Doyle from Marie Curie Cancer Cure for helping the organization raise £420,000 ($658,244.95 USD) during the last two years.

The Bradford club is just one of 98 Mecca bingo halls in the UK. The Marie Curie Cancer Cure provides free nursing care for terminally ill cancer patients. The total raised by all the bingo clubs totaled £650,000. ($1,018,481.58 USD) Mecca is owned by the Rank Group which also operates the Grosvenor casino chain across the UK. Rank announced that they will be supporting the Marie Curie Cancer Cure again in 2012. The company hopes to raise a million pounds ($1,566,808.20 USD) over a three year period.  Peter Campbell, general manager of Mecca Bradford told reporters “I’ve been so impressed with the drive and enthusiasm the team members have shown.”

Last year was a good one for the Rank group. A highly successful marketing campaign targeting the 25 to 35 age bracket brought in more than 50,000 now players to Mecca bingo halls in the UK. The company is currently in talks with UK bingo giant Gala to acquire their casino operations. Gala has also engaged in extensive fundraising activities in the past and the company plans on focusing on its bingo operations. In addition to commercial bingo halls there are charitable bingo games by charities and churches. Bingo has raised big bucks for charities in the past and all indications are that the trend will continue well into the future.