Art Gallery Misplaces Bingo License, Forced To End Bingo Card Sales


I’m not the type of girl who keeps receipts for anything. I can’t count the number of times I’ve needed to return something to the store because it broke or was damaged, only to not have a clue where my receipt was.

My lack of receipt keeping isn’t that big of a deal. Usually, the store helps me out as long as I’ve got the tag or can prove that I bought it there using my credit card statement as reference.

But when gambling is involved, keeping receipts is a huge deal. And I’m not even talking about gamblers. I’m talking about the people providing the gambling. In Orillia, Ontario, the city has asked a local art gallery to stop selling charitable bingo cards for its weekly game.

The MacLaren Art Centre sold the cards at convenience stores for the last 18 years. They’ve brought in tons of cash for the art gallery. In 2013, the art gallery sold 19,000 bingo tickets in Orillia and paid out $39,000 to Orillia players in Bingo winnings.

Unfortunately, 2014 doesn’t look so amazing. The MacLaren Art Centre was given permission by the city to sell the Bingo cards 18 years ago. But they can’t prove it. According to the art gallery, the permission was granted in the form of a letter, issued by Orillia. No one can seem to find that letter, so the city has asked the gallery to stop selling the tickets. That means Orillia players can’t purchase tickets in town.

There is some hope in all of this. The gallery is actually located in Barrie, near Orillia. So while the tickets are no longer available in Orillia, they are sold in surrounding regions, meaning players can still purchase tickets by leaving town. We’re hoping that this gets resolved soon. Not only is it a hassle for Bingo players to have to drive out of town to buy tickets, but the convenience stores where the tickets are sold will suffer if people are choosing to shop elsewhere.

Ontario gaming laws are really interesting. While the provincial government hands out licenses to casinos and mandates lottery gaming, municipalities are able to grant charitable licenses in an effort to ensure that cash stays in the community.

We’re big fans of charity Bingo. In fact, I’d personally love to see more online bingo sites like ours support more charity. I know we do so on a corporate level, supporting the communities in which we work and live. But I’d love to see charity bingo tournaments right here.

Got an idea for a charity for us to support? Comment below or send us an email. We’d love to hear from you.