New York Bingo Is On Its Way Out?


Bad news for Bingo lovers in the big apple! Sadly, it seems like Bingo halls might soon find themselves going out of business. According to Gannett’s Albany Bureau, there has been a dramatic drop in the organizations creating Bingo events and the amount of people that is attending them. As a consequence, for most bingo establishments, the revenues have dropped to half and even a third of what they usually were. The main cause of this substantial drop seems to be that Bingo halls can’t simply compete with the dazzle of all the neighboring casinos and the state lottery.

John Sabini, the former president of the racing and Wagering board says that “[p]eople tend to like more excitement in their gambling dollar, whether it’s the penny slot machines … to ‘Wheel of Fortune’ … Bingo is much lower tech then people seem to want from their dollar.” I can see how, especially for younger generations of gamblers that have not grown up surrounded by a strong Bingo tradition, a flashy casino easily trumps a church hall or a community center.

In the last four years, the decrease of bingo activity has seemed particularly dramatic. Almost 73% of the once existing bingo halls have closed their doors to the public, going from 786 establishments to 214 struggling venues. In regards to assistance, the quantity of players has decreased from almost 2.3 million of avid Bingo fans to a merely 890.208, which is almost a third of the original crowd. Could it be that many of these players actually decided to switch to the bright lights and variety of the casinos, or they just got unmotivated by the progressive disappearance of bingo halls?

Joe Capozzi, in charge of Bingo events for St. Stanislaus Church in Rochester, says that another factor that has affected Bingo halls is the implementation of the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2003. This law has prohibited smoking in bingo halls and, as it turns out, has scared away many players from the halls. Capozzi also says that Bingo, as a money making activity, they simply cannot match the jackpots and many perks that a regular casino offers their clients.

Lastly and more importantly, we need to talk about money. Evidently, like in any other gaming business, the players are the ones that sustain a large chunk of it, which shows on the poor Bingo revenues in the last four years. While in 2009 bingo managed to rake in $70.9 million, last year the total profit was only $21.4 million. With such grim prospects, gaming specialists do not really how see New York Bingo is going to survive in the next five years or so.

Luckily, online sites like 123Bingo are on the rise and will always be there to provide you with the coolest games to satisfy your bingo playing needs. However, we really would hate to see live Bingo disappearing, so we encourage you to visit and support your local bingo halls and have a fun Bingo night out with friends, family, or by yourself!