On December 31, 2006, bingo will be played at the South Lockport Fire Hall for the last time. The Tuesday Bingo Nights at the hall will permanently stop on January 1, 2007, when their bingo license expires, according to DJ St. Cyr, the assistant treasurer of the bingo games.
St. Cyr added that they were forced to stop the games because of the worsening financial situation of the organization. For a number of years, the bingo games at the South Lockport Fire Hall were considered one of the most popular events in the area and according to St. Cyr, their bingo games regularly attracted an average of 150 people. The profits earned from the bingo night are usually enough to pay for the mortgage on the facility. But now there are only about 80 to 100 people who show up to the venue to play. The fire hall has to supplement the payment from the general fund.
Then, the smoking ban was implemented and the situation became even worse. St. Cyr said that when the smoking ban was implemented, there was an immediate drop in attendance. At first, they tried innovations to attract players, but they came to no avail. Jack Briggs, a social member who usually helps in the bingo games, said that he first noticed the decline in player attendance even before the smoking ban was implemented by the city.
Briggs added that one of the reasons for the sudden decline in player attendance is that the spending power of most players has gone down. St. Cyr is a fireman so he has to respond to an emergency call even if it is the middle of a bingo game. He is also hoping that they will be able to sell the bingo machine and the light-up board. The bingo cards will be donated to nursing homes in the area.
Thursday, May 03, 2007