Bingo news

Bingo - More Than a Game for Ocean City Players

On Thursday night, November 16, 2006, the parking area of the American Legion Post located at the Coastal Highway is filled to its capacity, meaning that it is bingo night. The tables for the games that have been placed all throughout the hall are already filled with players who are busy arranging their lucky charms and bingo cards before the 7:00 p.m. start of the regular bingo games.

According to the 3rd Vice Commander of the American Legion, Frank Hoover, you have to really love the game in order to devote that kind of attention to it. The American Legion Post collaborates with 166 volunteers from the Lion's Club to organize the bingo event. Profits from the bingo event will be given directly to the charities and the rest will be given to the non-profit organizations. Bingo games are really a popular choice to use as a fundraising tool for many charity groups, churches and other non-profit organizations, because a lot of people love to participate and join in on all of the fun.

The American Legion Post has 75 - 85 people playing during the off season, but during the summer season, about 150 - 170 people play in the Post. About 28 regular games are played at the Post from 7:00 p.m. up to 10:00 p.m. Winners can win as much as $10 for the early birds and $500 for the regular bingo games. 2 of the bingo players who are considered to be regulars at the Post are best friends Anita Crouthamel, a resident of Ocean City and a bingo regular for 20 years now, and Vivian Wolf of Berlin, a 10 year bingo regular.

The 2 split whatever winnings they receive. According to Anita Crouthamel, she started playing bingo while she was still in Baltimore as a form of relaxation and she does not really care if she wins or not. In Worcester County, the bingo games are regulated by the Worcester County Bingo Board. They generally issue permits, collect licensing fees and check the financial status and stability of every bingo game in the county. Don Malloy, the Board Chairman, commented that he cannot really explain why bingo is very popular in their county, but a lot of people really love the game. Nonetheless, Worcester only permits churches, fire companies and non-profit organizations to hold the game.

There are also laws regarding advertising, accounting and when the games can be held. Absolutely no alcoholic beverages can be served during the bingo games and only those that are 18 years old and above will be allowed to participate in the games. About 38 temporary permits were issued for one time games just last year. That means that they are allowed to hold games once or twice a week but not more than 125 games each year. The American Legion Post is 1 of the 4 organizations that hold an annual permit.

Anita Crouthamel won the Early Bird Game and eagerly waved her Bingo Flag. Vice Commander Frank Hoover handed her the prize for that bingo night.


Sunday, December 10, 2006
Patrick Simons

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