Bingo news

Boys and Girls Club Finds New Bingo Venue

If all goes well, The National Cattle Congress grounds may soon become the new home of the suspended bingo operations of the Boys and Girls Club of Black Hawk County.

Wallace Sullentic, who is the interim executive director of the Boys and Girls Club said that they are already in talks with the people who are handling the bingo operations at the National Cattle Congress grounds. He hopes that they can come up with a compromise so they can run the bingo operations of the Boys and Girls Club because they do a decent job on running theirs.

If an agreement can be agreed upon by the two parties, the next step would be to asked the Iowa Department Appeals to ratify the agreement and after that, the state officials.

The bingo operations of the Boys and Girls club according to Sullentic, was shut down on June 24 because of the huge losses that they are incurring and it was no longer viable. The Cedarloo Center on University Avenue has been the home of the Youth Foundation Bingo for several years before the shutdown.

The Boys and Girls Club bingo operations was making about $110,000 per year for the club back in 2002 and has revenues of $1.1 to $1.3 million dollars a year but lost $36,000 dollars last year. While on the other hand, the National Cattle Congress reported a net income to its IRS Service Form 990 report of $140,600 dollars it earned from its bingo operations as recently as 2004 on gross receipts of $226,000 dollars.

Because of what happened, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals issued the Boys and Girls Club an administrative subpoena for the records of its bingo operations following the Club's announcement last May that it is facing a financial crisis which had depleted the club's assets over the past several years of about $500,000 thousand dollars. Director Sullentic commented that it was hard to believe, especially to others who are not familiar with the situation, that the club was not making money like the National Cattle Congress' bingo operations.

Non-profitable bingo operations which resulted in smaller revenues for the club contributed to the worsening financial position of the Boys and Girls club according to club members and an emergency committee of community leaders working with the organization, also reviewing the records of the bingo operations of the club.

Director Sullentic said that the two bingo operations would be two separate entities. The NCC bingo games would run for three days and the Boys and Girls Club bingo games would be two days. The Boys and Girls Club bingo games would be situated in the Electric Park Ballroom and the NCC bingo games would take place in the Pavilion building both of them located on the National Catlle Congress' fairgrounds.

One little complication that might ruined the entire affair is that according to state officials, one organization cannot operate two licenses.

But interim director sullentic noted that the state officials had allowed their club to operate under two licenses, one under the Boys and Girls Club, the other for the Youth Foundation which only had one location, which is the Cedarloo Center, until the license for the Youth Foundation expired in January 2005 last year. The double license undoubtedly allowed bingo operations under one roof five times a week. State officials said that the situation is not really permitted but continued because they lack power to enforce the law.

Interim Club director Sullentic is also a member of the National Cattle Congress board of directors and would have to inhibit himself from any negotiations between the NCC and Boys and Girls Club boards on their respective bingo games operations.

For the time being, the Boys and Girls has raised enough money to stave off its financial crisis and continue operations of its youth-oriented activities this summer and beyond.


Saturday, September 16, 2006
Patrick Simons

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