Bingo news

Senator Barcia sponsored a bill that would boost bingo payouts to charities

People in the Bay City Area would certainly have more a reason to celeberate soon if the bill which will raise jackpots on non-profit bingo game fundraisers is approved. Senator Jim Barcia of D-Bay City is seeking this approval from the state Senate later this month on bingo games in Michigan for the very first time since 1973.

The Limit of the Jackpots would go from $500 dollars per game to $2,000 dollars per occasion compared to $1,100 per game or $3,500 per occasion which is the usual norm. The new law also will allow Bingo operators to offer as much as 14 games per week, much higher than the previous 10 games per week that are currently allowed.

According to Dorothy Giffel, who operates the Cornerstone Mission located at 1000 Third St., they must be allowed to give higher jackpot prizes to their players so that they could compete with casinos who are luring customers away from bingo establishments because of the chance of winning a big amount of money.

Dorothy Giffel is one of the reasons why Senator Jim Barcia decided to sponsor Senate Bill 435 which will enable bingo operators to raise their jackpot prizes. Former state Representative Bob Traxler, D-Bay City, sponsored the bill that established regulations in the city in 1973.

Both the Senate and the House have already approved Senator Barcia's Bill and are awaiting the final vote in the Senate to concur with House ammendments. State Governor Jennifer Granholm is expected to sign the bill and Dorothy Giffel fervently hopes to begin offering higher jackpots in her own establishment of up to $1,000 dollars on August 1.

According to Senator Jim Barcia, the bingo revenues in Michigan have dropped in previous years under the onslaught of casinos in the area and other attractions. During the 1990's, bingo games generated an estimated revenue of $44 million dollars for charity organizations. Today, that number is only $8 million dollars.

Senator Barcia also added that inflation is also one of the factors why the amount a player can win today has lessened and payouts have not increased since 1973.

The bill states that non-profit groups will be the main benefactor on the increase in prize limits and will allow more than 1,000 community service, religious, veteran and fraternal organizations to keep up with their competitors, mainly the casinos and bingo games in Canada and the other states surrounding Michigan.

Dorothy Giffel said she have seen a sharp decline in bingo players and the revenues that establishments earns in previous years so this law would realy help them to get back on track.


Thursday, August 24, 2006
Karen Jacobs

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