Char­i­ties hurt from fall­ing bingo prof­its

Dayton Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By Lou Grieco Staff Writer

IN-DEPTH IN­VES­TI­GA­TION

Bingo prof­its, which con­trib­ute mil­lions to char­i­ties, plunged by 28 per­cent statewide be­tween 2006 and 2009, and lo­cal coun­ties have all seen sig­nif­i­cant drops.

Fig­ures sub­mit­ted to the Ohio At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice show that non­profit bingo par­lors took in $196.7 mil­lion in 2006 and $142.2 mil­lion in 2009.

“It does af­fect ev­ery­thing,” said Lisa Buck­ing­ham, pres­i­dent of Sight­less Chil­dren Club, a Van­dalia-based group that re­ceived more than 90 per­cent of its re­ported gross in­come from bingo in 2006. “It’s the bingo prof­its that we live off of, re­ally.”

Bingo prof­its for the group dropped 91 per­cent from 2006 to 2009, ac­cord­ing to records from the Ohio At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s of­fice.

An anal­y­sis done by the Day­ton Daily News shows that bingo prof­its in Mont­gomery County dropped 27.7 per­cent, from $9.3 mil­lion in 2006 to $6.7 mil­lion in 2009.

In War­ren County, bingo prof­its fell 35 per­cent. In Mi­ami County, the drop was 23.1 per­cent. In Greene County, it was 19 per­cent.

Be­sides the econ­omy, some blame com­pe­ti­tion with casi­nos in neigh­bor­ing states. That sit­u­a­tion will not get bet­ter af­ter the voter-ap­proved casi­nos are built in Cleve­land, Colum­bus, Cincin­nati and Toledo. Peo­ple are not go­ing to “come in and play tick­ets” if there are casi­nos in ev­ery corner of the state, said Don Lan­thorn, depart­ment ser­vice di­rec­tor for the Ohio Amer­i­can Le­gion.

“There are only so many gam­bling dol­lars out there,” he said. “We’re very

Staff file photo

Lo­cal char­i­ties feel the pain when bingo rev­enue drops. “It’s the bingo prof­its that we live off of, re­ally,” said Lisa Buck­ing­ham, pres­i­dent of Sight­less Chil­dren Club, a Van­dalia-based group.

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