Tecumseh Hoping Electronic Bingo Will Boost Charity Profits

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Tecumseh is changing the way bingo is played in the town in an effort to drum up business for local charities.

For the past several years revenue from charity bingos has been on a steady decline, but council believes the addition of electronic bingo may help reverse that trend.

A new bylaw has been put in place to allow an electronic version of the game at the Classic Bingo III near Manning Rd.

Councillor Andrew Dowie says many bingo halls are scrambling to keep up with the technology. 

"Council endorsed a modernization strategy," he says. "This is something that those charities have been asking for quite some time. We have seen the Paradise Bingo and the one on Crawford Ave have electronic bingo. It has stabilized those revenues."

Dowie says the goal is to draw customers back in.

"Anyone who has worked a charity bingo in the last little while has seen revenues have been going down. People are either not gambling or they're gambling at the government run casino. So it's an opportunity for charities to stabilize their revenues from working bingos and reinvest in their community groups."

According to Dowie, it's a move to help protect the charity bingo industry.

"We supported this to help our charities and those that work in our community keep more of the money that they're potentially able to get. So having electronic bingo opens up that market and helps to stabilize that industry and keep the money going into our community groups," he says."

The town has also changed the fee a charity must pay to host a game.

Rather than a set $165 fee, they'll be responsible for a percentage of profits — meaning if it's a slow game, charities won't be charged as much.

In 2018, Tecumseh received just over $185,000 in revenue from Classic Bingo III.