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Alberta Bingo Business Open to Private Owners

19 February 2003

ALBERTA, Canada -- As reported by the South Peace News: ``Upcoming changes to provincial bingo regulations will allow for a private owner to get into the bingo business.

``Jody Korchinski, spokesperson for Alberta Gaming, says it's just one of the options and changes in the recommendations. Now that they're made, she adds, they're hoping for input from bingo associations throughout the province before deciding which ones will be implemented.

```The government did extensive consultation with the bingo industry and charities since 1999. They heard several themes: Bingo industry and operators felt they needed more flexibility and others where they had to have more advancements so that they were competing...attracting players,' says Korchinski.

``The bingo industry had a general and overall concern that they were losing revenue.

``…To date, says Korchinski, charitable organizations throughout Alberta have supplied volunteers to work the bingos, formed their own bingo associations to work the bingos and been 'intimately' involved in organizing and building the 'industry'.

``Having a private operator taking over all of those duties, and supplying more paid positions in the bingo facility lessens their responsibilities.

``…Private operators would get the same split that currently exists, she adds. Nothing about how the profits are split will change…"

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