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Bingo Means Big Bucks In Indiana

5 July 2002

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – As reported by the Associated Press: "There is a game that Hoosiers love and Bingo is its name-o.

"In 2001 Indiana issued licenses allowing 920 organizations to hold bingo games and sell pull-tabs, The Indianapolis Star reported. Those licenses generated more than $576 million in revenue.

"Indianapolis games generated the most money -- $63 million.

"But for per-person gambling, small towns such as Connersville and Angola are where the money is being spent.

"…It's money that's used to fund local programs, keep dues down at American Legion posts and offer scholarships to high school students. Bingo players say the game provides more opportunities per buck to win than the lottery or the state's riverboat casinos.

"…The games are thriving in small communities despite the state's lagging economy. Even in Fayette County, where the April unemployment rate was 9.4 percent -- second-highest in the state, and well above the state average of 5.1 percent -- players kept rolling in.

"…Bingo is the gambling activity least likely to generate objections, in part because profits usually stay in the community. In 2001 local organizers kept about $67 million.

"But that doesn't mean the game is without criticism.

"John Wolf, a resident Methodist minister and head of the Indiana Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, refers to bingo as `the kindergarten of gambling.'…"

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