Ohioans have more gaming options now that the state has casinos and video lottery terminals at race tracks. But the charitable groups that rely on bingo to support their missions say expanded gambling is making it more difficult to raise funds these days.
The Children's Toy Fund organization provides terminally-ill children with toys and has depended on charitable bingo for decades. But Jason Bogavitch, a spokesman for the group, says it is getting harder to make enough on the games anymore to make ends meet.
“We are fighting a battle with both of our hands tied behind our back. We can’t pay anybody. We can only operate three days a week maximum," Bogavitch said. "We can only pay out certain amounts of money. What we are looking for is options.”
Some of the options the group is seeking include allowing paid staffers, electronic gaming and changes in liquor laws to allow alcohol to be consumed at these games. The group plans to work with lawmakers on a bill that will include many of the objectives it thinks will allow the charities to better compete with non charitable expanded gambling opportunities that have come about in recent years.