Bingo revitalization planned on P.E.I.

The P.E.I. government plans to spend $140,000 to revitalize the game of bingo.
The bingo revitalization report cost the government $22,000. (CBC)

The P.E.I. government plans to spend $140,000 to revitalize the game of bingo.

The province has already spent $22,000 of that on a consultant's report that found net revenues for bingo operators plummeted between 2006 to 2012, falling from about $1.2 million to just over $635,000.

Bingo is an important charitable fundraiser on the Island. All bingos in the province are operated by non-profit community groups.

Steve MacDonald, manager of the Sherwood Lions Bingo in Charlottetown, said it's become harder and harder to attract players.

"A lot of them are going out to the casino, going to the races. They can play bingo online. It's affecting the crowd all over," said MacDonald.

"We're trying to pick it up, trying to get the younger ones in to replace the ones that are, can't … play bingo anymore."

Government's bingo revitalization report says bingo is an older person's game. Natural attrition is reducing the number of players on the Island, and it is a trend seen across the country. A ban on smoking and VLTs have also hurt bingo halls.

The report recommends spending at least $100,000 on advertising, as well as special promotions and new games designed to attract new players.

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