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Bingo protest prompts jackpot turnout

Thursday night bingo players show their support, objecting the city’s recent decision to end the event. From left to right, Georgina Hamilton, Fred Powell, Shirley Prosser and Aileen Doyle. - Jacqueline Langen
Thursday night bingo players show their support, objecting the city’s recent decision to end the event. From left to right, Georgina Hamilton, Fred Powell, Shirley Prosser and Aileen Doyle.
— image credit: Jacqueline Langen

Close to 50 seniors gathered at Minoru Arenas yesterday morning to voice their concerns and attempt to overturn the recent Thursday bingo closure.

Minoru Senior Society member Georgina Hamilton organized the meeting with the City of Richmond in an attempt to revoke the bingo closure decision through discussion.

“We’d like to know why the players of bingo have no say in (the decision),” said Hamilton.

Nadine Jones, 91, shared her thoughts of how the cancellation has affected her.

“Seniority is a time of loss. We lose our eyesight, we lose our hearing, we lose our mobility, we lose our friends and all of us want something to look forward to except the inevitable,” said Jones, 91.

The closure was caused by the city not having a gaming license and a lack of space within Minoru Seniors Centre.

“I did go through the gaming commission rules on paper today. It’s very rigourous. There has to be a strong volunteer group that fulfill all the rigour. Cash handling, number of callers, the cash registers, the safety and security of the cash,” said Cathy Carlile, general manager of community services.

Minoru Senior Society members responded and said that they are able to cover the “rigourous” responsibilities.

The majority of the questions were not answered at Thursday’s meeting.

“I don’t have all the answers as I am not a member of the board so I will take all your comments and we can respond once we get some of those answers,” said Carlile.

However, city staff has said they are able and willing to look into other locations for the seniors to continue their Thursday night bingo.

Carlile said city staff had taken note of everyone’s questions and will post a final document inside Minoru Seniors Centre once they have more information.

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