Letters

Bingo cancellation hurts seniors

Editor:

A seniors centre is a community focal point where older adults come together for programs and services that maintain and improve health, quality of life, and most importantly a place to socialize.

These seniors have chosen bingo as their activity of choice, they come together twice a week for dinner, bingo and to socialize.

These 50-plus seniors are now being told that their weekly bingo games are to be cancelled due to Minoru Place Activity Centre not complying with the B.C Gaming Commission. These are the same seniors that comply with paying their yearly dues and would expect their centre to comply with it’s duties to the commission. They have joined the centre for the most part to enjoy an affordable way, to interact with like minded seniors of their community.

They are now being pushed out of a place that they have called home twice a week for many years.

As is the case with many seniors, they are living on pensions that don’t allow them the luxury of being able to wander over to the larger bingo’s where it takes about $30 to sit in for a night of bingo, which was one of their reasons for joining the centre in the first place.

There are not many seniors that can afford to throw $120 dollars a month to the large bingo halls, double that if they want to maintain the two days a week they have been playing at the centre.

Richmond will be spending $65.2 million over the next three years to build a new seniors centre and cannot afford to comply with the gaming commission on a license for bingo?

You would think with the amount of money being spent on the new and larger centre, they would be thinking about expanding programs, not eliminating them. Maybe their eight months of gathering data would have been better time spent if the committee would have used the time to strategize on how to bring more seniors into the bingo hall, and not spent on how to eliminate members.

Valerie Taylor

Richmond

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