New State Bingo Law
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A new piece of legislation has changed the state's current Bingo Law, benefiting nonprofit organizations who rely on it to raise money. Act 66 of 2017 was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf last week. It updates the state's antiquated Bingo Law, which was enacted in 1981. State Rep. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson/Indiana) said it will help organizations like volunteer fire departments. "It's Bingo Law has not kept pace with inflation and these folks have some very expensive equipment that they have to maintain." The new law increases prize limits from $250 to $500 for any one game of bingo, from $2,000 to $4,000 for jackpot games, and from $4,000 to $8,000 for the total amount of prizes awarded in a calendar day. "With these increased pots, it will allow the organizations to draw people back in and keep the money local." It also gives community organizations the freedom to advertise the dollar value of cash prizes. Organizations will be permitted to advertise bingo games on the internet and through social media. One fire department that could benefit from the law is the Perry Twp. Volunteer Fire Company who hosts bingo every Friday night. "Previously, we were not allowed to advertise what our jackpots would be We do have a lot of people who look for those numbers to say, I'm going here tonight as opposed to somewhere else to chase money." Schreckengost said their bingo crowd has decreased throughout the years and hopes the new law will hep change that. Additionally, the law removes restrictions on the number of days a licensed association may conduct bingo games, permits pre draw bingo and allows for guest callers and for new members of an organization to assist with bingo.