An April 2013 law cracking down on illegal betting in Florida shut down hundreds of Internet cafes and arcades, and sent the state’s gamblers looking for a new fix, which many of them found in bingo halls. Unexpectedly, that trend has helped Florida veterans organizations to the tune of $90,000.
Bingoland in Bradenton, Fla. has long welcomed volunteers from veterans organizations to staff their bingo halls, and in turn these organizations receive donations. In the past, the donations have amounted to about $300 a month, Pete Killingsworth, president of Bingoland told Vin Mannix of the Bradenton Herald. But because so many people are playing bingo these days, the figures have shot up: In January Bingoland divided $90,000 between three different veterans’ organizations: $15,000 to Korean War Veterans, $45,000 to Palmetto VFW Post 2488, and $30,000 to Bradenton VFW 10140.
Mike Clinesmith, Quartermaster of VFW Post 10140, told Mannix, “We’ll put it in our relief fund, which goes to help veterans of Manatee County. We’ve got a bunch coming back now with disabilities, homeless veterans, and we have a certain amount we can give to each one. This will go a long way to helping them.” Sounds like a winning wager to us.