Monday, December 12, 2005

The Bingo Palace: A great place for your child's next birthday party!

The Bingo Palace has never struck me as being a very classy joint even if it IS one of the top ten bingo halls in North America...who keeps track of the top ten bingo halls anyways? However, they have truly sunk to their new low: going after the kiddy market. This is no joke. The Bingo Palace is not only welcoming children in its doors to sit down and play a few is actually encouraging it and directly targeting children in new advertising. Ten year olds being encouraged to gamble...what's wrong with this picture?

The Bingo Palace has been complaining about the city's new smoking ordinance ever since it went into effect this past summer. They claim that former patrons are so upset about the fact that they can no longer sit in the Palace playing bingo all day and smoking like the Simplot smokestack out on Gateway Drive that these fine folks are now just going directly to the bars where they can smoke all they want and buy the pull tabs there that they used to buy at the Palace. This has NDAD (North Dakota Association for the Disabled), which gets some of the profits from the Palace's now faltering operations, so upset they they and the Palace owners have been trying to think of any way they can to bring the money and patrons rolling back in. They have tried to simply ignore the city's smoking ban...this led to the city police actually having to come to the Palace and remove the ashtrays. They have also tried (and failed) to turn the "family-friendly" atmosphere of the Palace (gambling and pull tabs...kinda like a Chucky Cheese!) into a bar. That way they could bring back the smoking, the bingoaholics, and the profts.

Since these previous attempts have failed, the Palace and NDAD have turned to a new scheme. Gambling for Kids!!! That's right, the Palace is already airing television ads that actually say that bingo is a great activity for the kids. If you go with your grandparents, you can even get a free bingo marker (or whatever they are called)! Through some loop-hole in the state law, not only are kids welcome to sit with their mom as she spends the day gambling...they are now being encouraged to join in the action and gamble away their allowance! What a great way to teach the kids about legit ways of earning money, huh?

So, the next time NDAD whines about not receiving as much money for their operations, think about one of the ways that they are making that money. That's right, those kids walking down the street might be heading for a round of bingo at the Palace! WHOOPEE!

-Bismarck Tribune article on ten year olds gambling

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