Quebec’s Bingo Industry On A Death Spiral
As it stands the roughly 50 Bingo halls in Quebec are on their last legs. Reports have repeatedly chronicled that the venues are, simply put, bleeding millions on an annual basis. If things continue as they are it is all but guaranteed that the service will disappear from the region entirely. Though, the reasons for the downfall are not due to a lack of interest, but simply due to the fact that those that are interested are now dying of old age.
The peak of the game’s popularity in Quebec was in the 60s and 70s, largely due to what is referred to as the Quiet Revolution. The era saw, amongst many other changes, women returning to the church after a long absence. However, they were not returning for religious services, but rather to the newly opened Bingo events that took place in the Church basements.
Since then, these same enthusiasts have generally remained loyal, only to now be reaching an age where they can no longer attend.
Regulations And Rules
The fact of the matter is that real world Bingo simply does not have the power to attract a younger audience. With no-smoking rules in place, no alcohol served, and games that can last for hours, there is little being offered that appeals to a younger crowd.
Additionally, government regulations have been in place for decades, strictly only allowing operating licenses to non-profit organisations. This means that, effectively, the only time a game will even be offered is in order to raise funds. This means that churches and community groups are the most common benefactors, most of which are now on the verge of closing due to general lack of interest.
Loto-Quebec And Kinzo
But it isn’t all doom and gloom. The government has been aware of the fall of the game for some time and has been taking steps to keep the ball rolling. The government run Loto-Quebec recently added Kinzo it its catalogue of entertainment, hoping to attract a younger crowd. Kinzo is not only a faster version of the rules but is also offered in halls where alcohol is served.
Additionally, the province’s Secretariat du Bingo has been pushing for serious change. The group has been planning to open modernised halls for some time, each of which will provide a casino atmosphere, as well as higher paying, electronically linked versions of both games.
If the plan works remains to be seen.