5 Saskatchewan Bingo Halls To Temporarily Close

By Ben Hamill - December 08 2020
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5 Saskatchewan Bingo Halls To Temporarily Close

Although permitted to remain open even with the latest safety restrictions in place, several Bingo halls in Saskatchewan have opted to voluntarily close. A combination of a major reduction in capacity and concerns about safety has led some venues to believe that it would be better for everyone involved to temporarily shutter their doors.

One such business is Amalgamated Charities Inc. (ACI), a non-profit organisation operating a total of five Bingo halls across the province – in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, and Regina. With each venue typically seating up to 550 people, ACL President Patsy Warren said they experienced not too many problems when the allowable capacity first got reduced earlier this year. They simply hired additional cleaning staff, physically distanced patrons by blocking off chairs and tables, and checked the temperatures of guests at the doors.

The most recent capacity restrictions have however made it impossible for the venues to continue to keep their doors open.

Read More...Bingo Back In Saskatchewan

Many Charities Rely On Bingo

Those affected most severely by the temporary closures are unfortunately the charities, Warren said. Many local charities rely exclusively on funds generated by Bingo. Even so, explained Warren, if the actual bills cannot be paid, then there will obviously be no funds remaining for distribution among the charities.

Warren however added that although she worries about how the closures will affect the charities, religious groups, sports groups, and non-profits that use ACI Bingo halls each month to raise money, the safety of staff, charities, and customers cannot and should not be ignored. And with around 100 staff and 104 charities regularly in and out the doors of ACI’s five Bingo venues, the capacity cap simply does not allow for anyone to turn a profit.

Huge Show Of Support For Safety

Warren clearly isn’t the only one concerned about the health and safety of the people of Saskatchewan. More than 400 doctors earlier this month signed a letter of petition calling on a 28-day mandatory closure of bars, Bingo halls, religious places of worship, and gyms.

And so, given the collective feeling of concern over the well-being of people living in the province, the decision to temporarily shutter their doors was mostly met with understanding and support, said Warren. The hope is that those who pledged their support will be there once the affected Bingo locations reopen their doors later in December, Warren said.

ACI Bingo halls temporarily closed until Dec. 17 are:

  • Bingo Palace – Regina.
  • Centennial Bingo – Regina.
  • ClubWest Bingo – Saskatoon.
  • Fantasyland Bingo – Regina.
  • Leisure Time Bingo – Moose Jaw.

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