By Jennifer McGraw

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – County leaders are considering new rules to keep bingo parlors from going bust.

“I think a lot of times it just got stale and boring,” said Brian Taylor who manages the Sacramento Bingo Center in Arden-Arcade.

Dozens of local charities depend on the games to fund their annual operations.

“Critical; if it wasn’t for bingo, I wouldn’t be here,” Taylor said.

On Monday night, proceeds from the Sacramento Bingo Center go to foster youth and the 70s theme is to get more people grooving.

“Honey it’s fun all the time. Brian comes up with ideas to make it fun,” said Angela Duncan who has been playing the game for 15 years.

In the past six years, half of the local bingo parlors closed.

In 2012 countywide gross receipts totaled $26 million, but last year that fell to just $18 million, a 30 percent drop.

So how are Sacramento county leaders trying to help?

Currently, Bingo winnings are capped at $500 per game, but under new rules simultaneous games can be played with payouts reaching just under $1200 something other cities like Citrus Heights and even Sacramento already allow.

“Right now when you think about it, if there are games that could be played 5 miles from here, people are going to drive 5 miles,” Taylor said.

“The opportunity to win more is very attractive to them,” said John Nitzberg, with Sacramento Bingo Center. “It doesn’t allow us to be on a level playing field.”

Plans also call for eliminating the required sheriff’s department oversight of bingo operations, which will save charities about $300,000 a year.

“Bingo for us has been on the decline for a while, and best case scenario is to come back and on an incline,” Taylor added.

Bingo operators hope the new rules and bigger payouts will be a win for their customers and their profits.

“Of the course, if the payoff is more that just makes it more exciting,” Duncan exclaimed.

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing and plan to vote Tuesday.


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