Nov. 25, 2020

NO MORE BINGO!

NO MORE BINGO!

Many years ago, when I managed the mobile home park in Sacramento, we set up for the residents to play Bingo on Wednesday nights.  It was a lot of work for Lynn and me but we knew how much the residents enjoyed the event.  We had such a good Bingo game that some residents invited their friends to come and play as well. During a few of the years, we had a small group of residents who you could never please with anything.  They wanted control of the Bingo game and the Bingo funds.  Since we supplied the funds for the jackpots and all monies taken in were turned back into the Bingo games, we decided it was best if we kept control of the funds for our own accounting purposes.

One Wednesday night instead of playing Bingo as usual, the small group of complainers stayed out on the pool deck that evening and would occasionally come open the back door and look in like they were expecting someone or something.  The next morning, we found out what their behavior was about when a gentleman showed up from the County Tax Accessors Office.  He asked us if we supplied Bingo games for the park residents and we said yes.  He then asked us if we had a Bingo Permit from Sacramento County and of course we did not and told him, no.  He then told us in order to have Bingo we must have a permit from the county and there had been a complaint to his office from someone in the park.  They wanted him to come out the night of Bingo and shut us down, but he declined to do that and told us he waited until the day after to contact us.  He explained that the county had a manual telling what was needed and expected to run the Bingo games. I obtained the manual and read the many pages of rules.  First you had to have the permit and then quarterly you had forms to turn in with an accounting of the funds and expenses, bank deposits, etc.  Also, any volunteers could not play, they could only be volunteers to help and they would have to go through a background check.  When I explained this to the group who wanted to volunteer and handle the funds, they declined saying if they couldn’t play there were not going to volunteer. One woman who was leading the group said she would not do a background check and we all knew why.  This woman and her husband were both registered sex offenders.  No one knew that when they moved into the park but after Megan’s Law website was set up for the public to check where they lived for registered sex offenders it was soon discovered that we had a total of 7 registered sex offenders living in the park.  They like locating there because the streets are private property and the police do not patrol the streets and only come into the park if called because of a problem.  A good place to hide and you cannot harass them or you will be in trouble.

After much discussion about Bingo with the park owner, Julian, it was decided we would no longer have Bingo.  Our Bingo games were top notch with the big board that would light up when the numbers were called and we had the paper cards and colored ink daubers for the cards.  Julian said, a few disgruntled residents have ruined it for everyone, get rid of the Bingo equipment and the supplies and you and Lynn can go back to having your Wednesday nights off to do as you please.

Julian was always a good and fair boss but if you pushed the wrong button, he would let you know.  We disposed of the Bingo equipment and informed the residents we would no longer be having Bingo games.  They were not happy but that was the end of Bingo.