Charity Bingo Association protests due to California bingo bill

In America, a bill passed through the California legislature allowing larger charities to offer bingo games throughout the state online will soon make its way to the desk of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for his endorsement.

State Bill 1369 passed through the Senate in Sacramento late last week and has been met by a wave of protests from the California Charity Bingo Association, which is urging the Governor to veto the measure. The Association claims that, if passed, the Bill would trigger a clause in the Indian tribal gaming compact that would allow aboriginal-run casinos to use the Internet for gambling.

It stated that this would open the door for tribes to offer other games using the Internet including blackjack, poker and slots while severely weakening the California Lottery along with smaller charities.

“State Bill 1369 is a gut and amend bill headed for the Governor’s desk that would devastate hundreds of local charities while allowing California’s tribal casinos to expand their gambling operations onto the Internet, essentially amounting to the greatest expansion of legal gambling in California’s history,” read a statement from the Association.

“This competition would, in turn, severely weaken the viability of the California Lottery as State Bill 1369 outlaws the electronic charity bingo machines that hundreds of small charities throughout the state rely on for funding. In its place, it creates something called Remote Caller Bingo, a technology that that links simultaneous bingo games at multiple locations throughout the state. While organizers of Remote Caller Bingo will be able to offer larger, ‘life altering’ jackpots, the technology will be unavailable to small charities and its practicality and profitability is questionable even for larger charities.

Hundreds of local charities are dependent on Governor Schwarzenegger’s veto of State Bill 1369.