Bingo OK'd in Hampton; first call 2 months away

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Hampton Union,  March 15, 2013

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON — Bingo is coming to Hampton, but put down your dauber because it's going to be at least two months, according to Anthony Fusco of Ocean Gaming.

Fusco is excited to be able to offer the game at his gaming facility. He said locals have been wanting to play bingo in town for some time.

On Tuesday voters approved warrant Article 30 by a vote of 1,532-683 — a wide margin compared to the same warrant article last year, which failed by a razor-thin margin of 1,532-1,516.

Fusco said the only reason the same warrant article didn't pass last year was because misinformation reaching voters that they were asking to bring a full-scale casino to Hampton.

When he explains the details of New Hampshire's charitable gaming program, though, Fusco said, people always understand its benefits. According to state law, 35 percent of proceeds from games of chance must go to a charitable organization and no single wager may exceed $4. In games where chips have monetary value, the state also receives 10 percent of the profit.

"Everybody has the same response," Fusco said of people who are just learning how charitable gaming works in New Hampshire, "they say, 'What a wonderful concept.'"

Fusco said the adoption of bingo and Lucky 7 in town "is a wonderful thing for the town and all charitable gaming organizations."

Fusco said one major benefit is that bingo players won't have to leave Hampton to get their fix, boosting tourism and local commerce.

"To take that ride down to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun is a 2.5-hour ride," Fusco said. "Now it's right in our backyard."

The timeline for when numbers will be called isn't clear, but Fusco said first comes the application to the state, then a host must give the state 60 days' notice of what charities will be on tap.

Fusco said Ocean Gaming's application may get a slight boost in turnaround time, since the organization has already undergone a state background check.

He said anyone who gets their application OK'd will be able to host charities' bingo games, and suggested that churches, schools, the VFW and the library might apply. Fusco also said Ocean Gaming would host bingo nights for any interested parties.

"We'd love to work with the churches," he said as an example. "We can do it for them." 


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