TRURO – Is a new gaming centre in the Truro Power Centre adversely affecting downtown Truro bingos?
At least one caller to the Truro Daily News thinks so.
Though she wouldn’t leave her name, the caller said that the bingo at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 26 on Brunswick Street had seen its numbers fall from the low 100s to between 70-80 since the Legends Gaming Centre opened at the Power Centre on Dec. 8.
The caller said if another 10-15 regulars left the bingo would be hard-pressed to continue.
But Beth Dawson, who is involved with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 26 bingo, said it was too soon to push any panic buttons.
“With Christmas and New Year’s, it’s always slow that time of year,” Dawson said. “We were average before Christmas, and the last week before (Christmas) is slow anyway.”
She said the number of players fluctuates on each night, but the average is about 100.
“It’s never the same. We only started back after the holidays on January second and the number was down some, but it’s too soon to tell.”
Meanwhile, at the Legends Gaming Centre, business is reportedly on the rise.
“They’ve been going great,” said manager Chris Weunsch. “We’re starting to see an increase in our numbers.”
He said December may not be the best time to open a gaming centre, but that didn’t stop Legends from proceeding.
“People only have so much disposable income and it’s a month when they need it for other things,” he said. “But we’re averaging about 130 to 160 players. A lot of out-of-towners like to come for the Saturday or Sunday matinees.”
Weunsch said the first of many local charities – Cobequid Special Olympics – has worked with the gaming centre for the past week selling 50/50 tickets.
“The charity can come in from Wednesday to Sunday for our full five-day week and sell as many 50/50 tickets as they want, keeping half of the profits for the charity, while the other half goes to the winner. The more they sell, the better off they are to maximize their proceeds.”