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Ascension Parish battles over bingo

4 years ago October 14, 2010 Oct 14, 2010 Thursday, October 14 2010 Thursday, October 14, 2010 5:33:47 PM CDT in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Stephanie Ryan

Video bingo is on the chopping block in Ascension Parish.

The game is legal, but some parish council leaders want to rid their home of what they call a "vice."

After a Popeyes in Livingston Parish asked the owners of an attached video bingo hall to leave, they moved just across the Amite, where they plan to open Pier 13.  Owners of Pier 13, near Port Vincent, plan to install 30 video bingo machines to give retirees in the area a place to hang out.

"This area needs a little something," said owner Doogie Ware.  40 percent of the money that "little something" brings in, according to state law, must go to charity.

The only problem is councilman George Valentine wants to vote down the game.

"I think the people of the parish would rather not have video bingo," said Valentine.  "It's addictive."

Valentine said he believes the hall's owners are concerned more with profits than charity-- profits he said they plan to take straight out of the pockets of people he vowed to serve.

Many people in the area don't seem to mind the game.

"If somebody's gonna gamble, they're gonna go to another parish anyway, so they may as well keep the money in this parish," said Keith Dornier.

Ascension Parish's Council votes on the issue Oct. 21.

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