SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- A bingo hall that raises money for a local non-profit has been struggling to keep up with the operating costs for its west Springfield location over the last five years.
Cheryl Williams has played at Bingo at the Bank religiously since it opened in the late 80's. During that time Williams has seen the number of players attending the nightly sessions dwindle over the years. Thursday night she told KVAl that the hall has seen a recent spike in attendance over the past two weeks.
"Normally it is like 50 to 70 people." Williams said. "Everybody knows you have to use up your points because they're going to be gone next week."
After 25 years in business, the owners of the Bingo at the Bank said that they have to shut down the hall by the end of August. Manager Amanda Eads said that the weekly crowds don't draw enough revenue to keep the bingo balls bouncing.
"We've had less business, we've lost money. It's harder and harder each month to catch up." said Eads.
Closing Bingo at the Bank affects more than just Williams and her bingo buddies. Every dollar made at the bingo hall goes to support the Arc of Lane County, a non-profit that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Other owners at Bingo at the Bank said that they suspect increased competition from casinos and on-line gambling had an impact on the decreased customer base over the last five years.
Williams said she will continue to attend sessions until the last games are held on August 31st. She added that she may have spent a lot of money at the bingo tables, but it is hard to put a price on the friendships built and charity given from each game.
"I never look at it as a loss, I look at it as a donation to a good cause." said Williams.
To find out when the last scheduled sessions take place visit Bingo at the Bank's website.