Saturday January 18, 2014

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday January 18, 2014

Delta Bingo hall to call its last numbers downtown Sunday

Delta Bingo in downtown Hamilton is closing its doors for good Sunday night after the last game is played.

There are messages announcing the closure on its website and at the location.

Councillor Jason Farr, who represents the ward where Delta Bingo has operated for years, says the city was told by its owner, Bee Eye & Gee Oh, that Delta will close and the company will concentrate on converting its St. Catharines and Fort Erie halls to electronic, or e-Bingo.

About 30 charities that fundraised through bingo events at Delta are affected.

“It means charities will have to be creative and find another way to raise that $10,000,” said Farr.

Delta Bingo has been operating in the old Kresge department store at 45 King St. E. on property leased from a numbered Ontario company. Land registry documents list developer Ralph Frisina as president. He could not be reached for comment.

Farr said there are no redevelopment plans for the site that he’s aware of.
Chuck Lemenchick, who identified himself as a company director, confirmed Bee Eye & Gee Oh is focusing on its bingo halls outside of Hamilton.

Delta’s demise doesn’t come as a surprise to local charities that used it for years, because the amounts of money raised have dwindled.

Neighbour 2 Neighbour, which started bingos at Delta in July and was making $1,000 a month, is “more than disappointed,” said executive director Denise Arkell.

“We were really counting on that as a constant source of income to support our food bank.”

Stephen Near, of the Hamilton Arts Council, said bingo revenue for the not-for-profit council has dropped 83 per cent from $26,000 five years ago. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)