Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bingo Pt II

Roseann Danese weighs in on the recent Council decision to allow Hollywood Bingo to reopen under new owners.

Meanwhile rookie Coun. Drew Dilkens seemed to forget the industry is heavily regulated by two levels of government and relied on by charitable organizations, when he made the free-enterprise-at-all-costs speech. “This is really a case of economics -- it's supply and demand," Dilkens said. "When there's demand in the marketplace, suppliers open. When demand goes down, suppliers exit. I've never seen a situation where competition is bad for the overall marketplace."
Well, except maybe, in the case of the charitable bingo market.
I'll have to respectfully disagree with Roseann here and stand by Dilkens and the other councillors who voted in favour of this.

One of the biggest reasons is we don't know all the details of the previous owner's finances. They are restructuring in order to continue their business. While the downturn in the Bingo industry, 911, smoking bylaw and other issues played a factor in CBC's problems, I don't think they were the only cause. At some point management must accept some responsibility. They have closed locations and consolidated their operations.

The new owner of Hollywood Bingo has identified an opportunity in Windsor. He is an experienced bingo hall operator who is risking his own money. It's his choice.

Yes, the bingo industry was in trouble in Windsor, but CBC's hall closings took a significant amount of capacity out of the city. This owner is looking to fill some of that capacity.

The city will benefit from increased revenues. Local contractors will benefit from the renovations. Local suppliers have an opportunity for increased business. More charities now have an opportunity to fundraise and finally people will benefit from the job opportunities.

While this certainly isn't the hey-day of Windsor Bingo I don't think it's the death knell either.

I wish the new owners of Hollywood all the best.