By Jude Allume, SYRACUSE, NY (NCC News) — Last month, the New York State Gambling Commission implemented a new state law that bars anyone under the age of 18 from playing bingo. Though minors may still attend bingo games, they are no longer allowed to participate.
Previously, there was no law against children playing bingo as long as they were accompanied by an adult. The law was updated, however, in order to bring the minimum age for bingo in line with other forms of legal gambling.
Some Central New York residents aren’t fond of the new law. Syracuse native, Sarah Ruiz found it to be confusing.
“That doesn’t even make any sense” Says Ruiz. “I always thought that bingo was like a family thing. I don’t think that’s fair”
Gabriella Julia of Syracuse didn’t like the effect the new law would have on her grandmother.
“I don’t understand why they’re banning it. For one, I think it’s kind of pointless because my grandmother’s in a nursing home and I have younger cousins who are like six, seven and that’s one thing when we go to visit, that’s something they’ll do and play with her” Said Julia. “To kind of take that away, I mean you know it’s a lot of older people who do play it. I just don’t really understand why they’re banning it.”
On the bright side for bingo players, the new law is also raising the maximum bingo prize payout from $1,000 to $5,000. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo added that this will also help organizations hosting bingo events to raise more money, but some people don’t find the opportunity at more money to be worth lost time with their family.