ROCKAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A group of senior citizens are outraged after they say they were banned from playing bingo.
Gloria Benedict told CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes that for 14 years, seniors played lunchtime bingo three days a week at Pleasant View Village Senior Home in Rockaway, N.J. But a few months ago, the Morris County Housing Authority, which runs the building, shut it down.
They say a disgruntled worker blew the whistle on their game.
The seniors insist they are far from big spenders and that one bingo card only costs 10 cents.
“It’s nickel-and-dime stuff. It’s not big gambling,” one resident said.
But as CBS 2 reported, it’s against New Jersey law to charge people anything to play without having a permit, which the seniors admit.
According to Consumer Affairs, without a bingo license, they can play if there’s no fee, no paid game operator and only a cheap prize.
But resident Ethel Rosenthal says what’s the fun in that? She said she applied for a permit seven weeks ago and is still waiting for the green light.
“Why are people doing this to us? We’re seniors!” she said.
CBS 2 spoke with Mary Ann De Costa, who said for some residents, playing bingo more than just a game.
“[It] made us want to look good, rather than mope around our apartments because there’s nothing to do,” she said.
As WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported, State Consumer Affairs wants everyone to know they did not take 10-cent bingo away from those at the senior complex.