Regular players say they’d support electronic games

Published 11:59 pm Friday, May 22, 2009

The people playing paper bingo inside American Legion Post 80 Friday night had one thing to say about the possibility of electronic bingo in Covington County – if it comes, they will play.

Approximately 50 people, armed with daubers and bingo sheets and waiting to be the next winning voice in the crowd, filled the Legion hall. During a bingo game, it is almost so quiet one could hear a pin drop while players wait for the next number to be called.

And one also can’t play electronic bingo here, either, which is why Faye Aughtman of Andalusia and John Sullivan of Gantt say they travel to Atmore to play electronic bingo.

“We love coming here,” Aughtman said. “You have a good time and win a little money. If we had electronic bingo here and would I go, the answer is yep, yep, yep. It would save me from having to go to Atmore. I’d love that.”

Aughtman was referring to the Wind Creek Casino operated near Atmore by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

Sullivan said it’s much easier to have a machine keep up with whether or not “you bingo” than having to do it the old-fashioned way.

“You’re setting at a machine. You don’t have to keep up with your numbers,” he said. “(Electronic bingo is) much easier and more fun. I think we should have it here.”

Bonice Smith, who came with her bingo partner and sister Ruby Faucheaux of Gantt, said the most money she’s ever won was $585 “12 or 15 years ago,” but if electronic bingo gave her a chance at a larger payout, she’d try it.

“I wouldn’t know how to play it, but I’d sure give it a try,” she said.

Vickie Hejnal of Andalusia was one of the Legion’s bingo winners Friday night. She said she “loves the thrill” of bingo. Often she and friends travel to Crestview, Fla., and Defuniak Springs, Fla., to play paper bingo, and “quite a bit” she and those friends travel to Atmore and Biloxi to play.

“Here, we play for charity and I like that,” she said. “When we go to Atmore and Biloxi, that’s putting money in someone else’s pocket. Shouldn’t we think about keeping it here?”