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Bingo! Law removing limit on nursing home bingo goes into effect Wednesday

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We may be hearing "Bingo!" more often as a new state law takes effect July 1.

The popular activity at many nursing homes and senior centers across the state has been limited by state law to just two bingo events per week, but this spring, lawmakers removed that restriction when they passed a broader gambling regulation bill.

So starting July 1, nursing homes, senior centers and senior organizations will be able to hold bingo events as many times a week as they want, so long as the prizes for a single bingo game do not exceed $10 and total prizes awarded at a single bingo occasion do not exceed $200, the law says.

Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, who sponsored the broader gambling bill, said back in May that probably the most important provision of the bill is that it "allows for extended hours for bingo in nursing homes," the Session Daily noted.

The gambling bill clarifies and simplifies statutes related to gambling, and also modifies where bar bingo can be conducted and permits the prize for a progressive bingo game to start at up to $500 and allow it to increase by up to $100 for every occasion, among other things.

It's one of the many laws that are going into effect July 1.

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