GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Casinos may have a $1 billion gaming market, but there's another game of chance that is seemingly just as popular along the Mississippi Gulf Coast -- bingo.
American Legion Post 1992 in Gautier is only one of many organizations that host bingo games throughout the week.
On a Sunday afternoon at the popular veterans club, more than 50 people can be found in taking their chances on the bingo cards.
Unlike casino gaming, bingo can only be run by nonprofit organizations in the state of Mississippi and are monitored by the state gaming commission. After expenses and prizes, all of the money raised from the games goes to those charitable establishments.
At American Legion Post 1992, officials say they raise around $25,000 a year to help veterans meet their needs. Money raised from bingo games are also used for student scholarships and other community improvement projects.
Bingo players say they enjoy playing the game because it gives them a chance to socialize with their friends and have an afternoon of fun.
A bingo game can be found every day at one of many organizations in nearly every city on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Aside from American Legion posts, bingo halls can be found in many local churches, Elks Lodges, Knights of Columbus, Boys & Girls Clubs, and various other nonprofit groups.