Twenty years of bingo

Published 6:17 am Friday, April 1, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
Creek Bingo Palace is celebrating 20 years of fun Saturday.
According to Kitty Stuart, a representative of the Bingo Palace Saturday night will be especially fun.
"We're going to have our celebration Saturday and we're going to have all the Poarch Creek Indian dignitaries, the council and boards to help celebrate our 20 years of business," Stuart said.
The Palace was opened just one year after the tribe was federally recognized.
"We first opened our doors at Creek Bingo on April 13, 1985," Stuart said. "At that time we only had Bingo and at that time we were the only high stakes Indian Bingo in this area. This was before Biloxi and we only had the one facility."
Since then the Bingo Palace has experienced tremendous growth.
"Now we still have bingo but we've also added, for our customers pleasure, gaming machines and discounted tobacco products," Stuart said. "We've been in operation for 20 years, we've grown."
Stuart believes Creek Bingo is Poarch's most valuable enterprise.
"It's been an extremely successful venture and provided economic growth for our tribe," she said.
Gaming helps support many of the tribe's governmental services.
"From gaming revenues the tribe has been able to progress," Stuart said. "We've used the funds for housing, a medical clinic, fire stations, the police department and numerous other services for tribal members. Gaming proceeds have drastically improved the tribal economy and improved the lifestyles of tribal members."
The anniversary festivities begin around 6 p.m. but until then it will basically be a normal night.
"It's a celebration, we'll have bingo until six," Stuart said. "At 6 o'clock we'll stop the bingo program and do presentations to the tribal council, the gaming council and different boards. Then there will be a speech from tribal chairman Mr. Tullis and there will be punch and cake for all our guests and bingo customers. And everybody gets a complimentary 20 year anniversary mug."

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