Oklahoma City bingo hall 'sponsored by' group accused in Florida of fraud

Players spent almost $7.6 million at Bingo City, a hall in Oklahoma City, in 2010. State law does not require that any money from bingo halls actually go to charitable causes.
by Nolan Clay Published: April 22, 2013
Advertisement
;

At a smoky, often crowded bingo hall in the middle of a northwest Oklahoma City strip mall, players have spent millions of dollars in the hopes the numbers go their way — all in the name of charity.

The place is Bingo City.

Games with names like Six-Pack are called out at dizzying speeds from 10 a.m. to midnight six days a week. Players spent almost $7.6 million there in 2010, records show.

And, right at the entrance, Bingo City tells players in red letters it is “sponsored by” Allied Veterans of the World, Inc. & Affiliates.

Allied Veterans of the World allegedly was a front for 49 gambling centers in Florida that — under the guise of being Internet cafes — operated illegal slot machines. Almost 60 people were arrested in March as a result of a lengthy investigation nicknamed Operation “Reveal the Deal.”

“The organization falsely claimed to be a charitable veterans' organization, but instead deceived the public and government while lining the pockets of its operators,” the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said.

No one involved with Bingo City, 4443 NW 50, was accused of wrongdoing even though its owners belong to an Allied Veterans “post.”

“We're here in Oklahoma. We have no knowledge of what was going on in Florida,” hall manager James Doyle “J.J.” Ford said.

He said money from the bingo operation does go to charity.

Ford, 34, of Oklahoma City, referred all other questions to Bingo City's attorney, Shawn Fulkerson. The attorney did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

Oklahoma law allows only charitable organizations to have commercial bingo operations. A license from the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission costs $100 a year.

The license for Bingo City is held by Allied Veterans of the World Post 28 Inc., records show.


by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Golfer Dustin Johnson taking leave of absence, cites 'personal challenges'
  2. 2
    DeMarco Murray among 11 eye-catchers at Dallas Cowboys camp
  3. 3
    GALLERY: Oklahoma State football players report
  4. 4
    House call apps bring a doctor to your door
  5. 5
    Kevin Durant, James Harden, Paul George play one-on-one at USA Basketball camp
+ show more