I’m from Texas and we bet football, hell we’ll even bet on the coin toss. In the Lone Star State sports betting laws are convoluted. My old bookie Wit used to say, “Shoot, it depends which foot is in which county that determines if you’re breaking a law.”
I taught school in Nevada for almost decade where gambling is legal 24/7 and Nevadans wager around the clock. If someone wants to take a flyer on Australian Rules football (rugby) at 3:00 a.m., they go for it. It’s been estimated sports-books on the Vegas strip make nearly a billion dollars per year and I’ve unsuccessfully tried to win my share. I bet teams with the heart, meaning I wager on my favorite teams. This is not only dumb, it’s expensive and an absurd gambling strategy. What’s this got to do with Rocky Point?
When I arrived here two years ago I discovered Puerto Peñasco has legal sports-betting. I thought this ought to be a fun, on weekends I can make a small wager, settle into a bar stool next to my friends and enjoy good old American football. Sounds like a fun proposal, so what’s the rub?
The rub is most locals including full & part-time Americans don’t care about American sports. Say what? No football? What are we supposed to gamble on? It ain’t poker, craps or sports, it’s bingo.
Apparently our Rocky Point gentry are drawn to the extremes of out-of-control riotous bingo games. As an example, when the bingo caller pulls B8 the participants yell in unison, “Bay Ocho.” Now that’s spellbinding.
At the American Legion, bingo is played three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. (sessions last about 2 to 3 hours) Generally we have 20 to 30 players and occasionally up to a hundred players purchase packages for $6.00 (additional cards may be obtained)
Each game can provide a winner up to $30 to $50. The last game played is called blackout, all numbers must be filled-in to bingo and a winner can garner several hundred dollars. The Legion also uses what is called a power-ball system. A number is selected prior to the start of the day’s games and if the final bingo number on any game matches, a special pot is awarded. If no one wins, the pot rolls over. Recently two women split $1300 in addition to their other winnings. The American Legion uses these revenues for local charity needs.
Another fun addition is, after each game a final number is pulled and if players have matching numbers they win a free shot of tequila. Now we’re talking.
After reflection, “I’ll take the shot of tequila and can anyone tell me if New England’s Brady is going to pull a four game suspension. By the way, what’s the line on Dallas’s opener? Bay-ocho, yeah right.”
Dan McWhitis