HOBSON CITY, Ala. (WIAT) — A bingo hall is open for business again in Hobson City. I-20 Bingo opened its doors for new games Friday night. It’s been closed since March of 2016.
“It’s a grueling process and it can be very lengthy,” said Kim Payne, manager of I-20 Bingo. “First you have to have a viable charity, according to the Calhoun County Regulatory Commission, and it then on top of that, you have to go, if it’s a municipality, you have to go to that municipality first.”
There have been several bingo halls that have opened, only to find themselves quickly shuttered by the sheriff in recent years. However, Payne says everything is in place and legally permitted at this bingo hall.
“Absolutely no problems. Everything is good. Everything is a go. We got our go yesterday,” Payne said.
In order to legally operate in Alabama, a bingo hall must be contributing to a charity, receive permits from regulatory commissions, and pay for a permit in the municipality in which they operate. That’s a lengthy process, Payne said, and a complicated one.
When the doors opened Friday night, some new customers were there to play the games. These customers included Carol Hobbs, who said she’s glad to see this bingo hall open again.
“Oh, I’ve been playing here for years. I always like coming here,” Hobbs said. “It’s only a ten minute drive. It’s a good outing. I like it. Everybody’s family.”
The bingo hall is set to open Friday, Saturday and Sunday beginning at 5 P.M.