OTTAWA -- With the Rideau Carleton Casino and Casino du Lac-Leamy both closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, Irene Mclaren was looking for a way to get out of the house and test her luck.

She is not a big fan of bingo but Bingoland Gaming Centre in Nepean has a new way for her to support local charities and have a chance at winning a little money.  Currently, Bingoland is the only place in Ottawa where you can enjoy slot-style games and get a little taste of Vegas.

 It’s a great distraction. It’s tough being home days on days so we come out we are glad it’s open,” Mclaren said. “I’m not a Bingo fan…I prefer the slot machines.“

The 50 new slot-style machines recently installed are based on traditional games in Nevada.

Steven MacArthur, one of the directors of the Bingoland Gaming Centre says the games are known as tap-and-play machines. MacArthur says the new machines are their answer to declining revenues from bingo.

Bingoland has been operating for more than 30 years raising millions of dollars for local charities like the Boys and Girls Club, Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, The Royal Canadian Legion, The Kiwanis Club and The Lions Club. This year they are supporting more than 25 charities but with revenues down almost 50 per cent due to COVID, they are hoping these new games help lure people back.

“The revenue that is generated in this facility goes back to charity groups in our community,” MacArthur said. “Bingoland generates about a million dollars a year for the charities we partner with.”

The facility on Slack Road is following all COVID precautions. When you arrive you answer a COVID questionnaire, your temperature is taken, you are provided with hand sanitizer and of course masks are mandatory.

There are 50 gaming machines, but only 25 chairs to provide social distancing to patrons.

Bingoland Gaming Centre is open seven days a week. You can find out more here.