Bingo TV bites the dust, for now

B-I-N-G.No. Bingo Television, which had locked up several clearances on top market stations WCIU-TV Chicago and WTVE-TV Philadelphia, is no longer in play for a fall 2001 syndication launch.

Its creator, U-Dub Productions, blames an old anti-gambling law in New York for killing the planned syndication launch of Bingo, where viewers would play the game at home, watching for the game numbers onscreen. Two laws clearing public bingo-playing have passed the New York State legislature, but U-Dub didn't want to wait any longer to see if Governor George Pataki would pass them. Apparently, Pataki vetoed a pro-bingo law in 1999.

It is late in the game to grab a New York clearance for 2001 - all of the major upcoming rookies have already locked up this all-important home, which provides almost 10% of a show's U.S. audience. However, U-Dub chief Bob Lienhard insists he "absolutely loves the show" and is counting on New York eventually allowing for public bingo playing, making way for Bingo Television in the future.
- Susanne Ault