In October 2010, the Del Mar City Council voted to allow nonprofits to host bingo games on the fairgrounds. These games, which serve as fundraisers for the nonprofits, will begin this month inside the Surfside Race Place.
During its March 28 meeting, the council approved six applications for: Friends of the San Diego County Fair, the fairground’s Don Diego scholarship fund, Encinitas Country Day School Parent Teacher Organization, Southern California Yeshiva High Tech, Camp Binyan Torah, and the Del-Sol Lions Club.
The fairgrounds management has been working for more than a year to launch these bingo games in hopes of bolstering income for the Surfside Race Place, as satellite horse race wagering has taken a dip.
Fairgrounds deputy general manager Becky Bartling addressed the council, thanking members for their cooperation on allowing the bingo games. She also said that nonprofits would have to pay $4,000 per session, which includes a $1,500 rental fee and the cost of having onsite security. She also said that having about 130 bingo players would mean the nonprofits could break even — and with an anticipated 150 to 200 players per bingo session, the nonprofits could expect to come out in the black.
The fairgrounds’ own nonprofit, the Friends of Sand Diego County Fair, will host the first of these bingo games on Monday, April 4, at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 5 p.m. Proceeds from that bingo game may be put toward capital improvements on the property.
Bingo sessions are allowed on the fairgrounds every night from 7 to 11 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.