Trailer Estates residents protest bingo restrictions

skennedy@bradenton.comApril 17, 2013 

MANATEE -- Several dozen angry senior citizens held a demonstration this morning to protest what they said were restrictions on bingo games at Trailer Estates park.

Holding signs that read "Bingo IS Legal," "Let Our Seniors Play Bingo," and "This IS Elder Abuse," the protesters shouted at cars going by, getting honks in return.

Residents said they were told by park officials that the Manatee County Sheriff's Office had threatened to shut the popular bingo games down because it constituted gambling.

After legal discussions, the park's board advised bingo lovers that the games would continue, but winners would get prizes instead of the small cash jackpots awarded previously, said resident Harold Schroder, one of the protestors.

"We're protesting because we want to play legal bingo," explained another demonstrator, Gary LeBoeuf.

The sheriff's general counsel, Michele Hall, could not be reached immediately for comment.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter@sarawrites.com.

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