pops bingo world richmond ca


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Pops bingo world richmond ca

The troubled Bingo parlor located at 1401 Marina Bay South with a sign “CS Bingo,” in a building owned by Richard Poe that was once an interim city hall appears to be on the ropes again.

The popular bingo hall has operated under a number of names and owners over the last five years, the business licenses of which have all expired. Under Richmond Municipal Code Chapter 11.86, all bingo games must be operated by charitable organizations recognized by the State of California and the IRS with proceeds going to charitable purposes. None of the numerous licensees at that location have ever filed the required information verifying charitable purposes with the City of Richmond to comply with Richmond Municipal Code Chapter 11.86.

After a recent City of Richmond inquiry, the Bingo operation appears to have gone dark, although a neon sign still shines brightly “open.”

Richard Poe of Virtual Development, former master developer of Marina Bay and developer of the proposed controversial Richmond Riviera project, is the owner of the building.

Photo taken at 1401 Marina Way South, November 20, 2015

The Bingo operation began in 2010, touted as a project of American Legion Post 875 to raise money for veterans. It was later found out that the commander of Post 875 was a convicted felon with a long history of bribery, mail fraud and money laundering. He was previously sentenced to three years’ probation and six months of community service for attempting to bribe the leader of a charity that sought bingo permits in 1986 through the City of Oakland’s Commission of Public Charities. See

On April 5, 2010, Richmond Confidential reported, “Councilman Nat Bates, who gave an address to a crowd of more than 250 attending the grand opening, said he was hopeful the council would grant the expansion. Bates has been a supporter of gaming, including the Point Molate casino proposal that is currently in limbo.”

A June 17, 2010 Contra Costa Times article stated, “Marina Bay Bingo launched in late March with strong local political support for its pledge to help returning war veterans. But a Bay Area News Group report soon revealed that the post’s commander was a twice-convicted felon who helped perpetrate a bingo permit kickback scheme in the 1980s, and that Marina Bay Bingo gave the city false information about the post’s nonprofit status. The city, it appears, never bothered to check.”

Nat Bates and Richard Poe worked together to find another Bingo operator. On June 17, 2010, the same Contra Costa Times article reported that Chuck Lessin, who operated Pop’s Bingo in Concord, “…said he was approached by City Councilman Nat Bates and Marina Bay developer Richard Poe after Bates read an April 17 Times story on plans for a Pop’s Bingo World in Concord.”

After the flurry of attention in 2010, it appears the Bingo hall that attracts hundreds every night went below the City of Richmond’s radar. There was a succession of business licenses issued, but no one bothered to see if Richmond’s Bingo Ordinance was being enforced.

· American Legion Post #875, #40031698, expired 12/3/2010
· Marina Gardens Bingo, #40046333, expired 8/12/2013
· Richmond Charities Bingo, # 40047988, expired 2/24/2014
· The United Council of Human Services, closed 8/02/2015

There are also Yahoo, Google, Yelp and Facebook listings for Marina Bingo, Marina Bay Bingo and Pops Bingo World at 1401 Marina Way South. The most recent Yelp Review is September 10, 2015. Facebook’s most recent review is November 17, 2015, “My favorite BINGO hall. Big pots and lots of fun.”

So a friend of my nieces recommended this place, and based on what she described, I was excited to try it out and fearful at this same time. First off, the place was walking distance from my house. Just s little shy of a mile. Second, when I arrived I told the cashier that it was my first time there and he made me feel comfortable by explaining everything and recommended what I should buy. He didn’t try to over sell me. Third, when I finally found a table to sit at, I told the couple across from me that it was my first time there and they said that they would help me until I got the hang of things one of the workers overheard our conversation and showed me how to operate the machines, which I had never done before. The buy in was reasonable, and I’ve heard some people complaining about paying $5 for the special games, but each special pays $500. I think that was reasonable. Bonus, they also have decent food there. I will definitely be going back.

According to several sources, it is the parking lot behind the Bingo hall on which Richard Poe made an “irrevocable commitment” to another of his tenants, Benito Juarez Elementary Charter School (operated by AMethod Public Schools) to build affordable housing for their teachers, although no one has been able to produce any supporting documentation of the commitment. Sources also say the Poe and AMethod are in negotiations to expand the charter school in the building owned by Poe.

Over a hundred parents and students of Benito Juarez Elementary Charter School turned up at the November 17 City Council meeting to support Richard Poe’s Richmond Riviera project.

Pops bingo world richmond ca The troubled Bingo parlor located at 1401 Marina Bay South with a sign “CS Bingo,” in a building owned by Richard Poe that was once an interim city hall appears to be