Keeping the balls rolling and the fun level high
For Tom Parker, every day is game day. Parker, a lifelong sports fan, Pennsylvania State grad and former sports writer, runs the Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino’s bingo room as its manager (he’s also keno manager).
Despite bingo’s reputation as a haven for older people, Parker and his friendly crew keep it lively for all ages, whether through interactions between bingo agents and players or through special games like Rock Shot bingo.
“We ... developed a party-style game that people really love. It’s one of the things our guests and our team members look forward to,” said Parker. Yes, winners get a shot of alcohol as well as money. On Dec. 8 at 9 p.m., Parker and team host a Birthday Rock Shot to help celebrate Green Valley Ranch’s 15th anniversary, and plan to add extra birthday-party elements, in addition to the DJ, glow sticks and dancing at intermission that the event normally has.
Parker, who has worked for Station Casinos for 13 years, keeps busy in his off time, volunteering (he recently called a bingo game at the Blind Center), covering sports for a website, coaching softball and hanging with his dog, Ace.
And he looks forward to introducing bingo to a wider audience. “I actually see bingo going to more fun, atmosphere-type games ... things people haven’t seen before. That’s where I envision bingo going, something to look forward to all the time, to draw in younger and older. I think we can pull that off.”
The Cash Ball
If you’ve ever sat down to a bingo game in Las Vegas, then you know the lure of the cash ball, that extra amount of dough that grows and grows with each game until someone wins it. (Cash balls range from a few hundred dollars up to the thousands.) At Green Valley Ranch, the fruity, tropical Cash Ball commemorates the day a regular player requested a special drink be created to bring him luck—and he hit the cash ball. Hey, order one, and maybe it’ll bring you luck, too!