WATERBURY, Conn. — Agnes Lates sits at her favorite table in the basement of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Waterbury’s Town Plot section. She keeps a second pink ink dabber standing by just in case the one she is using to mark the spaces on her bingo sheet runs out.

A woman in the distance yells “bingo!” and a volunteer strolls along the tables to check the card. Upon confirmation, there’s a collective groan from most of the participants in the hall, who almost in unison tear off their sheets, crumple them up and throw them into a plastic shopping bag taped to the folding table.

The weekly Thursday night bingo game at the Waterbury Catholic school is a rarity in most parts of Connecticut: a full room of people playing bingo, thousands of dollars being raised for local schools and extra money in the winners’ pockets.

It has been 75 years since the state authorized the game of bingo, but gross receipts – the money people pay organizations to play – have decreased steadily in the past 20 years. From a peak of $32.7 million in 1994, the gross receipts in 2013 were down by half to $16.4 million.

Bingo has lost its grip in Connecticut for as many reasons as there are numbers on a bingo card: the arrival of the casinos; a lack of interest among the younger generation; the economy; the decline of cultural clubs; time-consuming regulations from the state and even the decision to ban smoking, according to longtime players and organizations who run bingo.

Those who suffer are the groups that rely on the profits to help in fundraising. At the Sons of Italy in Torrington, the group uses the twice-weekly bingo proceeds for its operating costs.

The receipts have declined as the number of state permits for bingo has declined. In 1998, there were 280 permits across the state; now there are 142, according to the state Department of Consumer Protection, the state agency that oversees bingo. Each organization that holds a bingo game has to report its gross receipts and prizes paid out within 10 days. The organization also must send in a payment of 5 percent of the difference between the receipts and the prizes, according to department spokeswoman Claudette Carveth.

The department sends each municipality that hosts a bingo game one-quarter of 1 percent of the net amount wagered in that municipality. The remainder is transferred to the state’s general fund.

Have cities and towns seen their revenue take a hit? Bingo.

Torrington, Naugatuck and Waterbury all have seen significant drops. Naugatuck received only $103.86 this year. Ten years ago, the borough received $221.32. Torrington went down from $986.25 to $322.81 and Waterbury dropped from $1,536.56 to $614.

Joe McGonigal, financial director for the Sons of Italy, said there could be 50 to 60 people playing some weeks while just 30 on others.

“It’s our only source of income. We rely on that to pay heating and pay electric,” McGonigal said.

McGonigal said the average income for the club ranges between $3,000 and $4,000 a month.

Years ago, the game attracted hundreds of people. The Sons of Italy hall at 34 Center St. nearly would be filled. In Torrington, the Sons of Italy is one of three places where bingo is still held. Other groups, such as the Slovak Catholic Sokol on Franklin Street, stopped almost a decade ago, according to Martin Wilson, Sokol vice president.

When the Sokol club saw its bingo attendance drop from 80 to 90 people down to 25 to 30, it wasn’t generating enough income to pay for the electric bill from running the lights and air conditioning.

“It just went downhill,” Wilson said. “It used to be big with the old-timers.”