Dublin Disruption as Disgruntled Dabbers Demonstrate ‘Bingo Bill’

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Bingo Bill Dublin
source: 123rf.com

Dublin City is bracing itself for a day of chaos today (Tuesday 3rd December) as a fleet of buses full of disgruntled bingo players make their way to the Irish capital to protest against the proposed new Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill 2019.

Dubbed the ‘Bingo Bill’, the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill is going before the Dáil on Wednesday, but Irish bingo players are not happy. The bill will place a strict limit on the amount of prize money that can be paid out on each game of bingo. The new limit is to be set at 50% of the total takings on that game, which is a steep drop from the current prize rates of between 75% and 85%.

Irish Bingo Halls to Close En Masse?

The protests which are being arranged by the ‘Save Our Bingo’ campaign group include a series of sit-in and people playing bingo outside the Dáil on Kildare Street in Dublin today. A spokesperson for the campaign said:

“We need everyone who loves bingo to turn out and get behind our campaign and join our protest outside the Dáil at 10.30am on tomorrow, Tuesday 3rd December.

“We have less than 48 hours before Leo Varadkar and his out-of-touch Government introduce this legislation and shut down every bingo hall in Ireland.”

The sentiment was also shared by the head of operations at Jack Potts, one of the largest bingo operators in Dublin. Emma Lavelle said the proposed legislation had caused “total uncertainty” in the bingo industry. Ms Lavelle said of the bill:

“there is no way we’d be able to operate in that structure. Customers have already told us they won’t be coming at those prices.”

Ms Lavelle said that the 85 staff who work for Jack Potts were very concerned about their jobs amidst growing uncertainty over the effects the planned changes will have.

As well as the rally, sit-ins and mass bingo game planned, there is a petition being circulated online which has just under 1000 signatures at the time of writing.

Alice Smith, spokesperson for the Save Our Bingo Campaign added:

“There are hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland who play bingo each week and we don’t understand how Leo can just take it away from them.

“For a lot of people who play, it’s their only social outlet. Without it, they’d just be sitting in the house on their own.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland who play bingo each week and we don’t understand how Leo can just take it away from them.

“For a lot of people who play, it’s their only social outlet. Without it, they’d just be sitting in the house on their own.

Check back here later for news of the Bingo Buses in Dublin and with the Bingo Bill due to hit the Irish parliament on Wednesday, it looks as though this will not be the last we hear of this in the Bingo News.

 

 

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