This week in Dublin, the nation’s parliament has considered limiting winners to just 50 percent of takings and that has resulted to protest by more than a hundred of Ireland’s bingo players. At the moment, a typical bingo operator pays out more than 85 percent of its takings in players’ prizes. Minister of State David Stanton was expected on Wednesday to offer an amendment to the Gaming and Lotteries Bill now before the Dáil Éireann.
Reports from casino.org indicate that amended legislation may lead to the closure of every bingo hall in Ireland. “If the legislation comes in, there will be no bingo tomorrow, no one will play,” a bingo player at the protest told TheJournal.ie. “We buy the books out of our money that we have already been taxed on and now they want to tax us again.”
However, Stanton said that the amendment will simply ensure that the charities receive a fair share from the bingo operators who act as their agent which is a minimum of 25 percent of the proceeds of the bingo. In response, Naomi Reilly, a spokesperson for the Bingo Players Association, stated that Stanton has “blistering incompetence and a total lack of understanding of the game of bingo and the fallout he has caused.”
Reilly also stated that bingo players in his constituency will not forget or forgive the absolute mess Stanton has created. She reported that the Minister has gone out of his way to deliberately not understand that they won’t play a game where they lose half of their money before they even start. She said the minister doesn’t understand that when every bingo hall is closed by him there are thousands of charities around the country that will lose out on much-needed donations by his total incompetence.