Bingo Players Arrested On Holiday

Bingo Players Arrested On Holiday

Written by: ava carson on 25/06/2013 01:00

Bingo games at Yorkshire Tavern, in the Portuguese resort of Albufeira, turned from fun to a major crackdown in what police called “illegal gambling”.

Two undercover detectives posed as players in the days that led to the Friday night bingo games arrest. Uniformed officers stormed the pub and brought the owner and patrons in for questioning.

Pub owner Marianne Pittaway, 34, originally from York, gave out a tin of bisquits and a chocolate bar for prizes and didn’t think she had done anything illegal because there was no cash prizes involved.

While some of the customers in the pub were allowed to leave others had to attend court and faced charges. The strict laws state organizers must apply for a license or pay fines up to £8,500.

Ms. Pittway told the Yorkshire Post: “I was providing entertainment for my customers. Bingo is a big part of British culture. We are just doing it for fun so I don’t see that we are doing anything wrong.

“Everyone is in good spirits but we are all mortified because of what has happened. Two police came up to the counter and detained everyone at the bar, including people who weren’t even playing bingo.

“They could have just shut the bar and taken me and Antonio but it was everyone.”

She also said: “At the end of the day I will just stick to doing a normal quiz. I won’t be doing bingo any more.

“The way I see it is that they don’t want tourism and are making it very difficult for people to comply with all the rules and regulations. We don’t know what is in or out.

“I am just lucky I have got the ex-pat trade, that is what is keeping me going.

“I love what I am doing but the consequences of today will come down very hard. It is not only the fine but I will get inspections left, right and centre now.”

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