Spanish Pensioners Face £513,000 Fine for 23p Wagers

Spanish Pensioners Face £513,000 Fine for 23p Wagers

Written by: Richard Sharp on 22/11/2011 09:00

We’re forever hearing about bingo operators or clubs getting in hot water over taxes and bylaws but rarely does this reflect badly on the actual players themselves. This week 500 elderly Spaniards got the shock of their lives as they face a 600,000 Euro (£513,000) fine for playing bingo in an unlicensed club.


The games took place at the Peña de Amigos de la Tercera Edad, roughly translated as ‘Elderly Friends Club’ with maximum wagers of 27 cents (23p). The fine could be enforced if the club is deemed to be in breach of gaming laws which forbids bingo for ‘purely leisure’ without a pre-signed license.

However, the organizers have defended their club by insisting that the proceeds from the games are used to run the club and maintain the premises. In theory no profit is made from the club, they say it is not a business.

Club member, Maria Garrido expressed concern about the possibility of removing bingo from their schedule. She explained “without the proceeds from the game, they [the Elderly Friends club] will not be able to maintain the club, the monthly expenses of which amount to up to 1,600 euros (£1,368).

Local officials have not passed comment on the proposed penalty but only confirmed they were looking into the matter after the police reported a violation of the law. They will also take into account a previous fine imposed in the year 2000, where the club was fined but then reimbursed once a judge overturned the charge.


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