Council takes hardline on care home bingo

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A group of care home residents have had their bingo sessions shut down after the council accused them of running an “illegal gambling den”.


Residents at Harry Taylor House in Redditch, Worcestershire, would chip in £1 each and play twice a week – with the small winnings sometimes going towards funding the next session’s tea and cakes.

Maureen Price, 76, told Metro: “It’s stupid, we only play for peanuts. It’s disappointing that they put a stop to it.”

The game has become a hub of the community at the care home, running for 38 years and providing a great way for the elderly residents to socialise and keep their minds active.

Despite this, Redditch Council appear to have taken a disproportionately hardline approach to the activity, stating: “The Gambling Act 2005 makes it very clear that you cannot charge for participation in the game and that, in turn, the prizes cannot be made up of moneys paid to participate.”

While this may be the case – and indeed the care home residents should be assisted in adapting their game to fit regulations, Redditch council’s unsympathetic, one-size-fits-all approach to gambling activities has urged some of the players to give-up on bingo altogether, marking the end of a valuable community tradition.


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