Shannonside bingo players vow to fight changes to games and prizes

Bingo players across the Shannonside region say they’re concerned that legislation being debated in the Dail today could see local halls closing and the game disappearing from rural Ireland.

The Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill is coming before the Dail today and it will mean that local bingo games will have to lower the amount of money on offer as prizes.

Bingo organisers and players say this will lead to small numbers of people attending, and the games becoming less viable.

Minister David Stanton says he doesn’t accept the new laws will pose any threat to local bingo games, and says it’s a modest proposal to ensure that charities receive a fair share from operators who act as their agent.

Bernie Smith who calls Bingo in Moyne in north Longford every Thursday night , and who attends several other games during the week says bingo nights are used simply to keep the local halls maintained, and they provide a hugely important social gathering point as well…