Bingo Hall Obtains Restraining Order After Police Raid

Bingo Hall Obtains Restraining Order After Police Raid
Posted on November 3rd, 2011 A police raid on a bingo hall in Cork Ireland has generated a lot of publicity and press coverage. Last week the Gardaí (police) raided the bingo hall and confiscated bingo books and other documents. The bingo hall, operated by Omega Leisure Ltd, and trading as Rock Bingo Club, went to court after the raid and obtained a restraining order against the police. In Ireland only charity bingo games are legal. Omega leisure and Rock Creek Bingo say they are operating in partnership with a hospital charity under a valid lottery licence. The bingo company claims that Garda Superintendant Charles Barry, based in Togher, Cork city, is running a “systematic policy” to make sure no gambling takes place in his jurisdiction. Supt Barry had inspected the bingo hall at Deanrock, Togher, earlier in the week and the following day went to district court and obtained a search warrant. Barry and his minions went to the bingo hall a half hour before games were scheduled to begin. The warrant claimed that an unlawful lottery was taking place and Barry seized bingo books and other materials. The bingo games could not take place and the hall had to turn customers away. Constance Cassidy SC, for Omega Leisure Ltd. said the company was concerned that the raids could happen again and went to court to prevent further actions by the police. Omega Leisure had spent €750,000 ($1,031,449.70 USD) fitting out the 1,000 seat state of the art bingo hall. The company planned to operate bingo games five days a week and the hall would create many new jobs. Omega Leisure took court action against Supt Barry, the Garda Commissioner and the State. Justice O’Neill granted the company an interim order restraining police interference with the company’s licensed activities. The company believes that Supt. Barry had taken matters into his own hands and was sidestepping legalities. Constance Cassidy SC, for Omega Leisure Ltd. said that her client would seek a court declaration that its activity is lawful. The company said it is entitled to run bingo games for charities that have been issued a lottery license. Omega Leisure said it had an agreement with the Mercy Hospital Foundation which raises funds for Mercy University Hospital in Cork. Supt Barry, during an appeal of a gaming licence application said that gambling led to an increase in crime family breakdown and suicide and said he opposed all gambling in his jurisdiction. Fortunately internet bingo players do not have to put up with the antics of anti gambling extremists like Barry. Players can log on and play internet bingo games 24/7 and many bingo sites host charitable internet bingo games.

Comments are closed.