Charity Bingo Hall Wins Legal Fight

A new state of the art bingo hall in Cork Ireland has generated a lot of controversy in recent weeks. About two weeks ago the hall was raided by police who seized bingo books and other documents. The raid took place a half hour before the hall’s grand opening leading many to believe the raid was timed to do the most damage to the new business. The local police superintendant is a vocal opponent of all forms of gambling including bingo. The Rock Creek bingo center can seat 1,000 players and offers hi-tech electronic bingo tables. The hall recently obtained an extended

After the raid the hall’s owners went to court and secured a restraining order preventing police from interfering with the hall’s operations. The hall recently obtained an extended High Court injunction and can operate freely for the next two weeks. The original court injunction was obtained a week ago following the police raid on the hall. The police raid delayed the opening of the hall for 48 hours. The High Court also ruled that the hall’s owners must be notified if another search warrant is sought by police. The court will review the matter on November 21st.

Rock Creek is adamant that it is operating in partnership with a local hospital charity that holds a lottery license. In Ireland bingo halls must partner with charities holding a license from the national lottery. Purely commercial bingo games are forbidden in Ireland. The police are seeking to have the injunction overturned saying it prevents police from carrying out their duties. Mr. Justice Murphy ruled that if the state wants to obtain future search warrants it must give 24 hours notice to Omega Leisure, the company that operated the Rock Creek bingo hall.

Omega Leisure had complained that police superintendant Charles Barry had pursued “a systematic policy” to prevent any gambling in his jurisdiction. The bingo hall was finally able to open and over 250 players attended the first games. A portion of the funds generated at the hall will go to the Mercy Hospital Foundation. Omega director Dave Barber said the company was very pleased with the extended High Court injunction. Barry said the hall will be hosting daily bingo events.

Online bingo players are not subject to the whims of local law enforcement and can play from the comfort and privacy of their own homes. Even better, online bingo games are available 24/7 and cards are very inexpensive when compared with those at live bingo halls.

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