Varadkar: New gambling laws will not close bingo halls

Varadkar: New gambling laws will not close bingo halls
Protestors outside the Dáil yesterday. Picture: Maxwells

The Taoiseach has said new gambling laws will not close bingo halls.

Bingo players protested outside the Dáil this week saying legislation being considered by the government would put the halls at risk.

The laws would mean 25% of the proceeds of bingo would go to charity.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar rejected the idea it will close halls.

"I want to reassure people that there are no plans in this legislation at all that would cause the closure of any bingo halls in Ireland," said Mr Varadkar.

"Rather the legislations seeks to ensure that bingo halls - many of them big commercial operators - actually provide money to charity as they are required to do."

The Gamings and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill will limit the prize payout to 50% of the takings.

Yesterday, more than 100 bingo players sat down outside Leinster House for a special "bingo Dáil".

Both Independent TD, Michael Healy-Rae and leader of the Social Democrats Roisín Shortall showed their support by calling out a few lines of Bingo.

Minister of State, David Stanton, said the "modest" legislation would not force bingo halls to close.

"I am proposing that a maximum of 25% of proceeds can go to bingo operators while a minimum of 25% would go to charity and 50% would go to prize-winners," he said.

"Given its social appeal, people do not play bingo based solely on the prize level. If they did they would likely gamble elsewhere."

More on this topic

I lost £46k in one night: Andros Townsend reveals struggles with gambling addictionI lost £46k in one night: Andros Townsend reveals struggles with gambling addiction

Government backs down on gambling law after bingo player protestGovernment backs down on gambling law after bingo player protest

Charity says 72 hour window to check online gambler's age should be scrapped Charity says 72 hour window to check online gambler's age should be scrapped

New gambling laws 'a step in the right direction'New gambling laws 'a step in the right direction'


More in this Section

Doherty: Martin pushing for election because he has lost control and doesn't like itDoherty: Martin pushing for election because he has lost control and doesn't like it

Irish rail introducing own brand keep cups as passengers cannot use their own onboardIrish rail introducing own brand keep cups as passengers cannot use their own onboard

Over 600 waiting on hospital trolleys this morningOver 600 waiting on hospital trolleys this morning

Woman in critical condition after serious Wicklow assault named locallyWoman in critical condition after serious Wicklow assault named locally


Lifestyle

Breathing apps have soared in popularity – here’s how to give it a go without your phone. By Abi Jackson.3 breathing exercises to reduce stress, anxiety and a racing mind

We hear a lot about the geese, ducks and swans that arrive here from colder climes for the winter, but much less about smaller birds that come here to escape harsher conditions in northern Europe.Keep an eye out for redwings this winter

More From The Irish Examiner