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Bingo at Las Casitas
Owners will have been disappointed to learn that ‘Paid For’ Bingo has had to be stopped.
It recently came to WimPen’s attention that tickets for the bingo were being sold for cash prizes. This is illegal and risks substantial fines for the Community and possible closure of the bar. In fact any form of gambling in the bar is strictly forbidden. Free bingo for entertainment only, with modest prize, eg a bottle of wine, is permitted. When Wimpen learned that bingo was being played for cash, they sought legal advice. This is the legal advice they received.
“Bingo activity in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands requires the corresponding licenses and authorizations to be present.
Law 8/2010, of the 15th July, on Games and Betting, only excludes "games and bets, for leisure and recreation, constituting uses of a social or family nature, provided they are not the subject of lucrative exploitation by the players or by individuals or entities unrelated to them, or have little economic and social relevance," which is not the case at Las Casitas.
The above law requires, among other things:
1. A declaration from the owner of the premises citing responsibility.
2. Administrative authorisation.
3. The activity must take place in premises specifically designated for the activity. In this case, Bingo Halls. Bingo can not be played in restaurants, bars, cafes etc. Article 17 of Law 8/2010 is very clear in its location prohibitions.
4. The ownership of the Bingo Hall or operation of Bingo but belong to commercial companies, not individuals or community property associations.
5. Engaging in Bingo activities requires a bond payment with the treasury department to cover potential liabilities. The current bond for a Bingo Hall is 24,000€.
Article 29 Law 8/2010 also establishes the sanctions and fines for infringements of Games and Betting laws. It is considered a serious offense to organise or operate gaming and/or betting that is not is licensed by the administrative authorities, in violation of the responsibility declaration and outside authorised establishments. Sanctions ranging from 10,001€ to 450,000€.
Allowing the unlawful practice of gambling or betting is also considered a serious offense, with sanctions ranging from 1,501€ to 10,000€ in addition to the ordered closure of the facilities allowing the unlawful practice to take place.
Decree 77/2015, 7th May approves the Regulations Laws of Bingo in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands and expands regulatory mandates such as personnel, technical and security of the premises, operation of the activity and records of attendees and their personal data, inspection log and complaint book.
We understand that many, if not all, of these legal obligations and requirements are being violated at Las Casitas. In the event of an inspection, there is no doubt that not only the owner of the restaurant but also the community will face sanctions.
Therefore, we recommend that the activity be ceased immediately.”
I have therefore asked Craig to cease offering paid bingo but he can continue offering free bingo as entertainment.
Roger Barrow 7 February 2024
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