Authorities stormed in a popular bar in Hamilton on November 27, 2006, confiscating what they believe to be bingo machines. About 20 police officers were part of the raiding team, which is now investigating whether the owner of the bar breached the law regarding the bingo machines.
Inspector Nicholas Pedro of the Fraud Division said that the raid was conducted around 5:30 p.m. of that day. There were 8 customers at the bar, located in Spurling Hill, when the raid was conducted. He further added that a number of bingo machines have been confiscated by authorities and they have already summoned both forensic and IT specialists to examine the devices and see if they meet the Prohibition of Gaming Machines Act. Inspector Pedro further stated that the initial investigation indicated that the machines can be used to play bingo.
While it is legal to play bingo in the Island Clubs, it is strictly illegal when it comes to electronic machines that can play bingo. But Inspector Pedro said that they are still early in the investigation and these are only their preliminary findings. The public can be rest assured that they will be reviewing the case with the help of the Department of Public Prosecutions to make a possible decision. Inspector Pedro confirmed that they have investigated the activities at The Palace, the bar that was raided on November 27th, to see if they are violating any prohibitions of the Criminal Code, the Prohibitions of the Gaming Machines Act or the Liquor License Act, but the Inspector declined to further comment on exactly how many machines were seized from the place.
Police Officers are still guarding the place even after the raid. On the website of The Palace, it states that their bingo terminals are considered to be Top-Of-the Line and are not the typical bingo game. Players can win as much as $30,000 with these bingo terminals. No one from The Palace could be reached to comment on the raids.
The raid at the popular bar coincides with the on-going debate regarding the gambling issue in Bermuda. According to a recently conducted survey by the Research.bm, about 54% of the 400 respondents are against legalizing new forms of gaming, 40% are in favor of legalizing gaming, and about 60% are undecided about the issue.
Monday, December 11, 2006