Is Bingo Hall Crime on the Rise ?
Recent crime reports have many bingo players wondering just how safe a trip to a local bingo hall really is. There has been an ongoing debate between players that believe online bingo is safer than land based bingo. Many land based bingo players are older and don't trust having their money moved around online. In the past few years there have been numerous news reports about robberies and other crimes at live bingo halls.
Bingo halls have been targeted by petty criminals as an easy source of quick money. They consider bingo halls to be easy targets because they often hold large amounts of cash; sometimes tens of thousands of dollars or pounds after a big game. In addition most bingo halls have unarmed and unprepared staff. Most bingo hall workers would think twice before confronting an armed intruder. In Columbia, South Carolina, six armed robbers entered the hall at 1:40 a.m. on May 12th. The six bandits entered the hall and yelled "where is the money?" The robbers made off with cell phones and purses taken from players.
Fortunately in most cases players have left the hall when robberies take place. Thieves generally wait until all of the players have left and then enter and target hall workers. The robbery of players is the exception rather than the norm. The robberies have a lasting effect on the people involved and are traumatic. Crime can lead to a loss of income and can affect charity bingo work. Many bingo halls do extensive charity work and robberies put the charitable donations at risk. Large amounts of money are at stake. In one Gama bingo hall robbery in the UK thieves made off with £24,580. In 2007 thieves made off with £5,000 from the same bingo hall. In July 2012 a Mecca bingo hall in Leicester was subject to a violent robbery that netted the criminals £35,000. In all of the abovementioned cases the criminals were caught and prosecuted.
It should be noted that in most cases players had already left the halls and were not molested in any way during the robberies. In reality bingo hall robberies are rare and bingo hall operators actually have more trouble with employee crimes such as theft or embezzlement. There is very little criminality in the bingo industry. Online bingo sites offer players safe and secure transactions and bingo sites licensed in the UK must adhere to strict standards of conduct. Despite the robberies a trip to a bingo hall remains one of the safest activities anywhere.
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