Scandals can often come along to rock the bingo world, with these primarily coming from offline games. The aforementioned scandals often related to charitable bingo initiatives receiving unfair treatment or else crime at bingo halls. It’s very unfortunate to have to hear when these instances occur, but they do happen. An unlikely piece of news has just emerged that would definitely be placed in the latter of the two prior categories. It has come to light that some British prisoners are playing bingo games and receiving considerable cash prizes for winning – the whole situation seems somewhat incredulous.
Wakefield Prison is one of the most notorious in the whole of the UK and tasked with rehabilitating individuals on the rough margins of society. Within Wakefield Prison there are bingo games held regularly to keep inmates entertained, which seems reasonable enough on the face of things. However, the games have been giving away bingo jackpots with a combined value in excess of £4,000. Wakefield is not the only prison that has been found to be giving away cash bingo jackpots. From 2009 onwards, Whatton prison has doled out cash prizes totalling more than £3,000. And if you’re wondering where the money to fund these prizes came from, the answer is UK tax payers.
In response to these concerning findings, the Ministry of Justice has come back to state that various games, including bingo, are run throughout the year, with a particular emphasis on Christmas. Outside of this response there has been little else offered by the Ministry of Justice. This information only came to light because it was called for by the Daily Mirror under the Freedom of Information Act. The chief of the Tax Payer’s Alliance, Matthew Sinclair, believes that prison shouldn’t be about cash gambling for bingo.