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28 tourists arrested after playing Bingo for cookies and drinks

By Mason White 4:57 AM June 26, 2013
The tourists who were arrested for playing Bingo 

By: David Ross
A group of foreigners were disappointed after police busted their fun game of Bingo.

Police said that the group of 28, which consisted of expatriates, British tourists and Irish tourists in Portugal, were fined for the unlicensed play of a bingo game for cookies and drinks.

Marianne Pittaway, 34, originally from North Yorkshire, England, who is the owner of The Yorkshire Tavern in Albufeira, said she was fined $915 and sentenced to four months suspended imprisonment, for organizing the night party celebration for the expatriates, British and Irish tourists in the tavern.

Pittaway said she was still in shock about her arrest and believes that the Portuguese authorities were wrong in the way they handled the incident.

“I decided to incorporate a bingo game for a little fun. We’re just playing for some cookies and drinks,” Pittaway said. “At one point we were all playing and having some fun, and the next minute we were all tied up and thrown into three police vans, on our way to a police station,” Pittaway said.

She said that all bingo players were fined while some other customers in the tavern received smaller fines for “witnessing illegal gambling”.

Officials said the tavern needed a license to operate bingo games.
Police said that officers found that people were playing “games of chance” out of an unauthorized place.

Portuguese police issued a statement saying that “the information reported by ordinary citizens” led to the arrests of people playing “games of chance” out of an authorized location.