Vicar bans pensioners from bingo

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The Independent Online
A VICAR is threatening to ban gambling pensioners from his church hall.

The Rev Bob Jackson, vicar of Scarborough, North Yorkshire, says the group, mostly widows in their eighties, must end their 5p bingo games and 10p raffles as the church hall has a long-standing policy of no gambling.

'They are not being thrown out, but they will have to make alternative arrangments if they cannot give me a written assurance they will cease gambling,' he said.

Mr Jackson has given the pensioners until the end of the month to conform.

The Thursday afternoon games in St Mary's Parish House, Scarborough, usually pay 50p for a full house at bingo, with fruit or a cake as the prize for the raffle.

The pensioners will meet this week to consider the ultimatum. Ginger Westwood, 73, their leader, said: 'It's ridiculous. We only play for pennies. We spend most of our time drinking tea and gossiping. We don't do anyone any harm.'