The seniors on the Scarborough Village Recreation Centre in Toronto have been simply minding their very own enterprise and enjoying euchre, once they have been raided by Toronto Police for operating an ‘unlawful gambling corridor.’ Toronto Mayor John Tory scoffed on the overzealous cops, calling them the “anti-fun police.”

The sport in query had a buy-in of C$1.25 ($0.94), which in some way alerted the Parks and Recreation Division, which then notified police of the ‘unlawful gambling actions.’ The police raided the senior heart, then ordered the stakes to be lowered to C$0.25 whereas they assessment their little gaming operation.

Depart These Previous Of us Alone

Critics of the choice thought-about your complete incident to be a joke, particularly Mayor John Tory. After the ‘raid’ on the senior residence, Mayor Tory demanded the unique buy-in payment to be reinstated. Based on the World Information, Mayor Tory criticized the raid:

“We ought to be doing the whole lot doable to make sure our neighborhood facilities are welcoming locations for everybody, particularly our seniors,” Tory stated, including “I’m certain if there may be any hazard of Las Vegas-style gambling breaking out en masse in our neighborhood centres, we’ll learn about it.”

The group was partaking in innocent, low-stakes gambling enjoyable, akin to a bingo corridor within the U.S. Non-public gambling is authorized in Ontario so long as the stakes are low and no one is taking a rake (as in a poker event). Innocent card video games in senior houses just isn’t equal to high-stakes gambling, and no one is left penniless on the finish of the sport.

Based on one of many seniors, “[The money] makes the sport somewhat extra thrilling, however it’s additionally the socializing … It’s my social life. Between that and quilting, it’s what retains me busy.”

Extra Get together Police

However this isn’t an remoted incident. In January 2019, the LAPD raided a retirement heart in Woodland Hills. The crime? Taking part in an unlawful recreation of bingo in Los Angeles. Bingo is regulated by Article 4.5 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, and anybody organizing a bingo operation should acquire a license.

“They’ll’t play their recreation till they get their allow and observe the foundations,” LAPD Capt. Paul Vernon acknowledged. “There have been no bearcats, no tanks, no helmets,” Vernon added with fun.

Based on one resident of the senior residence, every bingo card value $0.25, and prizes have been culled from the native 99-cent retailer. Whereas the actual bingo operation wasn’t precisely a excessive precedence for the LAPD, officers stated they have been required to reply. The rationale? One of many residents referred to as within the “unlawful bingo recreation” and police stated they needed to act on the tip.


The one factor that might make this story extra ridiculous is that if the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had led the ‘sting’ on these evil, sinful outdated gamblers, rode roughshod by way of the senior residence, and left massive deposits of horse dookie (hors d’oeuvres in French Canadian) on the ballroom dance flooring.

We will safely file each of those gambling raid incidents within the WTF folder. Whereas gambling has at all times been controversial, we will all agree that generally an excessive amount of is an excessive amount of. The age-old argument that ‘gambling is a sin’ most likely prompted the LA senior who threw his friends underneath the bus. Or perhaps that specific narc-rat was merely snubbed socially. Senior houses are like highschool that method.

As for the Toronto Police: how a lot maple syrup did they mainline with a purpose to get so hopped up that they needed to crash a sleepy senior heart?  Consider the doable collateral harm: police storm the constructing, dozens of seniors seize up and keel over from coronary heart assaults. Even when the police quietly entered, somebody most likely crammed their diaper.

The Toronto mayor stated they’d larger fish to fry, and referred to the large unlawful gambling operations in Canada run by Chinese language triads. Authorities imagine round C$7 billion was washed by way of British Columbia’s casinos in 2018 alone.

But regardless of the actually critical prison points occurring, cops simply go after the low hanging fruit—like senior bingo video games. I suppose it’s safer for a cop to raid a gaggle of helpless seniors somewhat than going up towards scary triads or LA gang bangers.

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