altA bingo-loving grandmother of three with a burning desire for a win recently had her dreams extinguished at a Welsh bingo hall.  Julia Cummings, aged 52, lives in Llandaff North and had made her regular pilgrimage to her local Castle Bingo, in the hope of a full house win, but was made to 31 – Get up and Run – when she fired up her electronic cigarette to keep her nicotine cravings at bay. 

Rather than being congratulated for having kicked the habit, staff at the venue asked her to leave, citing smoking in any form was not allowed in the venue. The offending article in question contained no nicotine or cigarette-related substance, neither did it omit any smoke.

Mrs. Cummings, however, was obviously fuming, particularly as she says she had been previously told by Castle’s Canton branch that her e-cigarette was permissible in the hall. Having quit several months earlier after being diagnosed with emphysema and warned that continued reliance on cigarettes would result in her needing an oxygen tank, Mrs. Cummings resolved to quit for the sake of her grand-children, and the benefits to her health ever since have “been amazing.”

Having smoked for nearly four decades, Mrs. Cummings struggled with her cravings despite her good intentions, and discovered that the electronic alternatives made the task at hand much easier. Having been concerned as to whether she would be allowed to use them on the premises, she contacted the manager prior to her visit who advised that there “was no problem with it,” as long as she didn't use it during the games. That Saturday, Mrs. Cummings headed down to Castle for a bit of 41 – Time for Fun – but was swiftly intercepted by another manager, who asked her to smoke it outside. Understandably, our unlucky lady was not prepared to put her health at further risk by having to stand next to those smoking the genuine article, and therefore, had to head home empty-handed.

Having been a regular Castle customer for years, Mrs. Cummings feels that the bingo hall should have acted more reasonably. We’re interested to hear thoughts from our readers; do you think that the bingo hall was right in asking her to leave, when e-cigarettes are completely legal? Are you a smoker who feels compelled to play your favourite games online due to social pressure? And, do you feel in this day and age, where player numbers in land-based casinos are dwindling, that businesses can afford to drive away members who favour alternative devices such as these?