Mother ordered to leave community bingo event for bringing her newborn with her

Tania Brooker with Melissa Peters and newborn Carter.
Tania Brooker with Melissa Peters and newborn Carter.

A BALDIVIS mother said she felt humiliated after being asked to leave a community-run bingo event because of her newborn baby.

Melissa Peters was part of a group of seven and had been looking forward to the evening for some time.

Her friend Tania Brooker booked tickets for Big Cash Bingo, run by Baldivis Events, held on August 11 at the Mary Davies Library in Baldivis.

“When I booked I checked to see if babies were allowed,” she said.

“There was no contact number for Baldivis Events so I rang the library and was told babies are very welcome, and they are pro-breastfeeding,” she said.

On the evening Mrs Peters brought her newborn, Carter, with her.

“We were welcomed in by staff and seated,” Mrs Brooker said.

“Matt Whitfield (from Baldivis Events) came over and asked if the baby cried would Melissa mind just stepping outside to quiet him, which she agreed with.

“We were in the middle of playing game four before we were asked to leave so we all left. It was disgusting. We were escorted out by two staff members; it was like we were naughty teenagers being kicked out of a pub.”

Ms Peters said the woman who asked her to leave said she was in violation of their permit due to the baby.

“My sister said, ‘If that was the case, could we have a refund?’,” she said.

“They didn’t want to but eventually begrudgingly agreed to it.”

According to a Department of Racing and Gaming spokeswoman, the group did not breach bingo rules.

“Rule 1 of the Rules for the Conduct of Bingo contained in the Gaming and Wagering Commission Regulations 1989 specify that children under the age of 12 years of age are not permitted to play bingo,” she said.

“With the exception where bingo is played on liquor-licensed premises, there is no provision that prevents a child from being on the premises where bingo is being conducted.

“Regulation 22 of the Gaming and Wagering Commission Regulations 1989 specify that a bingo session cannot exceed a period of three hours; or 32 games (whichever is the shorter). This is also stipulated as a condition on the relevant permit.”

Baldivis Events issued a statement that said one guest was politely asked to leave three games in (out of 22) and was offered a full refund.

“Her friends also decided to leave and they were given a full refund also,” the statement said.