Ball Sniffing Police Dogs Root Out Country’s Largest Underground Bingo

Ball sniffing dogs lead police to largest illegal bingo game in Canada Ball sniffing police dogs track down Canada's largest underground illegal bingo operation in Portage la Prairie. photo credit - Ann Dabney

Portage la Prairie, MB – Illegal bingo operations are sprouting up all over the country as frustrated players try to get their fix, but they are no match for the latest crime fighting force, bingo ball sniffing police dogs.

Heavily armed law enforcement along with Canada’s top squad of police dogs took down a massive secret underground bingo op. in Portage la Prairie.

“We’ve been hearing rumours for months of a big illegal bingo game and with the help of a recent tip we were able to bring in our ball sniffing dogs to find these dastardly bingo players,” police spokesperson Pete Froman said.

“The scale of this bingo operation was beyond anything we’ve seen anywhere in Canada,” Froman offered.  “The desperation of bingo players is at an all time high so we had dozens risking everything to try and win the blackout jackpot.”

Dogs trained to locate and track the scent of bingo balls and dabbers were quick to locate the underground game in Portage’s south end in an abandoned community centre hall.

According to police, a huge crowd of 30-40 people were playing bingo games with jackpots ranging from $20-$75 a game making it the largest bingo raids in Canadian history.

“Once we narrowed the general location the dogs can quickly pick up the scent of the balls once they are airborne in the bingo machine,” Froman explained.  “When they get real close they can hear the sound of the balls and the squishing of the dabbers.”

The bust went down with a considerable amount of resistance.

Police suffered a range of injuries including black eyes from attacks from bingo wings and lacerations from flying dabbers.

“Basically the place had only one way in and out.  Once we kicked in the door they did everything they could to escape to play another day.  In the end most of the suspects were apprehended on scene and we are tracking the few that escaped.”

Warrants were executed at several Portage addresses with 4 adults in their 60’s and 8 in their 70’s taken into custody.  A plethora of illegal bingo paraphernalia was also confiscated.

“Sadly I don’t think this is the last of this kind of illegal activity we’ll see in the Portage area,“ Froman shared.  “Portage la Prairie and area is a hotbed for bingo and these illegal operations are becoming more and more common as people are desperate for a hit of live gaming.”

Police remind citizens to call Bingo Stoppers if they have information on any illegal bingo games and not to try and shut them down on their own.

Photo Credit – Ann Dabney

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