False 'Bingo!' Claim Could Now Land You in Jail in Kentucky

Shouting bingo without cause has been ruled second-degree disorderly conduct thanks to a judge in Kenton, Kentucky.

On Feb. 9, 18-year-old Austin Whaley yelled, "bingo" in a Covington bingo hall, which "caused the hall to quit operating since they thought someone had won," according to Police Sgt. Richard Webster, the officer who cited Whaley. "Just like you can't run into a theater and yell 'fire' when it's not on fire, you can't run into a crowded bingo hall and yell 'bingo' when there isn't one."

Whaley will be prohibited from using the word "bingo" for six months. If caught using the word, he will face up to 90 days in jail and a $250 dollar fine.

"He seemed to think he could say whatever he wanted because it was a public building," Webster continued. "You can't go into a ballpark and yell 'out,' because people could stop the game."

And Webster is right. Can you imagine the great harm that would be caused if a bingo game were stopped? It must have been hard to sit in that bingo hall, knowing that so many hearts were flustered – thinking that they had lost at bingo when really, the game had not yet ended.

Hopefully, this young man learns his lesson so that this kind of terroristic act isn't allowed to happen ever again.

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Christian Rice

Christian is a senior at Georgetown University pursuing a double-major in government and philosophy. He has worked as a research assistant on Economic Liberty and a legislative analyst on economic development, communication and technology policy for a non-profit in Washington, D.C.

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