Regulation and resistance in Canadian bingo halls: a socio-legal account

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Bingo is a key lens through which to explore how regulation shapes (or fails to shape) different meanings of gambling, and by extension the different meanings attached to speculation in everyday life. In Canada, bingo is played in a highly distinctive gambling environment that is now being subjected to more standardised rules, often drawn from casinos. In this article, I consider how workers and players in Canadian bingo halls are affected by shifting landscapes of provincial bingo regulation. By exploring smoking bans and new rules on touching cash, I ask: what is happening to bingo and its distinctive player demographic as governments increasingly promote casino forms of play? What can that teach us about the impact of regulation on diverse gambling
cultures? In posing these questions, I seek to learn more about how people are
interacting with gambling law, in lowly realms rather than big law ones. I argue that the diverse meanings of gambling are under threat from regulatory homogenization, specifically from the spread of rules anchored in large-scale, profit-making play experiences. I hereby suggest that the lower-level regulatory mechanisms that shape gambling forms and places need critical, socio-legal interrogation, attentive to worker and player experiences and accounts of resistance
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)11
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Law and Social Policy (New Series)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

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Cite this as: Bedford, Kate. "Regulation and Resistance in Canadian Bingo Halls: A Socio-Legal Account." Journal of Law and Social Policy 30. (2018): 11-35.


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