A CRADLEY social club has been ordered to stop allowing children to play bingo for money after complaints it was breaking the law.

It was alleged that children as young as six or seven were taking part in the late night bingo sessions at the Wilson Hall Labour Club.

Dudley Council officials visited the club last week and warned them the law was being flouted.

Philip Tart, director of corporate resources, said: “Licensing officers have visited the hall and spoken with the club steward and secretary and provided advice in relation to children playing bingo. If further complaints are received they will be investigated.”

Complaints were made by a visitor to the club who claimed although the children were accompanied by their parents, they were allowed to sit away from them, to hand over money to pay for the games and to receive prize money if they won.

The visitor, who asked not to be named, said: “I have no qualms about people playing the game, but I don’t like to see children gambling and I was brought up to respect the law.”

Wilson Hall steward Phil Taylor said: “The committee runs the bingo – it has nothing to do with me – I was aware it was happening, but not aware of how the law stands.”

He confirmed council officials had been to the club to advise that it was breaking the law by allowing children to play bingo and the practice had now been stopped.

A spokesman for the Gambolling Commission added: “Participation in the gaming by under 18s is not permitted - unless the gaming is private or non-commercial gaming.”