How many seasons have you watched “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”? “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”?, “Frosty the Snowman”? The answer being several. In that spirit, I present to you a re-re-Blog posting. In my defence I have attempted to update this post, but the cases that appear would likely not do much to uplift your holiday spirit. So, in the proper holiday spirit let’s see how Santa Claus has fared in Canadian Courts.

From: Santa in the Courts

Community Funding Corp. v. Newfoundland (Department of Government Services and Lands), 2004 NLTD 236, 243 NFLD & PEIR 255.

A very Christmasy case from NL, whereby Santa made a seasonal visit to a Bingo Hall in St. John’s and in keeping with his reputation… From para 2 of the case:

Santa Claus made an appearance at the bingo hall and called two games of bingo. In keeping with his reputation and the spirit of the season, Santa Claus took it upon himself to increase the prizes for the two games in question – one by $100, and the other by $75 – thus increasing the total prize payout for the evening to $3,175.

More specifically, from para 6

Accordingly, on December 22, 2003, Santa Claus appeared as expected and was wildly cheered by some 275 happy patrons. …the manager of the bingo hall, invited Santa to “call” two games of bingo. Initially, Santa gave away some bingo ‘dabbers’ supplied by the hall; but before calling the game, and without any warning to [the manager], Santa ‘upped’ the jackpot of the first game by $75 to $200. [the manager] was not prepared to risk the wrath of the patrons by going to the stage and announcing that Santa had exceeded his jurisdiction by raising the jackpot. The game proceeded. Emboldened, Santa then announced, before calling his second game, that the jackpot would be increased by $100 to $200. Again, [the manager] allowed the game to continue.

Apparently the Department of Government Services and Lands didn’t exactly have the Christmas spirit that year, para 3

A complaint was filed with the provincial regulator, who, following an investigation, concluded that the excess payout constituted a breach of subsection 4(a) of the Lottery Regulations – “… if on reasonable and probable grounds it is believed that the conduct and management of a lottery is likely to reflect unfavourably upon the integrity of the lotteries program; …” The regulator suspended the Corporation’s bingo license for one week.

At the end of the day, the spirit of the season won out and an appeal was allowed, in para 77 the Judge ruled,

The regulation, as presently worded, is an elephant gun; it is not an appropriate weapon with which to dispatch the Christmas mouse.

….and to all a good night!

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