This change has been imposed without prior indication or consultation," the statement said. "In Rank's recent meetings with HM Treasury there had been no discussion of increases to taxation for bingo or poker."
According to Reuters, Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer, also revealed a removal of value-added tax, or VAT, on bingo participation fees levied by gaming operators on players as well as an increase in bingo-duty exemption money prize limits from us$ 72.9 to us$ 102 on small-scale amusements.
Rank said it anticipates that the tax changes will result in approximately us$ 8.7 million of unbudgeted costs during the 2009 financial year or approximately us$ 13.1 million on an annualized basis, though it said it will continue to operate within its banking covenants.
Following the budget announcement, the gaming group released its interim management statement one day earlier than expected.