his has resulted in as many as 200 bingo halls facing closure because of a new us$ 13.6 million-a-year tax imposed on their operations. Many closings of more than 150 bingo clubs since 2005 and officials say the new tax could ruin the future for 170 clubs making us$ 105,790 or less a year.
Slot gaming machines have been keeping some of these remaining operations running after the industry has suffered declines due to online gambling at internet venues and a stalled economy. “The level of tax is critical to the survival of many clubs,” commented Miles Baron of the Bingo Association which is the voice of the owners of 400 of the United Kingdoms’s 467 halls. The organization is calling for a rate of 15 %, a “harmonized tax” the same as online bingo and bookies. Baron continued, “This would have a positive impact on bingo, for customers, operators and the Exchequer.”
Bingo profits in the U.K. have gone down from us$ 377.8 million in 2006 to near us$ 188.9 million, while the number of players has also seen a decline to a record low of 3 million players. Bingo employs as many as 13,000 people information which seems to mean nothing to the Chancellor. The new tax grab is expected to garner us$ 13.9 million a year for the government but in essence the tax will destroy what is left of the terrestrial bingo industry and cause more unemployment which will eventually see the government coffers suffer even greater losses.