The newly implemented anti-smoking law in Ontario took a heavy toll on bingo gaming according to Peter Lindsay of the Bingo Charities Association. Peter Lindsay spoke during Ontario's community and emergency services committee meeting on Monday and he requested that the committee recommend that the council reduce the licensing fee that bingo halls need to pay in order for the establishment to operate.
According to Peter Lindsay, the effect of the smoking ban was damaging for all casinos and bingo halls in their area. The law, The Smoke Free Ontario Act has taken effect May 31 and the result was a sharp decline of revenues that the charities earned on their bingo games.
Things began spiralling out of hand in the first three weeks of June when, according to Mr. Lindsay, they wondered if they could keep the establishments opened at the end of June because of the situation.
Fortunately, for the time being, the attendance rate at the bingo halls have picked up again since then. Peter Lindsay requested that City Council of Ontario downsize the fee that bingo halls have to pay from three percent of the price offered to one. The Council has already given bingo a reduction on its bingo licensing fee rates up to three percent from December 1 to May 2006, although the situation is only on a temporary basis because the bingo hall reported that their revenues were much less than in 2004 by almost $100,000 dollars.
Peter Lindsay also said that at that moment, the bingo halls were almost on the verge of collapse, but the Council has immediately lent their assistance and support. He also reiterated the importance of the bingo halls for the community mainly because that charities with Bingo Bingo usually earn around $300,000 dollars for their projects with the help of the hall.
The Licensing Officer for the Bingo Halls, Don Afable points out that a reduction to the licensing fee to almost 1 percent would result in a smaller amount that the City will receive on an annual basis by as much as $78,600 dollars.
Monday, August 21, 2006