Bingo news

Bingo Operator in the Capital is Pushing for Tax Cuts Because of the Smoking Ban

On February 16, 2007, a Bingo owner located in the capital is pushing for tax cuts that will help the Bingo clubs recover from the damaging effects of the recently imposed smoking ban in England, Wales and even Scotland. The Bingo hall, New Empire Bingo, located on Nicholson Street has seen their profits slashed in half since the smoking ban, which is equivalent to about two-thirds of their customers.

The smoking ban has also affected the industry on top of the VAT that has been imposed on the stakes in Bingo games. The owner of New Empire has also spoken to the Scottish Parliament, saying that his establishment and many more Bingo halls are in danger of shutting down unless government officials take the necessary steps to help the industry recover from the effects of the smoking ban.

Since the smoking ban has taken place, profits from the interval games and the fruit slot machines have gone down since most customers prefer to go outside of the Bingo halls and take advantage of the intervals to smoke rather than play these games. At least 8 Bingo establishments, like the one located in Edinburgh, have closed down their business permanently since March 26, 2006 during the enforcement of the smoking ban in Scotland.

The Bingo halls have been unable to cope due to the smoking ban and the added taxes. The Operations Manager of Premier Bingo, Mike Lowe, who also handles New Empire Bingo, has collected about 1400 signatures from their members, which he also plans to present in Holyrood that day. Mike Low, who has already seen 2 of their Premier Bingo Halls in Scotland, commented that the organization's city site was also in danger of closing down unless something drastic was done.

Their customer base has already slid down from 1800 to just 1600 per week and their revenues have already gone down to about 44%. Premier also said that they are spearheading their petition to another part of Britain because their main aim is to get the attention of Chancellor Gordon Brown.

The petition states that the signatories in the petition implore the Scottish Parliament to support the Bingo businesses in the region by cutting down unnecessary taxes so that Bingo halls will have a little breathing space to move and recover. A spokesman for Carlton Bingo, which have shut down at the Gorgie Road establishment pointed at the smoking ban as one of the reasons why they have been forced to close down.


Monday, April 16, 2007
Patrick Simons

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