By July 1, 2007, a smoking ban will be implemented in all public places in England and Wales. Private member clubs will not be exempt from the new legislation and as a result, bingo halls will soon be smoke-free.
A similar rule was implemented in Scotland in March 2006, and it has been reported that this became a problem for many of the country's bingo parlors. Income has reportedly dropped from anywhere between 17-26%, forcing many bingo clubs to cease operations.
Scottish bingo parlors tried to remedy the problem by offering players adjacent smoking area, but it still proved to be inconvenient for players who smoke.
A significant percentage of bingo players are smokers and many refuse to stand outside in the cold to get their nicotine fix. It is believed that players who do smoke will begin looking for alternative ways to spend their time.
"This will inevitably lead to more people joining online bingo websites as they allow members to play in the comfort of their own home," said Gavin Blowman, head of online bingo site Jackpotty.com.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007