The gambling industry in the UK is undergoing major changes as the government begins to impose new taxes on it. One of the hardest hit areas of the market is bingo; Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has just imposed a 20% tax on slot games which is will lead to more bingo halls closing.
As many as 200 bingo halls have said they’re facing closure due to the new £9million-a-year tax imposed on them.
Since 2005 150 bingo halls have already closed and officials think that the new tax could ruin the future for 170 more clubs which make less than £70,000 a year.
Slot machines have been helping to keep bingo halls open, Miles Baron of the Bingo Association said that “the level of tax is critical to the survival of many clubs.”
The Bingo Association represents 400 of the UK’s 467 bingo halls and it is calling for a 15% “harmonised tax” rate, the same as online bingo and bookies.
In the last six years bingo profits in the UK have fallen from £250 million to £125 million and the number of players has also fallen.