Pressures continue for live UK bingo halls

April 21, 2010 - by Gladys · Filed Under London Bingo News Leave a Comment 

Bingo halls have faced many pressures over the last year, and for some of them the recent disruption to air travel is just another nail in the coffin.

One of the biggest disruptions came with the introduction of the smoking ban in the UK, back on 1st July 2007. Great Britain not having the warmest climate in the world saw many bingo players choosing to stay away, when faced with the prospect of not being able to enjoy a cigarette as they marked off their numbers. Although some clubs had, or soon made, outdoor covered areas many players felt that the atmosphere was lost, and as outdoor shelters can, by law, only be 50% covered, the solution wasn’t ideal by any means. Following the smoking ban in Scotland Rank reported a 10% drop in admissions, a 7% decrease in spend per head, and a 17% drop in turnover. This of course led to a decrease in prize money, which could have also led to the fall in admissions. Since the introduction of the ban in England over 200 halls are said to have closed as a direct consequence of the ban.

Many organisations have long lobbied for a fall in the rate of tax which is imposed upon bingo halls. In the last budget a decrease was announced, taking the duty down to 20% from 22%. This only came into action last month, so the affects cannot be seen yet, although as other forms of gambling have as low as a 15% duty there is still a lot of work to be done.

The general recession has also had an affect on bingo takings. With many people suffering with unemployment, people only be able to find part time or poorly paid jobs, coupled with the high cost of living a
night out at the bingo is a treat that not all players have been able to keep up. Although many players still make their outings, both as a night out and the hope of winning a large cash prize, many either now stay at home or have cut down on their outings and expenditure.

The disruption caused by the volcanic ash from Iceland will undoubtedly add to these problems. Forget about the short term fact that some people have been forced to extend their holidays overseas and so have missed out on a session or two. The long term cost will be seen as many people, having spent vast amounts of money to either extend their stay abroad or to make long and expensive trips to get back to the UK, will now be forced to drastically cut back on any non-essential spending in order to recoup their outlay. A fortunate
few may have been covered by insurance, or were lucky enough to have family and friends to help them, many have maxed out their credit cards to survive and return.

If you’re lucky enough to still have your favourite bingo hall open make sure you support it, as your hall needs you!

Related bingo news:

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  3. Buckingham Bingo Halls are feeling the Pinch
  4. Closing Bingo Halls Boosts Online Playing
  5. Bingo halls struggling in Canada

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