As you will be aware, the live bingo industry has had a hard time of it in the last couple of years what with the introduction of the smoking ban, a restriction on B3 gambling machines and a higher taxation bracket than others in the same industry. Despite this and all the hopes of the terrestrial bingo industry being pinned on a reduction in the VAT tax currently added to their bill, it was announced last week that the Government have rejected the argument for a decrease in the current rate of VAT bingo halls are paying.
What to do next?
Stating that "Our assessment remains that tax is not at the root of the industry's problems and nor do we believe that alteration of the tax regime would be an appropriate solution to them.", Exchequer Secretary Angela Eagle spoke out in defence of the current taxation figures, denying the struggling industry the break they so needed to recover from the severe blow the smoking ban has dealt to the industry as a whole.
Bring the cost into line
Following claims by Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming that live bingo halls face taxation costs of a massive 32%, and a call to bring down the VAT costs faced by bingo halls in alignment with other gaming industries to what he suggested was a mere 15%, Mr Hemming was disappointed by the Government's decision last week.
Throw us a bone
In the light of this decision to keep the costs of running bingo halls extremely high, we at the Hideout can only be grateful that the restriction on the number of B3 machines has been lifted. We hope that the profits brought in by the increase in machines will do something to offset the huge cost of hosting games live. It would be a crying shame if we were to lose all of our treasured bingo halls such as those hosted by Gala Bingo and Mecca Bingo, so please try your best to support them when you fancy a night out this year. After all, we'll all miss them when they're gone.