After a tough year where live bingo has fought hard against high taxes and dwindling attendance, the Hideout has learned of a light at the end of the tunnel that could mean 2009 is a very Happy New Year for the sector.
Double the fun
The announcement that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport are putting an Order before Parliament this week to allow live bingo halls to double their number of Category B3 Machines will come as a huge relief to many struggling halls.
The increase from four to eight will bring most halls back up to speed with the demand their players have for the hugely rewarding machines, meaning that should the Order be passed in the New Year it won't just be the halls that will be celebrating.
More reasons to play live slot into place
The restrictions on the number of B3 machines that was brought into place soon after the smoking ban was seen by many to be a contributing factor to the reduction in player numbers across the board, and it is hoped that these numbers will boost again once the machines are brought back into play. The B3 machines are popular as they have a large payout, which other slots in most bingo halls do not.
Let's all get behind the live game
The problem has been that, when compared to the payouts on offer at online bingo even the payouts on the B3s are quite small amounts, and since the restrictions were brought in on these machines more and more players have been turning to internet bingo for larger payouts and guaranteed jackpots.
Let's hope the new Order gets passed in the New Year and that some of the live players who have stayed away in the last year will see fit to go back to what is after all the best game on the High Street.