Bingo Association Gives the 2013 Budget One Thumb Up

  • 06 Apr 13
  • Written by Deena Chance

altThe Bingo Association is a well-known and highly-respected member of the bingo industry, which regularly stands up and lobbies the government on behalf of its members. They are also experts in their field, and invest significant amounts of time on consultation and planning activities. Their members include representatives from some of the biggest brands, such as Gala, Mecca, and Carlton Leisure, and they’ve recently been applying pressure on the government to come up with fairer taxation plan for industry operators. Before the 2013 budget was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in March 2013, they were concerned that the measures that the government would be prepared to take would not be of sufficient benefit to the bingo industry. The BA’s Chief Executive, Miles Baron, says the group have direct evidence that lowering the 20% tax rate to 15% would help stimulate growth whilst also increasing the Exchequer’s revenue by £35m over the next four years. However, since the budget was announced, Mr. Baron has said the Association is “disappointed that the Government has failed to act on this [issue] yet again.”

On a more positive note, however, the BA is pleased to see a proposed amendment to the Betting and Gaming Duties Act 1981, which may well allow one of their members (the National Bingo Game Association Limited) to run “combined bingo” sessions (i.e. games that are played at more than one place, and promoted by more than one person/brand) without having to pay bingo duty in other countries than just the UK. Previously, the NBGA were restricted to operating combined bingo in the UK only; and would have had to pay significant taxes to provide its services to clubs in other countries.

Whilst it might be a case of one thumb up and one thumb down from the BA on the implications of the 2013 budget, they have recently had cause for other celebrations. In January 2013, Gala Bingo rejoined the Association’s fold (after withdrawing in 2008), bringing with it 138 clubs across Great Britain. The move has help to double the BA’s membership figures in the last twelve month period, along with the approval of applications from a number of other operators like Rileys Sports Bars Limited and Cashino Gaming Limited.

It seems as though everyone has got something to say about the budget. How has it affected you, and have any tax and policy changes had an impact on your ability to afford playing bingo?

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