The Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has finally announced the day the smoking ban comes into force in England – it’s set to begin on July 1st 2007. In Wales it comes in on the April 1st 2007, three months earlier. Effectively, the ban will put an end to traditional smoky atmosphere of the average Bingo hall. However, there will be some worried Bingo operators trying to find new ways to cover the impact of losing the smokers in the lucrative Bingo intervals.
There’s an interesting piece in the Guardian that looks at how Coral Gala want to branch into horse racing to offset some of the potential loses. It also points to the effect that relatively small loses in profits can have on the smaller Bingo halls and mentions that dozens more small Scottish halls are set to close in the coming months.