Bad Budget For Bingo Halls

There’s been a lot of ripples following the budget for the gaming industry. I have to say I missed the news about the raise in gaming duties in the general news on TV Tuesday, but there’s been plenty on the web since. I also missed that the contentious VAT issue had been won, but unfortunately, that was cold comfort considering it was offset by a raise in Bingo Duty from 15% to 22%.

There’s been a lot of reaction from the operators. Mecca Bingo say this change in taxation will cost them an additional £9 million in running costs for a full tax year. It’s seen their shares drop by 9% and forced them to publish their trading update a day early. The Bingo Association have also been busy and are currently working out what these changes will entail. With Buckingham Bingo’s recent woes, they’re not happy about the changes either.

I really felt sorry for the operators over this one. I know I’ve complained about bingo protesting too loudly about tax when it should have been worrying about improving business, but this one is definitely a bit of a low blow for the industry. Let’s hope things pick up soon, but with the ongoing financial gloom and mood in the country, I’m not hopeful. Still, online bingo is booming at least.

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