The effects of the reduction of bingo taxation in the 2014 budget are already being felt. We’ve already noted how Crown Bingo in Portsmouth was saved from the chop as a direct result of the budget announcement, and week by week we are hearing more good news from the bingo industry.
The budget whilst supporting the smaller chains and independent bingo clubs will probably have the most effect on the larger chains who had been feeling the pinch in no small way. Due to last year’s glorious summer footfalls and subsequent profits were down for both Mecca and Gala Bingo.
Luckily for Mecca, their owners the Rank Group’s portfolio includes the Grosvenor Casino chain who whilst also suffering ‘summer footfall’ have been doing so well with their casino wing of the business over the preceding years that they were able keep the Mecca chain afloat. The Gala Coral sold the majority of their casinos last year, which meant that they also had enough in the coffers to ride the seasonal downturn.
The good news is that both operators have since the budget announcement themselves announced that their saving will be passed on to development of their operations. Mecca are going to acquire three new bingo clubs although we are not yet sure of where these will be located.
Even better news from Gala is that they will not now be closing nine clubs that were on the ‘axe list’, and will actually be building a new one. It may only be one, but the fact that is going to be a new build is a sign of a healthy operation.
So, again, thanks to the Chancellor for that tax reduction, the move has reaped rewards already, and is likely to do so for a long time. The Gala announcement actually has a measurable impact, several thousand players will be able to continue buying taxed bingo tickets provided from bingo club workers who will now not be seeing their P45s.
Oh, and of course, an extra special thanks for that ‘bingo tax pleb tweet’, we hope that the coalition keep letting their buffoons loose on Twitter, because in hard times like these, a good laugh is always appreciated. Original article.