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Jun
18th

Smoking Bans and Online Bingo

The land based bingo industry in the UK generates billions of pounds per year and employs approximately 20,000 people throughout the UK. The UK recently imposed a smoking ban that will take effect July 1st 2007. This is expected to have a profound effect on land based bingo parlors throughout the UK. Many experts in the online bingo industry say that up to 63% of current land based bingo players will switch to internet bingo due, in part, to the smoking ban.Experts in the online bingo industry are predicting a boom for online bingo. One survey in the UK asked 3000 bingo players how the smoking ban would affect their playing habits. Almost two thirds (63%) said they would spend more time playing internet bingo games once the ban takes effect. Three million people in the UK play bingo every week. With two thirds of these being smokers the addition of new players of online bingo is expected to be huge. Land based bingo parlors will have a difficult time making their non-smoking halls attractive to smokers. Already several parlors in Scotland have closed and their employees are joining the ranks of the unemployed. A good example of what is taking place would be the closing of the Regal Ambassador Bingo Club in Scotland. As reported in the Banffshire Journal the club is closing June 17th and the owners attribute the smoking ban as the leading factor in their decision to close. To quote one of the owners “The smoking ban has been the final nail in the coffin-but admissions have been dwindling for the past five years”. The UK smoking ban presents online bingo sites and their affiliates with opportunities on a massive scale.In the United States smoking bans are starting to have an effect on bingo halls in several states. Many states have already passed smoking bans and the effects of these are being felt by charitable organizations that traditionally offer bingo as a way to raise money. In North Dakota bingo operators are asking the legislature for tax cuts to offset lost revenue attributed to a new law that bans most indoor smoking. In some states the smoking ban exempts charitable organizations, in other states it does not. Given the fact that surveys show that a significant number of bingo players are smokers in both the United States and the UK (appx.70%) the increases in revenue for operators of online bingo sites is expected to grow. Significant numbers of players in both countries have indicated their willingness to switch to online bingo. The opportunities this presents to the online bingo industry are staggering. Traffic to various online bingo sites such as BingoHouse can be expected to increase by 20 to 30%. BingoHouse.com and the World Bingo Network, based in Costa Rica, are gearing up for the anticipated increase in traffic to their online bingo site from the UK and the United States. Anticipating increased traffic BingoHouse.com and its affiliates are in the process of designing new games and promotions to attract these new cyber bingo players.

While smoking bans are hurting land based bingo halls in both the United States and the UK, growth in the online bingo industry is expected to increase dramatically. Recent events and studies all show a marked trend in favor of online bingo and the time has never been better for new players. New promotions, chat rooms, games, and prizes have never been better.