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Apr
13th

Land Based Bingo Operators Optimistic

For land based bingo clubs in the UK the last four years have not been good. The smoking ban, increased local licensing fees, the VAT tax and a high Gross profits tax have all combined to make the economic climate for land based bingo halls a dismal one. Bingo operators throughout the UK are campaigning for a reduction in taxes and many industry observers believe that land based bingo has bottomed out and things can only get better.

Many land based bingo operators launched their own branded internet bingo operations to remain profitable and take advantage of the growing internet bingo market. Many believe that internet bingo will face some tough regulatory challenges in the near future as the government considers stricter licensing regulations for offshore bingo operators. It is expected by most that the government will introduce some sort of tax scheme for all internet bingo sites doing business in the UK.;

One of the major changes that affected bingo clubs this year was a slight reduction in the gross profits tax (GPT) tax levied against bingo halls. The GPT tax was reduced from 22% to 20% which is still much higher than the taxes on other forms of gambling. The land based bingo industry believes that the GPT tax should be the same as the tax on bookmakers at 15%. So far the government has offered no rational explanation why bingo taxes should be higher than other forms of gambling.

In the beginning of 2011 many bingo clubs reported an increase in attendance at games. Many bingo halls made changes and updated their operations to make them more attractive to younger players. Many bingo operators are optimistic because of the resurgence in the global economy and increased attendance at games. One major bingo operator plans to invest millions updating their bingo halls around the country. Some bingo halls report that while the number of visits has increased players are spending less on drinks and snacks during visits. The jackpot limit on slot machines had had a negative effect on income. Jackpot limits for slot machines are currently set at five hundred pounds.

Some in the internet gambling industry believe that this year could see increased consolidation in the internet bingo sector as larger operations buy out smaller bingo sites and take over their databases of players. If the global economy stays on track land based bingo halls have every reason to be optimistic this year.