UK Bingo Halls Seek Tax Parity
The Bingo Association in the UK is continuing its push to reduce the tax burden faced by bingo hall operators. Traditional bingo halls have always been popular venues in the UK, but the boom in online bingo has hurt their attendances over the years and many of them are struggling to survive.
The overall profits for bingo hall operators in the UK have halved in the last six years, and the number of players has fallen dramatically. Many halls have stayed afloat primarily thanks to the profits they have been generating from slot machines, but a new 20% tax rate on these games was recently introduced.
As a result of this new tax rate, nearly 200 bingo halls have announced that they are facing closure within the next 12 months. This figure represents almost half of all bingo halls in the UK, and could effectively signal the beginning of the end for traditional bingo.
The Bingo Association, together with the all-party Parliamentary Bingo Group, is stepping its efforts to lobby the UK government for changes in the way they are taxed. They, perhaps rightly, claim that it is unfair that traditional bingo hall operators have to pay 20% tax on all their gross profits, while online operators have to just 15%.
It is believed the government are willing to listen to a case presented by the Bingo Association. The association itself has suggested that a decrease in the tax rate would actually increase the overall tax revenue generated. With the popularity of online bingo continuing to grow, it is unlikely that traditional bingo will ever truly make a comeback. A minor resurgence is far from impossible, and some changes in the taxation policy would certainly help.
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