Bingo tax reform expected for 2008

A tax reform for the UK’s bingo industry is expected in 2008 after the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has backed a campaign by the big boys of bingo, Rank and Gala Coral.

The department is now expected to apply pressure on the chancellor Alistair Darling for tax breaks when it comes to releasing 2008’s budget.

The UK bingo industry is going through a tough time with falling admissions and an ageing customer base which have been compounded by the introduction of the smoking ban and the new Gambling Act in 2007.

Bingo companies are currently taxed twice – by Gaming Duty (15 per cent) and VAT (17.5 per cent). Bingo bosses rightly feel this is excessive as it is the only form of gambling to be taxed in this way.

"The message we are giving the Chancellor and the Prime Minister is 'if you give us the same tax treatment as other gambling industries, it will be an investment that will drive up admissions',” Gala Coral’s chief executive Neil Goulden told the Financial Times.

However, the Treasury believe the tax breaks alone will not solve the problems facing the industry – with up to 100 clubs predicted to close in 2008.

Editor, - 2008-01-07 10:59:12

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