Bingo industry campaigns to ditch tax increase

Two of the UK’s biggest bingo hall operators have launched campaigns to highlight the Government’s “grossly unfair” proposed increase in bingo tax.

The Mecca Bingo and Gala Bingo campaigns are both rallying against the proposed hike in gross profit tax, from 15% to 22%, announced in the budget.

Both say the increase in duty will add further pressure to a contracting industry already hit by the smoking ban and economic downturn.

Gala Coral Group-owned Gala Bingo is to run a promotion in its clubs this weekend, which will reward anyone calling 22, the proposed levy, with an additional £100 prize.

Rank-owned Mecca Bingo players and staff have set up Facebook petition groups to demonstrate their objection to the increase in tax.

The April budget proved to be bitter sweet for the industry. The Chancellor bowed to a long-term campaign to scrap the VAT bingo halls had been paying at the same time as proposing the gross profit tax increase and a 9% increase in machine duty.

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