Bingo Hall Burden: MPs Call For Tax Cuts
The UK's bingo hall business will "stagnate" if the Government does not cut tax on it, campaigners say.
More than 50 MPs are backing calls to reduce duty and bring levies on the game in line with other forms of gambling.
Bingo hall profits are currently taxed at 20% compared with a 15% rate for most other gambling activities.
Campaigners estimate that reducing bingo duty is expected to raise around £40m for the Exchequer over four years.
Miles Baron, from the Bingo Association, says investment is vital for growth.
"By building new clubs and investing in new clubs, attendances would improve that would generate more income, that would generate new taxes, that would employ more people ... this is at the heart of the community, this is a vital and important part of some people's social repertoire."
The Government says it would have to carefully consider before reducing the rate because its priority is to cut the budget deficit.
Jim Cunningham, Labour MP for Coventry South, says if more support is not given then the "social service" side of bingo will be lost.
"The implications can be that some of these places may have to close because they're not profitable and if that happens then there is a problem for some of these elderly people, during the day in particular, to find somewhere else to go."
Nearly 400 bingo clubs across England, Scotland and Wales are hosting free bingo games this weekend to support the campaign to cut tax.
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