Bingo and beer tax cuts – are Britain’s Conservative party looking to win voters from the country’s “working class”? The new tagline from the budget, which reads: “To Help the Hardworking People Do More of the Things They Enjoy”, certainly looks that way.
After Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne announced that he plans to cut down the tax on beer and bingo, it looks like the Tory Party plans to cater to the country’s non-elite for once.
With 1p cut in the duty on beer and a frozen tax on other alcoholic drinks, David Cameron and chums are trying to show the Great British public that they are on their side.
In addition to making booze marginally cheaper, the Tory party are relaxing UK gambling laws when it comes to preserving the country’s bingo tradition.
Britain’s Bingo Problem
While pubs have been at risk of boing out of business by cheap alcohol being sold in the local supermarkets, the traditional British Bingo hall was also slowly going the way of the dodo in recent years.
Top UK online bingo sites:
• Cyber Bingo is one of the oldest running bingo sites in the UK, offering bingo games since 1996
• Bet365 Bingo offers some great 90 and 75 ball bingo games with 7 active bingo rooms. It is one of the most popular online bingo sites in the UK
• Bingo Liner is an online bingo set on a cruise liner theme, offering players great graphics and gaming
With fierce competition from online gambling companies, bingo halls have been struggling to keep up with the costs, especially with the former high tax-rate of 20%.
When compared to other forms of gambling, bingo halls have suffered more than any other gambling forms, since they paid significantly more taxes than their online and mobile casino gambling counterparts.
Halls have been closing all over the UK, with the current tally making up almost 2,000 jobs being lost, which has been a cause for concern in a country that’s cracking down on benefit fraud and aid to those who suffer from unemployment.
For years, the UK bingo halls have been pushing for a decrease in taxes for some time yet, but it looks like Osbourne just gave the blue rinse grannies and bingo lovers a reason to celebrate.
Give me a tax break
For years, bingo halls have been levying the government to reduce the 20% tax down to 15%, but it looks like the Chancellor went above and beyond their expectations by halving the tax down to 10%.
The number of bingo halls in the country hasplummeted over the past 30 years, so the news from the government has been a welcome piece of unexpected change for the Bingo Association.
The tax cuts means that the bingo halls can do a lot more to re-inject life into Britain’s bingo halls.
Pimp my bingo hall
Now that the announcement has been made, the Bingo Association has certainly been quick to jump on the opportunity presented to them by the new tax cut.
The Association are already getting ready to reinvest in the new premises, as well as modernizing bingo by bringing it into the 21st century.
The new tax cut will also give bingo halls the chance to reinstate jobs and open new positions, which will help with the country’s unemployment, but at the end of the day, who is going to pay?
Who will pay?
The budget might have proven to be good news for bingo, but bad news for bookies, as fixed-odds betting terminals in betting shops have gone up from 20% to 25%.
FOBTs have been dubbed as being a “harder” form of gambling, which is one reason why the government has sought to increase the associated tax.
High street bookmakers have seen falls in shares and profits, and the new duties on the profits made on FOBTs is not going to mean good news for places like Ladbrokes.
The tax rise has caused the shares of Ladbrokes a 12% fall in its share price, 7% in William Hill and 3% in Paddy Power. Ladbrokes has warned that they may be forced to close more shops, due to the new British tax law.
FOBTs have been highly profitable, but also inspired a lot of controversy. However, it’s not only the high-street bookmakers that are set to suffer, many of the biggest online gambling sites in the UK could also pay the price.
Many online casinos and sportsbooks have their operations in places like Gibraltar, which will be affected by a new tax called the point of consumption tax.
So maybe the government has given bingo some good news that they can use to their benefit, but it does appear that it does come at the cost of the high street bookmakers.