The statistics shows constant decrease in bingo halls attendance, which causes some of them to close
Two bingo clubs a month are closing while hundreds more are struggling for survival due to the decreasing attendance numbers. A new research reveals that profits in UK’s once thriving bingo industry have plunged after the smoking ban was introduced in July 2007. In addition to smaller visitor numbers, bingo clubs were hit by the drop of income from fruit machines as now on a break between games players prefer to go outside for a smoke rather than spend money on the machines.
In five consecutive years the number of UK bingo halls has went down from 678 to 526. Only in the last year 25 clubs closed down. Since 2006 when bingo profits stood at £250 million (2.9 billion rand) they halved to £125 million (1.45 billion rand) in 2010 as the number of players decreased from 5 million to 2.5 million.
A Bingo Association official said bingo halls are not able to attract players with massive jackpots due to the profit taxation which is higher than in other gambling sectors. He also said that tax reduction would save many jobs. Conservative MP Brian Binley’s opinion is that
tax policy discriminates against bingo.
At the same time many online bingo operators report a significant increase in their revenues as more and more people prefer to play their favourite game from the comfort of their own home, where they can do as they like. So, the whole bingo hall decline is not really a bingo crisis, but a shift from offline bingo to its online and mobile versions.