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Online Casino News - March, 2009

Online Bingo Thrives; Land Based Bingo Gets Taxed


  Seed Newsvine

by Mira Patel, News Staff Writer

March 4, 2009

If you are no stranger to online gambling, you've probably noticed the increasing presence of internet bingo. An online casino you call home may very well be offering bingo. Heck - you might have joined a bingo room yourself. You might even be playing bingo right this very second! (It's definitely feasible considering the hands-off nature of the best bingo software platforms out there)

Online bingo has certainly become one of the fasting growing sectors of the online gambling industry. With self-standing bingo rooms now giving direct competition to leading online casinos, many of these casinos are now beginning to offer their very own bingo games or sister bingo sites. Similar to the way that poker began taking off, as more people begin to get hooked by bingo, the more money there is floating around, and the larger the tournaments.

I don't want to go into too much detail about how online bingo has managed to thrive, because the fact of the matter is that this could very well fizzle out thanks to the UK. Good'ol Mother England is a curious phenomenon when it comes to bingo, because on the one hand she has been largely responsible for fostering the growth of bingo online, while on the other, she has made it increasingly tougher for land-based bingo operations to thrive. And while I personally don't care that much for brick 'n mortar bingo halls, I don't think it's fair that the land-based industry shouldn't be given the chance to thrive while online bingo is doing so well.

Unbeknownst to most gamers, Britain imposes double taxation on bingo operations - subjecting them to pay a 17.5% value added tax and a15% gross profits tax. That's a 32.5% tax if you do the math. And I don't care how much money you're making, nobody should have to pay that much in taxes. This tax policy was directly responsible for helping shut down some 37 bingo clubs in the UK during 2007 alone, and it will certainly play a hand in shutting down more if it isn't revised.

Well, this is precisely what a campaign made up of some the heavy hitters in the bingo industry are currently trying to do. Powerhouses like the Rank Group, are trying to urge members of Parliament to make a change in how bingo operations are taxed. Although the British government has thus far abstained from showing any sympathy, this could very well change in the near future now that the Scottish National Party is calling for the abolition of the double taxation law. Rank Group CEO, Ian Burke, called it a "real breakthrough". Following the smoking ban, which has also contributed to a loss in business, a "breakthrough" is exactly what the brick 'n mortar bingo industry needs.



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