British land-based bingos may close due to taxation pressures

In a week that saw land-based bingo group Top Ten Bingo admit to slumping UK profits blamed on the new smoking ban and new UK gambling regulations, Riva Gaming has stated in the Financial Times that up to one hundred land-based bingo clubs may close in the country due to taxation pressures.

Simon Hannah, CEO at Riva Gaming told the Financial Times that the so-called “double taxation” being imposed on land-based bingo through combined VAT and gross profit tax is putting the industry at a commercial disadvantage of significant proportions.

„Where betting shops and casinos only pay 15 percent gross profit tax, we must also pay 17.5 percent VAT on our bingo income, putting us at a significant commercial disadvantage,“ Hannah is reported as saying.

Riva Gaming is considered one of the more technologically progressive land-based bingo operators with its introduction of electronic bingo innovations to its bingo halls.
Despite Top Ten Bingo’s losses in its land-based bingo operations, the company does have an online bingo presence in the form of its Top Ten operation.

The sentiments expressed over the threat to land-based bingo has fueled further speculation that online bingo will benefit as players shift their focus to play bingo online to escape the smoking ban and gambling regulations. Free online bingo games are considered to constitute one of the fastest growing niches in the online gaming industry.