Budget 2014: Therese Coffey MP celebrates ‘full house’ as bingo duty halved to 10% by Chancellor George Osborne
PUBLISHED: 16:06 19 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:06 19 March 2014
A Suffolk MP has joined bingo players in celebrating the Chancellor “exceeding expectations” with his announcement that duty will be halved to 10%.
Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey was one of more than 50 MPs to support the Boost Bingo campaign, run by the Bingo Association, which called for the levy to be reduced to 15% to bring it into line with other gambling activities.
It gathered more than 330,000 petition signatures and Ms Coffey has today insisted that their efforts have “more than paid off” after bingo duty was halved to 10% in the Budget.
“It is a full house,” she said, saying it meant bingo clubs across the county could now fulfil their commitment to invest in new premises, modernisation and jobs.
“I am thrilled. I was hoping to get 5% but this is very good news and is very welcome.
“It allows the industry to put more in to venues and invest in facilities and maybe increase the number of jobs and sessions of bingo, which is a great social activity for people of all ages. It will provide a welcome boost to everyone.”
The Chancellor said the number of bingo halls had “plummeted by three-quarters over the last 30 years”.
The Bingo Association has blamed the higher tax rate for hall closures and the loss of almost 2,000 jobs.
The cut brings the tax on bingo below the 12% imposed on National Lottery tickets, the 15% for bookmakers and the rate applied to fixed-odds betting terminals, which the Chancellor raised to 25%.
Bingo Association chief executive Miles Baron said: “This is the most fantastic news.
“Everyone is absolutely delighted.
“The decision to reduce duty by 10% means bingo clubs will get an even bigger boost than we had hoped for.
“Bingo operators identified a programme of investment that would be freed up by a 5% tax reduction.
“Now that we have secured a 10% reduction, operators will be relooking at their investment and modernisation plans, to stimulate the industry.
“Bingo fans across the country will be celebrating today.”