British M.P.s Call for Bingo Hall Help

25 February 2009

In the United Kingdom, 57 members of Parliament are asking the government to provide assistance to financially troubled bingo halls, the Worthing Herald reports.

According to the Herald, Michael Foster, a member of Parliament for Hastings, called for the government to give bingo halls “fiscal neutrality” and stated that the halls produce revenue for towns and provide a “social hub.”

“I understand the government wants to discourage irresponsible gambling, but Bingo is a pretty harmless pastime,” Mr. Foster was quoted by the Herald as saying.

Bingo halls across the United Kingdom have been negatively impacted by the July 2007 smoking ban. A report released in February 2008 by market analyst Mintel identified the smoking ban as the principal cause for a decline in business at U.K. bingo halls.