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.