Gala Bingo have rejoined the Bingo Association after previously withdrawing membership from the bingo industry trade body back in 2008.
The reason behind the move seems to be to help the Bingo Association in its quest to fight for fairer taxes for bingo operators in the UK. Currently, offline bingo operators pay a 20 per cent gross profit tax rate, whereas other forms of gambling, such as betting shops and even online bingo sites pay a rate of 15 per cent.
Bingo clubs are closing at a rate of one per month and an inequitable tax system is seen as one of the primary causes. This dire situation will no doubt get worse with the government about to introduce an additional £9m per year tax on the bingo sector via the upcoming Machines Games Duty legislation.
Miles Baron, chief executive of The Bingo Association, said: “As the largest operator of licensed bingo clubs in the UK, Gala Bingo are a very important part of the industry and it is great to have them on-board and be fully integrated in all our work. The team at Gala have a wealth of experience that will be extremely valuable in helping to shape and develop the industry’s future and I look forward to working closely with Simon in the future.”
Simon Wykes, managing director of Gala Bingo, said: “We are delighted that Gala Bingo are part of The Bingo Association and will again have the opportunity to work closely with other operators. Bingo continues to face challenging operating conditions which are worsened by unfair tax treatment and the fear of ever more restrictive regulation. The combination of the two can only ever stifle investment in a business that needs to innovate through investment. I look forward to working closely with Association Members to fully represent the interests and needs of the industry and further develop the sector agenda.”
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