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Bingo club calls for 'fair tax'.

A BINGO club in Huddersfield is to letting customers play for free this WEEKEND - as part of a campaign for a cut in bingo duty.

Mecca Bingo at Folly Hall will give customers to chance to win cash prizes by staging free games on the afternoon and evening of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Boost Bingo campaign - which is led by the Bingo Association and is being BACKED by almost 400 bingo halls UK-wide - is also urging people to sign a petition calling on the Government to bring tax on bingo in line with other popular leisure pursuits. Most other gambling activities are taxed at 15%, but the bingo industry has been subjected to bingo duty at 20%.

Bingo club operators claim the higher rate is preventing then from investing in modernising their venues and creating more jobs.

A survey of 2,047 adults in the UK by independent polling company ComRes showed that 61% feel bingo clubs provide an important local service and bring communities together. It also found that 18 to 24-year-olds were the group most LIKELY to have a positive view of bingo as a social activity.

Darrel Widdeson, manager of Mecca Bingo in Huddersfield, said: "Bingo is a much loved game in Huddersfield and across the country and that's why it's so important for people to support the Boost Bingo campaign by coming down to play the Boost Bingo free games this WEEKEND.

"The unfair tax burden is putting financial pressures on clubs LIKE mine and preventing new investment, new jobs and new clubs. Miles Baron, chief executive of The Bingo Association, said: "Reducing the tax on bingo will enable clubs to invest in their future. More investment means more jobs and more thriving bingo communities.

If bingo duty is lowered from 20% to 15%, the industry as a whole has committed to substantial investment in new premises, modernisation and jobs."
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 16, 2014
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