The chancellor is facing pressure to ease taxes on the bingo industry in
order to prevent closures of bingo halls during an economic slowdown.
The FT reports that a campaign by bingo groups Rank and Gala Coral
has won the support of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. This
department is now expected to push for tax breaks in its Budget submission.
Bingo operators say they face double taxation in the form of a gaming duty of
15% and VAT of 17.5%. The Treasury, however, believes the industry is losing
customers and facing systemic problems that tax relief alone will not solve.
According to the bingo industry 100 clubs could be forced to close in 2008.
In 2007 33 clubs were shutdown.
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