|Bingo club owners in the UK are warning that changes to the UK’s gambling laws could put many bingo clubs out of business, and tempt punters into “problem gambling”.|
The UK government is preparing new legislation after a report from the Gaming Review Body recommending deregulation. Part if the report’s recommendations were to allow bingo clubs to mix “hard” gaming – such as casino games – with “soft” gaming, like bingo. Other recommendations include all-night betting with alcohol and live entertainment, and ending the restrictions on membership of bingo halls and casinos, which require punters to apply for membership of bingo halls and casinos 24 hours before they can play.
Sir Peter Fry, chairman of the Bingo Association, said: 'Bingo will simply become a loss-leading product, used by casinos to tempt bingo players into playing harder forms of gambling. Overall revenues to the government might increase marginally as a result of shifting spending between gaming activities but at the cost of significantly higher levels of problem gambling and the loss of bingo.'
Sir Peter thinks that bingo clubs will lose out if deregulation goes ahead: 'In practice, it is far more likely that existing bingo club premises will convert to casinos with a large number of stand-alone clubs closing as a result,' he is quoted as saying in a report on ITV.com