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Bingo Advantage

Bingo Advantage

Planned legislation to deregulate Britain’s gambling industry could lead to a major shake-up in the bingo sector, as operators struggle to compete against “unfair” advantages given to casino operators bingo advantage. According to Peter Perrins, managing director of Inverness-based Carlton Clubs, many of the proposals introduced to modernise the industry have actually created an uneven playing bingo advantage field.

Perrins, who operates 18 clubs in Scotland and northeast England, and employs 500 people, said: “As the proposals are written at the moment, the casino industry will be allowed to provide a whole range of gaming activities including bingo and sports betting. However bingo advantage, bingo clubs will not be allowed to introduce new forms of gambling into our establishments. There seems to be a disadvantage written into this legislation which we feel is unfair bingo advantage.”

Perrins added that there has been no indication that the government would harmonise the widely varying tax regimes between the various sectors. According to a KPMG report in 2000 bingo advantage, bingo operators currently pay the highest level of tax at 34.1%, while casino operators pay 21.7%.

International players like Harrah’s, MGM Mirage and Sun International are eagerly awaiting deregulation, which would also relax rules on where casinos are located and the number of slot machines permitted, allowing them to move ahead with plans to build Vegas-style resorts in the UK. Do bingo advantage mestic companies like Gala also intend to expand their offering in the casino marketplace.

Perrins welcomes the easing of many of the restrictions, such as a draconian rule that forces gamblers to sign up to a club and wait 24 hours before playing. However, he is lobbying MPs and members of the joint committee on the draft gambling bill – who are due to publish their report on Wednesday – to exclude bingo from casino establishments bingo advantage.

Otherwise, Perrins warned, there could be rationalisation in the bingo sector and many operators would be forced to apply for casino licences. Even then, these bingo companies could be at a disadvantage as they would be competing against well-established gambling corporations who have a track record of running casinos and already have the training and infrastructure in place to meet licensing bingo advantage criteria.

But Perrins said Carlton Clubs had the strength to stay in business come what may. The 69-year-old company has an annual turnover of £21 million and plans to invest a further £11m to open two more clubs in Scotland over the next 15 months.