UK government gives the bingo sector an unwelcome response

The British government remains convinced that Valued Added Taxation is not at the root of the UK bingo industry's financial problems, and has rejected requests from bingo operators to cut the much criticised tax.

Operators had earlier urged government to do away with the tax, which they claim has forced clubs to close with the loss of thousands of jobs in a country where unemployment is already reaching alarming heights.

Bingo operators have frequently complained that VAT on their activities is a form of unfair double taxing, claiming that other forms of gambling pay 15 percent while bingo halls cumulatively face a 32 percent burden.

Secretary to the Exchequer Angela Eagle has a different view, and says that the bingo clubs actually pay 25 percent in taxes - the "average" level for most forms of gambling.

"Our assessment remains that tax is not at the root of the industry's problems and nor do we believe that alteration of the tax regime would be an appropriate solution to them," Eagle commented.

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