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 Wednesday, 17 April, 2002, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
Bingo players win in Budget
Bingo player
Bingo is an increasingly popular game
There was good news for bingo players in the Budget with the news that they will no longer have to pay tax on the game.

To cheers from MPs Chancellor Gordon Brown gave the consistently popular pastime a boost by abolishing duty.

Given that betting has recently moved to a gross profits system, the industry anticipated that bingo might be next in line

Sir Peter Fry
Bingo Association
But industry body the Bingo Association was more cautious in its welcome.

The duty is to be replaced by a tax on gross profits.

Association chairman Sir Peter Fry said: "The industry has argued strongly for several years that the rate of bingo duty was too high and should be reduced."

He added that the reduction in taxation in other areas of gaming left bingo as the most heavily taxed game.

Anything that boosted prizes for players should be welcomed and the move to gross profits taxation was of little surprise.

Tax level 'critical'

"Given that betting has recently moved to a gross profits system, the industry anticipated that bingo might be next in line," he said.

The level of that tax would be "critical" to the continued success story of bingo.

"The industry has already begun detailed work on this issue in anticipation of reform, and we expect that the consultation exercise will provide the opportunity to explore all the issues," he said.

A spokesman for Gamblers Anonymous declined to comment on the issue.


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26 Feb 01 | Health
26 Mar 02 | England
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