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Bingo Clubs Declining In Economic Down Turn

By: Sally Crown
In June 2008 new proposals to help bingo clubs by a slight easing of restrictions on gaming machines were announced by Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

In a statement to Parliament Mr Sutcliffe proposed that the number of category B3 (£1 stake/£500 prize) gaming machines allowed in licensed bingo clubs should increase from four to eight. In the last four years the bingo industry has seen an increasing number of bingo halls closing down and these proposals are intended to assist an ailing industry. Plans were also announced by Mr Sutcliffe to bring forward by a year a review of stakes and prizes for low stake gaming machines. The review will only look at category C and D (50p stake/£35 prize and 10p stake/£5 prize respectively) ‘fruit’ machines typically found in pubs and some seaside arcades and traditional seaside amusements like ‘penny falls’ and ‘crane grabs’.

The Government has rejected proposals from the adult arcade industry to increase significantly the numbers and stakes of B3 machines in arcades commonly found in high streets.Mr Sutcliffe said that proposals by the industry could create high street ‘machine sheds’ and put public protection at risk. Their current limit of four will remain unchanged and there will be no review of stakes and prizes for category B machines until this work is carried out by the Gambling Commission into the risks associated with high stake high prize gaming machines.

Mr Sutcliffe said:“Bingo clubs also play a crucial role in many communities and we want to see that continue. For some people, especially older and retired women, bingo is their main leisure pursuit. It is therefore of great concern that nearly 100 bingo clubs have closed in the last four years. Having listened carefully to the case put forward by bingo clubs, I am persuaded that a number of special circumstances apply to the bingo industry. I’m confident that allowing a small increase in bingo clubs, where gaming machines are not the main reason for people to attend, will provide much needed help to struggling clubs without putting public protection at risk. I hope to implement these plans by the end of the year."

"I am also concerned that traditional seaside arcades are struggling and I want to help. Though public protection will still be our number one priority, we will bring forward a review of stakes and prizes for low stakes machines by a year.

“The proposals put forward by the adult arcade industry could encourage ever larger ‘machine sheds’ in town centers across the country, with significantly higher numbers of high stake high prize machines. I believe this would put public protection at risk and pre-empt the Gambling Commission’s ongoing research into the risks associated high stake and prize gaming machines.

However it still remains that bingo is at large in the on line world and the growing popularity has seen many people playing through their computers and not going to bingo halls. Bingo sites are cropping up all over the net and sites are offering some great bonuses to get people interested.

Sally crown writes for Bingo Deposit Bonus about gambling issues and news. She also reviews many bingo sites such as 888 Bingo and shows players where to get the best deal.
Tags : Bingo ,Clubs ,Declining ,Economic ,Turn ,bingo ,machines ,stake ,clubs ,industry ,prize ,gaming ,stakes ,Sutcliffe
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Article Number : 5376
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