The Rank Group Plc today committed to a programme of investment and job creation in its bingo clubs as a consequence of today's Budget announcement that bingo duty would be reduced from 20% to 10%.
The duty reduction brings the taxation of bingo into line with most forms of gambling in Great Britain, including sports betting, football pools and online gambling and closer to the effective level of sales tax for general retail.
Rank, which currently operates 97 Mecca Bingo clubs across Great Britain, revealed that as a result of the duty change it was now able to invest in the modernisation of the bingo industry through the development of three new clubs. In addition, the future of a number of existing clubs would be secured.
Rank Group chief executive, Ian Burke said: "Today's announcement is an important boost for Britain's bingo clubs, which provide a range of social and economic benefits for the communities they serve. By bringing bingo duty into line with other forms of gaming entertainment, the Government has created a basis for renewed investment and innovation."
Rank has identified a number of towns and cities in Britain where, in the light of today's announcement, it would like to develop new clubs. Now the Group will complete more detailed market research, commercial negotiations, planning and licensing.
Importantly, the new clubs will be used as a base for innovation, testing new concepts and new technologies to reposition its bingo clubs for the future. Rank's hope is that this process of innovation, research and development will trigger successive rounds of reinvestment nationwide.