10 Dec 2009

Commenting on the Chancellor’s pre-budget report commitment to cut bingo duty from 22 per cent to 20 per cent, the SNP MP for Glasgow East, John Mason, has expressed regret that the Treasury has not listened to calls to bring Bingo taxation into line with taxation of other gaming activities.

The Scottish National Party’s MPs have long campaigned for an end to the unfair taxation scheme which has put great strain on business and played a contributing role in the closure of 31 clubs in 2008 and 2009.

Commenting, John Mason said:

“The Chancellor of the Exchequer has made a step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough towards bringing bingo taxation into line with other gaming activities.

“Bingo actually has a serious social role to play because research has shown that provides a great many people who are elderly and live alone with a social focus.

“The eastern part of Glasgow is lucky enough to have access to a number of large bingo venues, and these provide a number of valuable jobs in the East End. As such, it is vital to our area that the UK Government’s discrimination against bingo is ended.

“Other gambling activities are taxed at 15 per cent and the bingo industry should not be singled out for harsh treatment. It’s good news that Labour is starting to see the error of its ways and beginning to back bingo.”