Mecca Misery and Rank Unfairness Aired
03/25/2010

Mecca bingo must feel as aggrieved this week as the state of Alabama’s gaming aficionados. Taxation and the differing levels are bugbears for both sides of the Atlantic.

Online PR News – 25-March-2010 – – Mecca bingo must feel as aggrieved this week as the state of Alabama’s gaming aficionados. Taxation and the differing levels are bugbears for both sides of the Atlantic.

Reported figures from the mega group in the UK reveal that although revenue is up customer figures are down. This may be pleasing news but it also makes for cautious reading and concern that if players, wagering more per person, withdraw their patronage the consequences could mean large drops in revenue. Also with halls profits falling, due in part to the poor weather at the end of the year preventing players coming out, the main concern of Mecca Bingo, according to the Rank Group PLC (owners of Mecca Bingo), is the introduction of the government’s increased taxation levels.

Confusion and resentment reign. “At the moment the gaming and betting activities of UK consumers are subject to a patchwork quilt of taxation, without any apparent logic or relationship to social policy,” says Ian Burke, Rank Group Chief Executive. He adds, “It is particularly concerning that the current system of taxation seems to be undermining the aims of the Gambling Act by imposing the highest rates of duty on those venues which provide the greatest degree of supervision and have the lowest rates of underage gambling.”

Currently in the UK the Gambling Act that governs gaming activities has seven different regimes regarding all online and offline gambling activities. Internet licensed betting based offshore – though readily accessed within these isles – escapes taxation. The same Internet licensed business if UK based faces a flat rate of 15% for all gaming activities and land based establishments like casinos, bookmakers and bingo halls face varying rates.

Rank Group propose that simplification to an all abiding 15% will assist regulation, UK companies will not be penalised by the unfair position that they face when similar offshore domiciled companies are exempt from duty and with an even playing field the government could overall retrieve greater sums of tax across the gambling sector.

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