Bingo Association Appoints New Chairman

The UK Bingo Association was formed in 1998 shortly after the merger of the British Bingo Operators‘Association and the Bingo Association of Great Britain. Bingo is a part of British culture and occupies a unique place in the gambling industry in Great Britain. Over three million UK residents play internet bingo and live bingo regularly. The bingo association works with operators, government agencies and regulators, lawmakers, and organizations that address problem gambling. The online bingo industry pioneered the self-exclusion option for problem gamblers. Currently there are 50 bingo proprietors that are members of the association. Members range in size from large operators like Mecca to smaller operators like Carlton Leisure.

The association has also been very active in addressing tax policies related to internet and live bingo. The organization has worked tirelessly to eliminate the unfair tax advantages enjoyed by offshore internet bingo operators and has also addressed the problem of double taxation of live bingo halls. The Bingo Association has been partially responsible for proposed legislation that will tax all wagers made by UK residents at the point of consumption doing away with the unfair tax advantages of offshore operators.

On June 27th the UK Bingo Association announced the appointment of Mark Jones as the new Chairman of the group. Jones is the managing director of Mecca Bingo. Jones joined the Rank Group in 2009 and will keep his current position while serving as chairman of the association. Patrick Duffy, of Palatial Leisure, will assume the role of vice chairman of the association. Mecca has been a member of the association for years and is one of Britain’s largest bingo operators. Mecca operates several clubs throughout Britain and also has a large online bingo operation. Mecca is committed to working with other bingo brands to further the interests of the bingo industry as a whole.

Jones said of his new position “I am delighted to have been appointed to the position of chair of the Bingo Association.” Jones also said his prime focus will be “to continue the Associations campaign to secure a fairer tax deal for bingo and work further towards changing people’s perception of the industry.”  The previous chair Brian Mattingly was appointed in 2009 but his duties at 888 Holdings as Chief Executive Officer has forced him to step down. The Chief Executive of the Bingo Association, Paul Talboys, said of the change “Brian’s contribution to the Association is greatly appreciated and I have really enjoyed working with him. The industry faces numerous challenges, specifically in relation to the securing a fair tax regime. Mark’s experience in the leisure industry will be an immense asset toward navigating the road ahead.”

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