Changes to Gambling Act Proposed by UK Tourism Minister

UK bingo halls have been pressured by the smoking ban, double taxation and restrictions on slot machines at bingo halls and arcades. As if that wasn’t bad enough the severe early winter weather has caused many bingo halls across the UK to close due to a drastic drop in attendance at games, however online bingo sites have seen an increase in players. Bingo news sites have been commenting on the difficulties faced by bingo halls. Since the Gambling Act was implemented in 2005 land based bingo halls and game arcades have had a tough time and some have gone out of business. The Gambling act restricted the number of the very profitable machines at bingo halls and arcades. Even bingo giants like Gala have closed some bingo halls.

Seaside resorts have been particularly hard hit by the restrictions. As many bingo news sites have reported bingo halls and arcades play an important part in the economy of seaside resorts. There may be some relief in sight for bingo halls. Tourism minister John Penrose has proposed relaxing the restrictions on the profitable slot machines and electronic bingo games at bingo halls and arcades. John Penrose, who is the Conservative MP for Weston-super-Mare, announced talks to make two possible changes to the Gambling Act that apply to adults only slot machines at bingo halls.

Many online bingo news sites are following developments closely. The talks, which will end on January 25th 2011, will discuss the possibility of raising the maximum stake limit from £1 to £2 and permit an increase in the number of machines allowed at bingo halls and arcades. Mr. Penrose stated, “I want to ensure these businesses remain competitive in these tough economic times. I believe increasing the stake to £2 and reviewing machine entitlements will provide the boost needed by operators and manufacturers, but public protection must remain paramount.”

The machines are popular and the jackpots can be sizable. Recently a woman who had just lost her job as an insurance broker won over three thousand pounds at an electronic bingo machine. The big win was widely reported by internet bingo news websites. Many gaming experts believe that the proposed changes could save some bingo halls and arcades in financial trouble. Seaside reports will be particularly pleased if the changes take place. Penrose has vowed that travel and tourism will no longer be ignored.

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