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The Wednesday Bingo Essay – the worrying fate of online bingo

  • 15 Jul 09
  • Written by Charlotte Widmore

Backing BingoThe recent furore over the higher UK bingo games taxation has made Bingo Hideout analyse the whys and the wherefores of the government’s decision to increase taxation on the humble bingo game.  We can sit and ponder all day long the fact that the bingo industry has been specifically targeted to face such a high rate of taxation as opposed to other forms of gambling, but the answer appears to be the same – if the ‘great unwashed’ (that is You and I, as far as the government are concerned) enjoys something, in this case bingo, then we should be subjected to high taxation, we should be punished for our enjoyment of a relatively cheap thrill.  Worryingly we wonder if this could ultimately end up with higher rates of taxation on any form of enjoyment that we might have.

What will the government look at placing super tax on next when the bingo halls are all closed and we are all resorting to playing our bingo games online?  Well first the government will of course be looking at putting a much higher rate of taxation on online bingo, and really who wouldn’t say they would be stupid not to? After all if they have managed to kill off the high street bingo industry the online bingo industry should be booming even more and with full online bingo purses and the government’s empty wallet well it makes complete sense.  We are not of course saying it would be fair, but online bingo will certainly be targeted in then end.  Where next – you wonder – on the government’s road to obliterate all things pleasurable for the masses?  Well we could see a super tax on doughnuts and chocolate or maybe matching shoes and handbags, or even our beds!  You can just imagine the local authority Bed Inspector coming around and trying our beds out, soft and comfy, slap on a high rate of tax, lumpy and bumpy then a reduced rate would be payable.  Husband passes wind in the night then possibly an emissions tax?

Spread your betting tax around Mr Brown!

Of course this is all tongue in cheek, but at Bingo Hideout we do wonder why when the bingo industry is being taxed so ruthlessly why is it that some forms of gambling and betting have not been given such a big rise in taxation, and one springs to mind where no taxation is payable at all – that of spread betting.  Is it possibly, dare we say a class thing?  Who is the classic spread bettor, a suit from the city? Maybe a retired stockbroker? A guy with a good pension, an ex-fat cat?  Most certainly a homeowner with money tucked away for a rainy day (most spread betting companies would expect a minimum of £1,000 deposit to open an account, makes your £10 to open a Foxy Bingo account look a little pathetic), but certainly not a young mum whose little £20 weekly bingo night out with the girls involves the hope of a small bingo win, or the pensioner who has played at her local Mecca Bingo hall for the last 50 years, not a big spender but is a creature of habit.


Of course we know that the Government is in trouble and that the rebuilding of the UK economy is important, but hey lets be fair about this – try targeting some of those ‘fat cats’ who got us in this mess in the first place.  If you want to get some extra money for the Chancellors coffers at least do us the good service to target a gaming area that currently has no taxation at all!

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