Edward Timpson MP, the Conservative MP for Crewe and Nantwich, has visited the Mecca Crewe bingo club in his constituency.
Edward, who is a member of the club, met with Sarah O’Neill, General Manager of the club, as well as Dan Waugh, Group Strategy Director of The Rank Group, to hear how the current rate of tax levied on bingo clubs is stifling investment and growth in the industry.
Recent investment in some of Mecca’s bingo clubs has enabled them to innovate and modernise.
However the roll out of similar investments on a larger scale across the country is being held back by the level of Gross Profits Tax levied on bingo at 20%, accentuated by irrecoverable VAT whereby, unlike most other businesses, bingo halls are unable to claim back VAT on overheads such as refurbishment costs.
The Rank Group has made public their commitment to open new Mecca Bingo clubs, creating more jobs and contributing to the growth of the UK leisure industry, should a more favourable tax regime be introduced. Furthermore, analysis by Ernst & Young has highlighted that a reduced rate of 15% Gross Profit Tax levied on bingo would significantly increase revenue to the Exchequer by around £35 million over a four year period.
Sarah O’Neill, General Manager, said:
“We are pleased Edward was able to visit us again at Mecca Crewe, and witness firsthand the vibrant community that exists within our club.
Bingo is incredibly important to our regular customers, who come here not just to play bingo, but also to socialise and enjoy their leisure time with fellow community members.
It is great that Edward understands the value of this industry.”
Edward Timpson MP said:
“Looking around this venue, it is clear to see the important role bingo halls play in our community.
There are hundreds of similar excellent clubs up and down the country and we should not underestimate the positive impact they have in providing a friendly, safe and social environment that is rarely provided elsewhere.”