The UK newspaper The Guardian reported this week that the closure of a hundred land bingo clubs across the British Isles has had a social impact on older women players who had relied on the local bingo halls as a source of community activity.
Quoting from a study by the Henley Centre research group commissioned last year by the Bingo Association to chart the effects of the closure of bingo clubs in Scotland and the Midlands, the newspaper said that it found that especially among older women players there was a "major ‘social' effect."
Already this (2008) year over a dozen bingo halls have closed, reports The Guardian, explaining that although more than 3 million people across the UK play at bingo halls regularly, major commercial chains such as Gala and Mecca bingo have seen their profits hit by political and economic constraints.
UK bingo operators claim that the industry suffers under an inequitable ‘double taxation' in the gambling profits levy and VAT liability they face, alone among other gaming businesses. Under the government's new gambling legalization, bingo halls have also had to cut back drastically on the number of their profitable £500 jackpot machines, and there have been claims that anti-smoking laws have made further inroads into the pastime
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