Bingo industry engages PLMR to press for tax drop

The Bingo Association has engaged PLMR to campaign to reduce the tax rate on the industry, after three-and-a-half years with Luther Pendragon.

Bingo: tax regime last changed in 2010 (picture credit John Kroetsch)
Bingo: tax regime last changed in 2010 (picture credit John Kroetsch)

The running of the secretariat for the All Party Bingo Group, which is funded by the Bingo Association, is also part of the brief.  

PLMR is planning an integrated public affairs and public relations campaign to make the case for the change to the Treasury ahead of the Budget next spring.  

The push to reduce gross profit tax (GPT) from 20 per cent to 15 per cent will be rolled out nationally in January at bingo clubs around the country.  

Luther remains involved indirectly due to working for the association’s second biggest member, Rank, the owner of Mecca Bingo.  

Miles Baron, the association’s CEO since late 2012, said it had decided to pitch the account as a result of "significant changes within the association’s membership".  

This refers to the biggest member, Gala, rejoining in January with the aim of pushing for the tax change after withdrawing in 2008.  

The Bingo Association argues that bingo clubs have significantly higher costs than other similar gambling and leisure activities due to the regime of 20 per cent GPT.  

The tax was last changed in 2009 and 2010. The first change was from 15 per cent GPT plus VAT to 22 per cent GPT with no VAT, but without the ability to recover VAT on costs incurred.  

The second change, after a campaign by the industry, was a reduction in GPT to 20 per cent.  

The inability to charge VAT means investment has stalled and many smaller bingo clubs have gone out of business, according to the Bingo Association.  

The PLMR team working on the account ­­– Elin Twigge, Danny Wilding, Francesca Dobson and Uche Graves – will report to Baron.  

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