Save British "Bingo"?
As the loyal Vice Squad reader knows, the British bingo industry is facing hard times, in part due to the smoking ban and to competition from lower-taxed forms of gambling. Also, the bingo halls do not hold the same number of slot machines that used to grace their premises. The Financial Times tells of the growing pressure to reduce the tax burden on bingo. The government is sympathetic, it seems, but are bingo's problems deeper, perhaps even reaching to the name of the game?:
In Vice Squad news, I am back in Chicago after two vice-free days in Ann Arbor, which I want to "rebrand" as Annushka Arborka.
...the government believes the industry faces endemic problems - including an ageing customer base and competing leisure and gambling activity - that taxation relief, on its own, cannot cure.
According to one industry analyst, bingo companies need to apply radical surgery to their industries, including rebranding the pastime in a way that sheds the "bingo" tag.