Vice Squad
Friday, March 28, 2008
British Pubs Suffering

It's not just bingo that is being hurt by the British smoking ban. The pub industry has been weathering some hard times, no doubt worsened (to an unknown degree) by the smoking ban: "According to the British Beer and Pubs Association, the smoking ban in England and Wales combined with the credit crunch and a decline in drinking are responsible for closing pubs at their fastest rate in history – 27 a week."

Meanwhile, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, wants to raise the tax on alcoholic beverages. This has made him persona non grata at many a British pub -- the campaign to keep Mr. Darling out of pubs is being championed by some of those bloggers on the internets.

Maybe British pubs could try that theatre dodge to avoid the smoking ban? Or maybe things will soon smooth out, despite the smoking ban. There even looks to be some good news for British bingo. Photos of a spiffy (sort of) bingo parlour, including its outside smoking and gambling areas, are available here.

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