Bingo players welcome 10% duty cut
Bingo players are celebrating the Chancellor "exceeding expectations" with his announcement that duty will be halved to 10%.
The Boost Bingo campaign run by the Bingo Association had been calling for the levy to be reduced to 15% to bring it into line with other gambling activities, gathering more than 330,000 petition signatures and the support of more than 50 MPs.
The association said the announcement meant bingo clubs across England, Scotland and Wales could now fulfil their commitment to invest in new premises, modernisation and jobs.
Bingo Association chief executive Miles Baron said: "This is the most fantastic news.
"Everyone is absolutely delighted.
"The decision to reduce duty by 10% means bingo clubs will get an even bigger boost than we had hoped for.
"Bingo operators identified a programme of investment that would be freed up by a 5% tax reduction.
"Now that we have secured a 10% reduction, operators will be relooking at their investment and modernisation plans, to stimulate the industry.
"Bingo fans across the country will be celebrating today."
The Chancellor said the number of bingo halls had "plummeted by three-quarters over the last 30 years".
The Bingo Association has blamed the higher tax rate for hall closures and the loss of almost 2,000 jobs.
The cut brings the tax on bingo below the 12% imposed on National Lottery tickets, the 15% for bookmakers and the rate applied to fixed-odds betting terminals, which the Chancellor raised to 25%.