Even though it was a necessary change, the smoking ban immediately affected bingo hall profits.
There is a sense of nostalgia when watching old movies and quite often people fantasize about how things used to be. Not all the things we see in films are appealing, and sometimes we are downright shocked to see how things used to be.
Smoking in airplanes, offices, and even schools wasn’t frowned upon and people could enjoy a cigarette in the UK bingo halls. These are all things of the past and even though gambling parlours were affected, the impact of the smoking ban wasn’t decisive. In the paragraphs below we see how the ban affected UK bingo operators.
The smoking ban keeps some people away
The thing about bingo is that it is a game of chance that fosters human interactions and promotes healthy competition. Those who play bingo are first and foremost interested in socializing, with the actual winnings being secondary. That’s why many of those who travel to brick-and-mortar locations were more concerned about relaxing and having fun than winning.
Smokers were particularly affected by the smoking ban, as one component of their fun activity was suddenly removed. Slowly but surely, those who associated smoking with bingo would stop coming to the UK bingo halls.
On the other hand, people who didn’t smoke and were happy with the measures lost the chance to interact with some of their friends. Furthermore, non-smokers who loved bingo didn’t flock to these locations, just because they were able to breathe better air. The bottom line is that even though the smoking ban was necessary and a welcomed change, it immediately affected the bingo hall profits.
A strong incentive to choose online bingo
At the time the smoking ban was implemented in UK bingo halls, the industry was still going strong, but it was no longer growing. Soon after, the advent of Internet games and the growing popularity of online casinos and bingo halls struck a deadly blow to the land-based industry. Many people were already willing to switch to Internet gambling, due to enhanced convenience. Bonus offers, free games, and other incentives further tilted the balance in the favor of online bingo games.
It took a while until online bingo took off because people were not sure how these gains would meet their needs for socializing. According to the popular Bingo Sites portal: “The addition of live chat features and other useful tools was able to ease those concerns, and now the game has plenty of fans online.” — Even so, the fact that operators pay gross profit tax represents a big challenge for the industry and greatly diminishes profits. This is something they’ve been trying to address for years and even protested the current taxation system.
Nationwide, UK bingo halls are closing, and this leads to the loss of thousands of jobs. Their online counterparts provide a solid substitute, but it is not the same for conservative punters. The smoking ban was the last nail in the coffin of land-based bingo halls, but not the cause of their demise.