Arts, Culture & Media

British bingo halls under threat in Britain

Bingo has got a loyal following in Britain. Bingo is facing its hardest test yet. The Chief Executive of the Bingo Club in the UK talks about how many clubs closed last year and they're forecasting more clubs closing this year. Part of the problem is Britain's public ban on smoking. Most who do turn up still spend most of their time outside the club smoking, so they're spending less time and money inside playing bingo. While the smoking ban has had an impact the second problem comes from inside. Bingo halls make most of their money from jackpot machines, which the British government started regulating to prevent people from gambling excessively. Only four machines with bigger jackpots, the more popular ones, are allowed per small hall. This hall owner says this regulation is driving people from the smaller halls to bigger ones. And he thinks the regulation flies in the face of the intended consequence. Many smaller, more rural clubs have been forced to shut down. These clubs play an important role in the lives of their players, as social clubs.