Video report from ITV News North of England Correspondent Damon Green in Blackpool
The Government announced the halving of bingo tax to 10% in the Budget today in a move that should half the decline in halls across the country.
In the last 30 years, the Treasury estimates 75% of bingo halls have closed down in the UK.
One bingo player could recall three clubs being shut down in Blackpool alone, she told ITV News:
– Colleen Tilling
A lot have closed, a lot of bingo halls, haven't they? All over the country...here [Blackpool] there's been three shut down.
Clubs are facing strong competition from online bingo companies who, because of low overheads and, until now, low tax, can offer big prizes traditional halls cannot compete with.
The owner of Blackpool's Empire Bingo Club, which has been running for 40 years, told ITV News traditional halls simply cannot compete.
– Andrew Bottomley, Empire Bingo Club Owner
[They are] giant companies that are paying minimal tax, unfortunately we wouldn't have the resources to be able to compete with them.
What we would be looking for is to try and keep our local cliental happy and keep them coming back.
However, the announcement means tax on bingo profits will be slashed from 20% to 10% with players hoping savings will mean bigger prizes.