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Nicotine Nannies claim smoking bans are good for business. But if that were the case, could this list exist, and could it be so huge? (Please note, this is only a small sample of articles available on the subject.)

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Archive for the ‘Bingo’ Category

The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, (smoking ban), and its effect on Billy’s Inn.

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

While all this was going on I went back to the people who made the second offer and asked them if they still wished to buy Billy’s Inn. If so make me an offer. It is well known by now that there was going to be a ban. An all inclusive ban. In April of 2006 the people who made the second offer came back with an offer of $600,000.00. We just lost $225,000.00 due to the ban.

First off we stopped taking wages and started using our savings to live on. Then we re-wrote the mortgage on our house and opened a home equity line of credit.

Six months into the ban our business had dropped off by 41%.

By November of 2006 we had to drop our Liquor License Insurance (Dram shop), because we could no longer afford it. At the end of our fiscal year the business was down by 26%. The ban had been in effect for only 4 out of 12 months.

Our adjusted gross income for 2006 was $914.00.

We went from a comfortable life style to zero in less than a year.

In 2007 we saw our business continue to fall off. We sold off other property at a loss and used the money to go on. We dropped our property insurance because we could no longer afford to pay that. We ran the last year of business without any insurance of any kind.

On January the first we celebrated our 40th. Anniversary at Billy’s Inn. My wife’s father ran it for 19 years. In 1985 I left the unions because I was tired of rebels dictating policy in my life. I swore no one would ever dictate policy in my life again. I started running the business in 1985 for my father-in-law. In 1987 we took over the business and have been there ever since. Twenty three years down the drain. I am now sixty two years old and I have to find a job till I can retire at sixty six. Little did I know that the next rebel would be in our own legislature.

After the sale of the business our government taxed us 21% on what we could sell.

Then our government penalized us 25% because we retired three years to soon.

Since closing. One of my bartenders has a wife and four children. He has been homeless since the spring of 2008. In February of 2009 they got into a two bedroom apartment. With four children that is real cozy.

One of the other bartenders, (An unwed mother of two), is also now losing her home. Her new job at Walgreen’s does not pay what she received as a bartender.

Another had a killing outside the bar while they were smoking. Two families destroyed by the smoking ban. There was no bartender or owner outside to intervene.

63 bars, 478 employees, 1 casino, 62 employees, 2 nightclubs, 46 employees, 1 bowling alley, 3 pool halls, and 16 bingo halls all closed. Number of employees un-known.

Venders such as Fender Entertainment gone. Lisa Fender booked entertainment for bars and taverns. Businesses could not afford the entertainment venues so it cost her the business.

In 2006 there were 44 bingo halls, now there are 28 left. The non-profits, who could least afford it, are the biggest losers. The losses are in the millions.

What ever happened to love thy neighbor? Or live and let live. Is this truly the American way?

Source:  Letter to The Smokers Club.  Link.

Additinal Source: The Denver Post.  Link.

Smoking Bans Clear Out Bingo Halls

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Charity bingo games are being hurt by bans on indoor smoking, with attendance dropping as patrons turn to casinos where they can still light up while playing, the New York Times reported April 24.

Charity gambling revenues fell 13 percent after Minnesota adopted a statewide indoor-smoking ban, with the smoking prohibition blamed for half of the decline. Bingo players who once flocked to the American Legion post in Fergus Falls, Minn., now go to casinos or cross the border to North Dakota, where veterans’ groups are exempt from the state’s smoking ban. “It’s had a profound effect on us here,” said Charlie Lindstrom of the American Legion post. “We’ve sponsored several baseball teams here in the past, but we can’t give as much now because the smoking ban has really reduced our revenue.”

Charity officials in California, New Jersey, New York, and Washington also report that smoking bans have hurt attendance and revenues on bingo nights. Some say that smokers typically outnumber nonsmokers three to one at bingo games, and despair of finding nonsmoking players to replace the departed smokers.

Source: Join Together. Link

After the Smoke Cleared, Where Did All the Bingo Players Go?

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

In Minnesota, which adopted a statewide ban on smoking in all indoor workplaces in October, revenue from all charity gambling dropped nearly 13 percent in the last quarter of 2007, compared to the same quarter the year before, according to state officials. More than half of the drop — the equivalent of about $100 million annually — was attributed to the new law, they said.

On a good night, Mr. Lindstrom said, bingo at the post used to attract 50 to 75 players. Nowadays it is more like 30 or 40.

“It’s had a profound effect on us here,” Mr. Lindstrom said. “We’ve sponsored several baseball teams here in the past, but we can’t give as much now because the smoking ban has really reduced our revenue.”

Still, revenues are down. In 2006, the bingo operation at the children’s center, which then belonged to Big Brothers Big Sisters, generated about $325,000 a year, after expenses, and employed 17 people. A year later, under the auspices of the center, it produced $150,000 and employed 13 people.

Washington used to be home to 100 bingo halls that raised money for charity. Now there are fewer than 20.

Source: The New York Times. Link

Minnesota smoking ban singes charitable gambling

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Affirming what American Legion hall operators and mom-and-pop bar owners had warned, a new report shows that Minnesota’s statewide ban on smoking appears to have cut into charitable gambling revenues from bar-game pull tabs and bingo.

Gross receipts from charitable gambling were down 12.8 percent in the last three months of 2007, which correlates with when the statewide smoking ban took effect. Even taking into account a weakening economy, the ban is likely to be responsible for a decline in gross receipts of 7.5 percent to 8 percent, or a loss equal to $95 million to $105 million a year, the report noted.

The nearly 13 percent drop represents the largest decline in receipts since lawful gambling was first regulated in the state in 1985, said the report released Monday by the State Gambling Control Board, which
regulates the industry.

Charitable gambling plays a unique part in the fabric of Minnesota life. The state’s charitable gambling industry is by far the nation’s largest, with $1.2 billion in gross receipts a year. It funds such nonprofit organizations as youth sports, veterans groups and volunteer firefighting organizations. There are more than 1,400 licensed charity organizations and 3,000 locations where charitable gambling takes place.

Charitable gambling officials predict revenue declines of 16 percent to 18 percent through this year. Anticipating the effect, the industry has been pushing for several pieces of legislation that would give them more flexibility in their operations.

Wilson said that many organizations terminated their licenses because of funding problems last year and that the number is likely to increase this year.

Source: Scripps News. Link

A full house? Not since smoking ban, says Gala

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

The number of visitors to a Hounslow bingo hall are down since last year’s smoking ban, bingo bosses have said.

Gala Bingo, in Staines Road, attributed losses of 30 per cent to the legislation banning smoking in public places, which came in to effect in July last year.

Surrender Kumar who has worked at the hall for 18 years, said: “The drop in the number of customers has forced us to stop trading on Sunday afternoons.”

The period 2004 to 2005 {before the ban} showed a 24 per cent increase in trade.

Helen Spicer, from Mintel, said: “The smoking ban has meant that many players simply stay away from bingo halls, or if they do go, they head out during the intervals for a quick cigarette.

“If the industry doesn’t come up with new ideas, British bingo could soon be a thing of the past.”

Source: Richmond Twickenham Times. Link

It’s game over as smoking ban kills off city bingo hall

Friday, February 8th, 2008

THE number’s up for an Edinburgh bingo hall that has been forced to close after an 80 per cent drop in players since the smoking ban.

Gala Bingo, in West Granton, once boasted around 8000 customers a week – but numbers have slumped to as low as 1500 since the ban came into force.

On Saturday night, the decision was finally taken to close the club, which opened 12 and a half years ago.

The Bingo Association, the body representing the game, said around 40 clubs across the UK had closed in the past year.

Paul Talboys, the association’s chief executive, said 189 clubs across the UK are currently under the threat of closure.


Are Traditional Bingo Halls going up in smoke?

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

The smoking ban is proving to deter new bingo players and leading to a decline in bingo players visiting bingo halls. According to research done by the St Minver bingo network the ban is having a surprisingly extreme affect on attendance. According to statistics from Leigh Nissim, managing director, one in three less bingo players are going to be present at halls and a staggering 63 percent are playing online and avoiding being in physical spaces where they cannot play bingo and smoke accordingly. Although the smoke free bingo halls will be of interest to some, the general affect of the ban is one that is thoroughly discouraging many players from leaving their homes, because of the removal of this small luxury. According to Nissim, it seems to him that land based bingo clubs are most likely to suffer in the wake of the smoking ban. Not only do players disagree with the ban, but they are less likely to visit clubs as a result. Openly admitting the ban has been good for a small percentage, the general consensus is that the ban has been more detrimental than positive.

Source: Bingo Player Online. Link

Smoking ban leaves some bars smoldering

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

In the first month of Ohio’s public smoking ban, the little bar in a blue-collar Summit County neighborhood lost $1,000.

The reason was obvious: The bar’s owner followed the law, telling customers they couldn’t smoke. The bar’s competitors didn’t, and some even ”rented” ashtrays to customers, with the money going into a kitty to defray any smoking-violation fines.

The bar-hopping customers stopped hopping into the little bar. And the regulars, although they kept coming, were buying fewer drinks.

They’d spend 20 minutes at the bar drinking a beer, then 10 minutes outside smoking,” said the owner, who spoke anonymously to protect himself from health department inspectors. ”Instead of drinking five or six beers, they were drinking one or two.

After losing a grand in May, the bar owner changed course in June.

”I figured if that pace kept up,” he said, ”I’d be out of business before anyone else. So I said, what I’ll do is I’ll let them smoke until we get caught. The next month, instead of losing $1,000, we made $2,500 more.”

And he hasn’t been caught.

”I had to make a decision,” he said. ”I just decided to break the law and be done with it. It’s like speeding on the highway — you’re breaking the law, but until you get caught, you’re going to keep speeding, I guess.”

In Akron, Corky’s Thomastown Cafe on South Arlington Street has drawn the most complaints: 37.

Owner Billy McFrye is facing a $100 fine, on top of a loss of customers.

”People aren’t coming out,” he said. ”I’ve got numbers from last year to this year, and you can see it. It’s unreal. It’s gross. It’s down at least 25 percent.”

He remembers hearing the argument that nonsmokers would come out to take the place of smokers who stay home. But that hasn’t happened at Corky’s.

”Nonsmokers don’t go out anyway,” McFrye said. ”They’re the cheapest people breathing air. I’ve been in business 23 years, and I know there’s nothing cheaper than a nonsmoker. I’m really upset with it. I wish the people who voted for it would get cancer, that’s how pissed I am about it.”

McFrye built a patio for smokers so they could go outside and smoke without having to deal with rain, wind and snow. The health department, however, told him he couldn’t allow smoking on the patio because the patio’s roof and walls make it an enclosed space — and the law prohibits smoking in enclosed public spaces.

McFrye has an attorney fighting his fine and the health department’s ruling on the patio. In the meantime, he’s going to continue to let customers light up.

”I’ve got the signs up and ask them not to,” he said, ”but I’m not going to fight with anyone over smoking.”

Christ has heard that before.

”I’ve had owners tell me that as long as they’re open, they’re going to allow their customers to smoke,” she said. ”The next fine is $500. That might have a little bearing on that decision.”

At the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church on Portage Trail in Cuyahoga Falls, {bingo} business dropped by 25 percent after the smoking ban went into effect, parishioner Matt Pagni said.

Instead of breaking the law to allow smoking, the church bought propane heaters to put just outside the gym doors, along with free coffee. This spring, the church built a patio with chairs, ashtrays and an awning. Volunteers will play patrons’ bingo cards if they have to slip out for a smoke.

Now the church’s bingo business is back to at least 95 percent of what it was before the smoking ban. (So after all that extra expense, they’re still making less money.)

Bars, though, are in a different situation, said Jacob Evans, spokesman for the Ohio Licensed Beverage Association.

”We’re hearing from a lot of bars who are talking about drops in sales ranging from 30 to 40 percent, some 80 percent,” he said. ”And some say they’ve had a 100 percent drop because they’ve had to go ahead and close their doors.”

And, now, winter is on the way.

”What’s going to happen now when people have to step outside (to smoke)? If it’s bad now,” Evans said, ”it’s going to be devastating with the cold weather.”


Thursday, November 1st, 2007

A bingo hall has been forced to close after 37 years in business.

The Bingorama club in King Street, Belper, closed its doors for the last time on Tuesday.
The club’s operator, Stylus Sports, said that current pressures facing the bingo industry, such as high taxation and the smoking ban, made Bingorama economically unviable.
Managing director Peter Hargreaves said: “I have worked in the bingo industry for nearly 30 years and the current climate is the most difficult I can recall.

“If the Government continues failing to address the inequality of trading position that bingo clubs currently face, many local communities will see a familiar social facility disappear from their towns for good.

“It is with much regret and sadness that we have been forced to close Bingorama with the resulting loss of jobs and social facilities for local residents.

“I should like to thank all our staff and customers for their support over the years.”

Source: Evening Telegraph. Link

Smoking ban means number’s up for bingo hall

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

HUNDREDS of bingo players have been left without their local hall because of the smoking ban.

Despite New Century Bingo in Woolston, Southampton, having more than 4,500 members on their books and seeing some 1,500 regulars every week, bosses at the venue say it cannot carry on with people heading outside to smoke or staying at home to play online games on the internet.

Paul Redwood, acting manager of New Century Bingo in Shirley said: “Unfortunately the smoking ban is affecting bingo halls around the country. Many independent places have closed or are closing.”

Source: Daily Echo. Link


Sunday, October 21st, 2007

One in three bingo halls are facing closure because of the smoking ban.

About 600,000 customers have stayed away – a 20 per cent drop in attendance figures – since the July 1 ban in England. Industry experts believe around 200 of the country’s 634 bingo clubs will have to shut – on top of 60 closures in the last year.

They warned the threatened closures would hit hundreds of communities. Bingo Association’s Paul Talboys said: “The fabric of whole neighbourhoods will change.”

Source: Sunday Mirror.  Link

Rank (Mecca Bingo) Profits Hit By Smoking Ban

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

The Rank Group, the owners of Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos, has reported a 19% decline in its like-for-like revenues and blames the fall on the smoking ban and on the law’s effects on gaming terminals.


How the smoking ban has affected bingo halls

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

James Doolin says he’s abiding by the smoking ban and he’s lost 30% of his bingo customers as a result. What’s eating at him more than the ban is the fact other bingo parlors appear to be a little lax in their enforcement. According to the public records we requested, he may have a point.

“It’s okay for them to say that now. And it’s okay for this judge to sit on the bench and wait until Christmas, but what about our charities? What about these charities that can’t make it?” asks Doolin.

Source: Wave3.com. Link

Smoking ban hits Bingo night tills

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Smokers are staying away from bingo halls in their droves.

BINGO halls across South Wales are feeling the drag of a major profit slump six months into the smoking ban.

And managers are bracing themselves for more dwindling revenue when the colder weather soon kicks in.

The serious profit slide has been caused by smokers avoiding the big cash-generating games to catch up on a quick puff outside the buildings.

The numerous bingo halls the Echo contacted all reported a drop of between 15 to 20 per cent in revenue and workingmen’s clubs and associations where a pint and a fag go hand in hand have also said the same.

The study revealed 62 per cent of bingo players are smokers and that 33 per cent of them will play less often while 21 per cent will stop playing in clubs altogether.


Smoking ban hits Bingo night tills

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

Smokers are staying away from bingo halls in their droves. Gavin O’Connor investigates how the smoking ban is hitting the bingo hall tills

BINGO halls across South Wales are feeling the drag of a major profit slump six months into the smoking ban.

And managers are bracing themselves for more dwindling revenue when the colder weather soon kicks in.

The serious profit slide has been caused by smokers avoiding the big cash-generating games to catch up on a quick puff outside the buildings.

The numerous bingo halls the Echo contacted all reported a drop of between 15 to 20 per cent in revenue and workingmen’s clubs and associations where a pint and a fag go hand in hand have also said the same.

The company set up in the town exactly 11 years ago this month.

Kelly said when interval of the paper games takes place at 8pm, there’s a mass exodus of smokers through the door before an 8.15pm resumption.

Kelly’s friend, Alison Griffiths, 31, of Cherry Grove, Gurnos, is one of the smoking-ban casualties.

She stopped playing three months ago because of the new law.

She said: “Everything is interrupted now and you can’t enjoy it the same because it’s a different experience.

“I think a lot of people feel the same.”

South Wales’ biggest bingo operator Castle Bingo refused to comment in any way on the smoking ban but managers at competing clubs say the issue is very real and worsening.
St Minver, which operates the world’s largest bingo network, carried out a survey of 3,000 UK bingo players to find out their attitudes towards the ban.

The survey found internet gaming services would experience a boom with more and more smokers putting their feet up at home, lighting up and clicking online.

The study revealed 62 per cent of bingo players are smokers and that 33 per cent of them will play less often while 21 per cent will stop playing in clubs altogether.

Just 14 per cent of smokers said they will kick the habit so they can continue playing with 63 per cent of smokers saying they will increase the amount they spend playing online as a result of the ban.

Mambha Param, who has been manager at Riva Bingo in Splott for more than a year but involved with the industry for nearly two decades, said it was a depressing time for the bingo industry and takings at his hall were down about a fifth.

“We’ve been struggling really badly.

Workingmen’s clubs are trying different methods to combat the revenue slide.
John Gould, steward at Cilfynydd Constitutional Club, said: “The smoking ban has certainly had an effect.

“In the last couple of weeks, we have put an outside smoking area in and that’s helped.

“We had a few in for the rugby games recently but after an hour, they bought some cans and went home to watch so they could smoke as well.

Pat Grabham, stewardess at the Royal British Legion in Bridgend for 25 years, said the end of the summer season spelled frostier times at the till.

“So far we’ve been lucky because the Crown (adjacent pub) has closed – the tenants were smokers and they decided to finish. We’ve picked up some of their custom and we’re putting some money away to cope with what’s going to happen in the winter. It’s not something we’re looking forward to.”

Source: icWales.co.uk. Link

Will the smoking ban kill bingo halls?

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

The bingo industry generates billions of pounds in stake money, and employs 20,000 people throughout the UK. However, as the smoking ban in enclosed spaces is introduced, experts are predicting disaster, with up to one in three clubs facing possible closure.

In Scotland, 10 clubs have already closed down since the ban was enforced last April – and more are set to follow.

“The effect of the smoking ban in Scotland’s been a lot worse than we thought it was going to be,” says Neil Goulden, chief executive of Gala Bingo.

“We’ve actually now lost 8% of our customer base who have stopped coming altogether.”

“When you look at a loss of around 40% of your bottom line, that’s devastating, and I’m not sure as operators where we move from here,” Mr Lowe says.

Mr Lowe has already taken drastic measures by closing down two of his seven clubs, and he fears for the future.

Now, with less than six weeks to go before the smoking ban comes to England, the big companies are bracing themselves for closures.

Gala’s chief Mr Goulden predicts trouble ahead for the industry.

“We could have 200 bingo clubs closing. This could mean an enormous number of job losses and loss of amenity to local communities.”

Source: BBC News. Link

The smoking ban and Bingo halls

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

From July the 1st 2007, the smoking ban kicked in in England, and the results for bingo halls have been disastrous, seriously affecting player numbers and prize money. Some players have suggested holding Smoking Only bingo sessions, but this would be impossible legally. The only place where you will be able to smoke and play bingo now is on your computer at home.

Many bingo players are now turning to online bingo as an alternative. As this is played at home, the smoking ban has no effect on it at all – in fact, once the smoking ban starts to cover the whole of the UK, it is expected that online bingo will really take off! There is a wide choice of different sites, and we review many of them on this site.

In Scotland, a smoking ban was introduced in March 2006, and early reports indicate that this has been disastrous for the country’s bingo clubs. Income (and therefore prize money on some games) has dropped by up to 50%, and many clubs have already closed because of this. In the long term, it is estimated that up to half of the bingo clubs north of the border will shut down because of the smoking ban, and it seems very likely that when it is introduced in the rest of the UK the same thing will happen there.

Source: Bingomaniacs. Link

Smoking bans turn off bingo players

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

NEW YORK, April 25 (UPI) — Operators of charity bingo games around the United States say barring players from smoking has been bad for business.

Charlie Lindstrom, who runs games at the American Legion in Fergus Falls, Minn., told The New York Times he gets 30 to 40 players on good nights, where 50 to 75 used to show up. Many of his former players go to North Dakota or to Indian reservations.

Clyde Bock, bingo manager for the Ruth Dykeman Children’s Center in Seattle, said he was able to survive by creating a partly enclosed porch area where smokers could play.

“We actually benefited from it, but for the wrong reason — my competition was forced to close,” he told the Times.

Source: UPI Link

Williston bingo parlor closing

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

WILLISTON (AP) – The Bingo Barn is closing after 20 years, and officials say the state’s law that bans most indoor smoking is the reason.

The bingo parlor, which will shut down after its final session on Saturday, supported three charities: the Williston State College Foundation, Williston Basin Skating Club and North Dakota Association for the Disabled.

Source: The Bismark Tribune. Link

Williston bingo parlor closing

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

WILLISTON (AP) – The Bingo Barn is closing after 20 years, and officials say the state’s law that bans most indoor smoking is the reason.

The bingo parlor, which will shut down after its final session on Saturday, supported three charities: the Williston State College Foundation, Williston Basin Skating Club and North Dakota Association for the Disabled.

Officials said bingo parlor revenue dropped after the smoking ban went into effect in August 2005, but the parlor still had to pay more than $100,000 in state taxes for the fiscal year that ended June 30 of this year.

The charities said they will join others in seeking legislation next year to change tax laws for bingo parlors.

Source: Bismark Tribune. Link

Local bingos are getting smoked out

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

I hate to say, “I told you so.” Ah, who am I kidding? To be honest, I love to say, “I told you so,” especially when it comes to how the city’s smoking bylaw has negatively impacted local charity bingo halls.

Back then I quoted the concerns of Teresa Young, volunteer president of the Fort Road Bingo Association. “In places like Ontario and British Columbia where smoking was banned, bingos lost from 40% to 70% of their business and some closed down,” Young told me four years ago.

It’s said that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. But politicians turned a blind eye to the shocking figures about the loss of business in other jurisdictions.

I remember talking to several who pooh-poohed the notion that a mere smoking ban could hurt business all that much. Oh yeah? Well, I told you so.

Bingo halls in Edmonton are closing and business is bad since the full smoking ban was introduced in July 2005.

A study by the Satellite Bingo Association revealed that attendance at bingos was down 25% in the first 12 months of the smoking ban compared the previous year.
What’s more, profit from bingos that go to charities was down an alarming 53% in that time frame, or $6.8 million.

That has a direct impact on the hundreds of charities that benefit from bingo bucks – everything from boxing clubs to amateur hockey teams.

On Sunday, Crest Bingo Hall, at 3414 118 Ave., closed.

The executive director of Alberta Satellite Bingo said that makes four Edmonton halls that have closed since the July 2005 butt-ban bylaw kicked in. “The Londonderry Bingo Hall closed, so did the Palms and the Alberta Avenue community league’s,” said Alberta Satellite Bingo executive director Ian Taylor.

His organization used provincial government figures to compile the gloomy report into bingo profits.

Taylor said he sent the mayor and councillors a copy of the report but only the mayor replied – and with a short note at that. “He just said he didn’t think council had the will to reopen the smoking issue.”

Talk about your hit-and-run politics. Here we have a council that passed a bylaw that wound up crippling business and impacting charities, but the politicians just don’t give a damn.

“There’s going to be less money left for charities,” said Taylor. They’ll stop programs or look somewhere else to try to raise money.

“They’ll also look at the city to do something for them.”

They won’t have much choice but to come with cap in hand.

Kerry Hutton, who called bingo at the Crest hall, said there’s more carnage to come. “There are a few bingo halls just hanging from a string and once we get cold weather we’ll lose two or three more,” said Hutton.

Bingo volunteer Barry Croucher points out the deep drop in business cannot be attributed to anything but the smoking ban since there was no significant new competition introduced in that time frame such as new casinos and the like.

His own youth athletic club, the Wind Warriors Boxing Club, has seen its payout from an average bingo go from $700 to $750 range to $130 or so.

Croucher was one of the many people who fought against a sweeping smoking ban.
Just before it was implemented, he made a prediction as to how badly bingo business would be hit.

“I said business would be down about 50%.”

As it turned out, he was dead right.

Too bad politicians don’t listen.

Soruce: Edmonton Sun. Link

Bingo and pub firms hit by Scots ban on smoking

Saturday, August 26th, 2006

TWO leisure groups revealed yesterday that trading had been hit in Scotland since the implementation of the smoking ban last spring – with one confirming resulting job cuts.
Rank said it was cutting 200 jobs at its Mecca Bingo clubs across the UK and closing its London head office with the loss of 40 jobs as it reported a 3 per cent fall in underlying first-half profit.

Source: The Scotsman. Link expired.

Bingo profits plummet following city smoking ban

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

Edmonton-area charities are feeling the squeeze after their bingo profits plummet by $6.8 million in the year following the city smoking ban.

Edmonton-area charities are feeling the squeeze after their bingo profits plummet by $6.8 million in the year following the city smoking ban.

“To have the bingos kind of crash and burn has been a real deterrent to our programs because it’s pretty hard to replace that funding,” said Lorraine Jex, president of the city’s northeast zone sports council.

During the first full year of the puffing ban – which kicked in July 1, 2005 – the nearly 600 charities that run bingos in the Edmonton area made $6.1 million, down from $12.9 million a year earlier, according to provincial figures obtained by the Sun. That represents a whopping 53% drop.

During the past year, bingo profits in the rest of Alberta – where smoking is generally still permitted – dropped only 1%.

Jex said her organization went from making $2,500 a night to pocketing as little as $200. The money is used to maintain sports facilities like baseball diamonds and to pay registration fees for kids whose families can’t afford to. The sports council runs bingos on behalf of minor hockey, baseball and softball teams in northeast Edmonton.
Jex said so far no kids have been turned away, but her group has been forced to go to local businesses with hat in hand.

“All of that money we don’t have just means it’s that much more difficult to fund some of these kids,” Jex said.

Terry Aikens, manager of the Kensington Bingo Centre, said that, prior to the smoking ban, a charitable group could make $4,000 an evening. “Now if they can make $1,000 they’re doing good,” she said, adding attendance has also dropped by about 50% at her hall — from 400 to 200 people a night.

She said it’s getting more difficult to convince the 73 charitable organizations that use the bingo hall to continue to do so.

“They’re not making enough money to make it worth their while.”

Overall, attendance at evening bingo dropped an average of 29% in Edmonton over the past year, according to Alberta Satellite Bingo, which broadcasts games live into halls across the province.

Coun. Mike Nickel said the numbers prove the smoking ban is having economic consequences.

“Some people were saying this wasn’t going to affect anyone’s business,” he said. “Well, that’s not the case.

“People who are paying for this in the end, taking the health issue aside, have been the charities.”

But Shane Bergdahl, president of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues, said bingos had been losing their popularity, even before the indoor puffing ban.
“Revenue had been dropping off for years,” he said.

Coun. Michael Phair said this indicates it’s time for the province to consider new ways to fund charitable groups.

(Ah, the compassion of the nicotine nannies. Isn’t it inspiring?

Source: Edmonton Sun. Link

Rank Says Gaming Profit Was Hurt by Smoking Ban, Rising Costs

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

July 4 (Bloomberg) — Rank Group Plc, the U.K. owner of Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo clubs, said profit at its gaming units is “under pressure” because of increasing costs rise and a smoking ban in Scotland. The company said it will consider a sale of its Hard Rock brand.

Rising costs and a 14 percent drop in sales in Scotland following the introduction of a smoking ban is having a negative impact on earnings at Rank’s gaming divisions, the London-based company said today in a Regulatory News Service statement.

Rank plans to carry out a strategic review of Hard Rock to assess whether it should retain the division, according to the statement. Merrill Lynch is advising the company on this review, which will be completed within a “few months,” Rank said.

Rank’s shares fell 1.25 pence, or 0.6 percent, to 198.25 pence in London yesterday. The company’s shares have dropped 35 percent in 2006, the biggest drop in the 30-member FTSE 350 Travel & Leisure Index, which has gained 2.6 percent.

Source: Bloomberg.com Link

Number’s up at smoke ban bingo halls

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

ALMOST half of Scotland’s bingo halls face closure as the smoking ban takes its toll on revenues.

Five clubs have closed already, including one in the Capital operated by Carlton Bingo, while a further three are expected to shut in the next few weeks.
The Bingo Association today warned that between 30 and 40 bingo halls are at risk of closure in the longer term. The warning comes just three months after the ban came into force.

Source: The Scotsman. Link Expired.


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