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Research Shows UK Bingo Can Weather Economy


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This week leading professional financial services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers
(PwC) released extensive research which clearly shows that of all the forms of
gambling available in the United Kingdom today, land-based bingo is
likely to weather the current economic downturn the best.

Said UK head of gaming for PwC, David Trunkfield, ‘When you consider the
relationship between consumer spending, gross domestic product, unemployment and
spending on different types of gaming, bingo has emerged as the least cyclical
form of UK gaming while casinos are the most cyclical.’

According to Trunkfield, during the current recession people in the UK are more
likely to be drawn to small stakes gaming, such as bingo games, lottery tickets
and amusement machines that offer prizes. In contrast, high stakes gaming, such
as casino gambling and sports betting, is likely to fare worse.

A reason for this, says Trunkfield, is the demographic attracted to bingo,
lotteries and amusement machines, which consists largely of people insulated
from the financial crises. They rely mostly on pension income, and their
disposable income will rise as inflation drops regarding utility and food bills.

A PwC analysis conducted in 2008 showed that discretionary spend within the UK’s
core bingo demographic dropped by approximately 100 pounds that year as a direct
result of inflationary factors. But as those factors begin to wane, spending on
bingo is expected to rise this year by around 50 pounds.

However, PwC is quick to point out that while this bodes well for the country’s
bingo industry, any upturn it may experience will be relative, after the
industry was hard hit in 2007 following the introduction of a smoking ban in
England and Wales, followed by Gambling Act changes to machine regulations.

What this means is that the performance of the UK bingo industry is likely to be
static this year, with revenues forecasted to come in at least 3 percent lower
than last year. However, compared to most other forms of UK gambling which will
face far higher drops in revenues, bingo is not looking so bad.

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