Myth: It will be bad for bingoWhat ASH omitted, as is their wont, is that their own reference actually reported a decline in fortune for Mecca immediately following the ban.
In the lead up to the smoking ban, pro smoking groups argued that the smokefree legislation was going to be particularly detrimental for both the profitability and long term outcomes of Bingo, with smokers more likely to stay home and use online gaming sites.
Reality: Gaming group Rank, which has 86 clubs in England said it was encouraged by performance at its Mecca bingo, with company shares up by 8.75%.
Like-for-like revenues fell by 4.4 per cent at its English bingo clubs in the first weeks of the banThree and a bit years on, the true 'profitability and long term outcomes' of the industry can be assessed. And it's not pretty.
TWO bingo halls a month are closing and hundreds are fighting for survival because of plunging attendance figures.I think we can now safely say that ASH were comprehensively wrong on that particular
A new study shows that profits in Britain’s once-booming bingo industry have nosedived since the smoking ban in July 2007.
As well as emptier halls, clubs have suffered a double blow because fruit machines used to generate up to half their income. But revenue from using them has dropped a third to £575million a year because players go outside to smoke rather than play machines between games.
In five years the number of UK clubs has dropped from 678 to 526 – with 25 closing last year alone.
Accountants Ernst & Young warn that many clubs are close to a 1,000-visits-per-week “tipping point” and more drops could put them out of business.
Profits halved from £250million in 2006 to £125million last year as players fell from five million to 2.5 million.
Myths and Realities of Smokefree England already has the makings of a fascinating historical document. With one or two possible exceptions that can be argued over, all of the so-called 'myths' have turned out to be true and all of ASH's 'realities' have turned out to be myths. And it took less than 3 years.Well, you'd think so, wouldn't you? Especially considering this woeful incompetence is financed by large sums of - now scarce - public money.
With the review of the smoking ban coming up in July, one would hope that the chasm between what ASH said would happen and what actually happened might come under scrutiny. It should certainly make policy-makers question ASH's credibility when it comes to passing further laws.
And incompetence it truly is since the original report reveals a human cost** not mentioned by the Mirror.
In line with the negative trend within the bingo industry and the continued evidence of club closures, industry employment has fallen in recent years. There were 12,256 employees in the industry in 2009. This represents a decline of 29% from the 2006 figure of 17,152 employeesThat's a very precise figure (unlike the pretend numbers ASH routinely pull out of their derrières) of nearly 5,000 real, productive job losses attributable to hideous bastards such as ASH and their fellow tobacco control tax scroungers. It could be worse too, as this only counts those directly employed - the report also points to 0.76 losses in supply trades for every employee lost to the bingo industry.
And just to further highlight the objectionable nature of policies promoted by anti-smoking rent-seekers.
[...] the greatest proportion of bingo clubs are located in areas with relatively low median earnings. It therefore follows that a reduction in employment in the bingo industry is likely to be concentrated in low income areas.Yes, that's right. ASH - who perpetually attempt to justify their lucre-motivated agenda as reducing inequality - are actively working to throw the less well off out of employment while they themselves continue to roll in state-funded lolly.
What's more, as they count their cash and enjoy a comfortable life on the back of the tax taken from the labours of others, ASH will doubtless also not give a stuff about the real, but incalculable, unhappiness they have caused by destroying bingo.
Former bingo caller Jim Bowen understands how much the game means to millions of fans.Contrary to the laughable departure from reality promoted by money-grubbing tobacco control advocates, the smoking ban has indeed been "particularly detrimental for both the profitability and long term outcomes" of the bingo industry, just as predicted. It has also turned low income families into no income families, and closures have brought misery and seclusion to the lives of many thousands of people.
"A lot of people who play bingo are widows, people whose husbands have died or are ill, and they're carers, and they manage to get two hours away from the strain and stress and demands of domestic life."
How proud they must feel.
** The impact on ordinary people is what is important here since the Bingo Association are hardly blameless for their demise.