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Margaret Hodge MP visits Mecca Bingo in Dagenham

Margaret Hodge MP visits Mecca Bingo in Dagenham

Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP for Barking and Dagenham, visited Mecca Bingo in Dagenham on Friday 12th November to see at first hand the look and feel of the newly relaunched club.

Following a £1.5m refurbishment, the new-look club features different zones to fit different moods, including a Social Lounge and new late-night entertainment. Those who like a more traditional bingo experience can still play paper-based bingo in either the main auditorium or the new Social Lounge. But for those who are looking for a more modern experience, there is the option to play on the Electronic Bingo Terminals called E-Bingo which can be played anywhere in the club.

Ms Hodge, who called the bingo during her visit, also spoke to Sue Thornton, Mecca Dagenham’s General Manager about how the industry is being damaged by excessive and unfair taxation.

It is widely recognised that bingo clubs play an important role within their communities, bringing people together and aiding social inclusion. Despite this, bingo clubs remain subject to a higher rate of taxation (20% Gross Profit Tax) than other forms of gambling, including online bingo (15%) and high street bookmakers (15%).

Sue Thornton from Mecca Dagenham said she was delighted that Margaret had visited her local club. Sue said: “We appreciate Margaret taking time out of her busy schedule to visit the new-look club and talk to the team members about the social importance of bingo and its place in the local community.”

Margaret said: “This is my first visit to the club following the relaunch and I am very impressed with the refurbishment. The club looks great and the team members are very enthusiastic and proud of the club so I am sure all the customers will have a great time when there. Mecca Bingo is investing in the future of bingo so it’s important that we continue to campaign for a fair tax regime. Most of the people who play bingo use it as an opportunity for social interaction and there is no logic as to why it pays more tax than other forms of gambling.”

Following her visit to Mecca Bingo, Ms Hodge has become a member of theAll Party Parliamentary Group on Bingo. The Group represents the interests of the bingo industry in Parliament and is embarking on a programme of activity to ensure that parliamentarians are kept abreast of the industry’s developments and issues.

Margaret Hodge MP visits Mecca Bingo in Dagenham

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