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Top Ten Bingo is loser as income squeeze sees takings halve

Sarah Bridge, Financial Mail On Sunday

17:29 EST, 21 December 2013


17:29 EST, 21 December 2013

Unlucky: Top Ten Bingo posted a loss of £3.7million

Unlucky: Top Ten Bingo posted a loss of £3.7million

Britain’s third largest bingo operator Top Ten Bingo has recorded a huge fall in turnover and big losses as the sector toils with an ageing customer base, the rise in online bingo and the squeeze on consumer spending.

The operator of 29 clubs, which is headquartered in St Albans, Hertfordshire, said in its latest report and accounts that turnover in the year to March 2013 plunged from £25 million to £13.7million and it had made a loss of £3.7million.

The loss compares with a £9.4 million profit the year before, but that was due to a large VAT refund.
In notes to the accounts, the directors said business ‘suffered badly from the reduction in customers’ disposable income’.

They added: ‘Until there is an improvement there is little likelihood of a return to former levels of trading.’

The sector has fought a long battle with Revenue Customs over which forms of bingo are subject to VAT.

Last year Top Ten received an £11million refund for payments made over the past decade.

But other tax claims are ongoing and Top Ten may have to repay £3.3 million if an appeal by the Revenue is successful.

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