BINGO players are being urged to unite behind a campaign calling for tax rates on the games to be cut.
Mecca Bingo clubs in Breightmet Fold Lane and in Moor Lane will be offering free games on Friday and at the weekend as part of its nationwide Boost Bingo campaign.
The campaign, which is being led by The Bingo Association, is calling on the Government to bring the tax rate on bingo in line with other gambling activities.
Currently, the industry is subject to a bingo duty of 20 per cent, while many other gambling pursuits are taxed at 15 per cent.
Bingo bosses are asking Bolton people to enjoy a free game of bingo and sign a petition asking for the lowering of the tax level. David Barker, manager at Mecca Bingo in Moor Lane said: “Bingo is a much loved game in Bolton and across the country.
“That’s why it’s so important for people to support the Boost Bingo campaign by coming down to play the free games this weekend.
“The unfair tax burden is putting financial pressures on clubs like mine and preventing new investment, new jobs and new clubs.
“I’m urging customers to go to their bingo club this weekend, play the free bingo games and sign our petition.”
The free games in Bolton will take place in the afternoon and evening of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Nearly 400 bingo clubs across the country will be taking part in the Boost Bingo launch weekend.
One player who will have his “eyes down” is Bolton North East MP David Crausby, who is backing the campaign and will be playing a game at the Mecca in Breightmet Fold Lane on Friday.
He said: “I am very supportive of on-site bingo — I am not as supportive of the on-line version as my impression is that it is similar to on-line gambling.
“I fully support the lowering of the tax on the type of bingo where people go out and meet up with friends to play — I think there is a big difference between the two.”
Mr Crausby added that his bingo skills may be a bit rusty as he has not played in a while.
He added: “I think the last time I played was about 40 years ago, so we will see how it goes.”
For more information on the Boost Bingo campaign, visit boostbingo.co.uk The two participating clubs in Bolton can be contacted on 01204-524096 (Moor Lane) or 01204-398321 (Breightmet Fold Lane).