THIS Friday Gala Bingo in Basingstoke is offering customers the opportunity to play free games to mark the nationwide launch of the Boost Bingo campaign.

It will be eyes down on Friday afternoon and evening as well as on Saturday and Sunday as customers play the Boost Bingo free games.

The club on Basingstoke Leisure Park will be among close to 400 bingo clubs across the UK taking part during the Boost Bingo launch weekend.

The campaign, led by The Bingo Association, calls on the Government to bring tax on bingo in line with other popular leisure pursuits.

Most other gambling activities are taxed at 15 per cent, but the bingo industry has been subjected to bingo duty at 20 per cent. The campaign is calling for the Government to lower the tax burden, which the association says is preventing investment, modernisation and job creation.

Gala Bingo’s Basingstoke manager James Campbell, said: Bingo is a much loved game in Basingstoke and across the country and that’s why it’s so important for people to support the Boost Bingo campaign by coming down to play the Boost Bingo 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.”

Miles Baron, chief executive of The Bingo Association, said: “Reducing the tax on bingo will enable clubs to invest in their future.

“More investment means more jobs and more thriving bingo communities. If bingo duty is lowered from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, the industry as a whole has committed to substantial investment in new premises, modernisation and jobs.

“We hope that people across the country will come together for the launch of the Boost Bingo campaign this weekend.”