Southend arcade owners to meet Tory MP

13/06/2011

Graham Rawlinson of Fantasia Amusements and fellow Southend seafront traders are working hard to highlight the problems facing amusement arcades, should the new machine gaming tax come into force.

Mr. Rawlinson was quoted in an article run by the Essex Echo as follows: “This could be the death knell for the seaside arcade.The seafront will be dead. It will not only impact on us, it will hit all the pubs and social clubs – anybody with gaming machines of any type.

“We don’t earn much as a business from them. About 30 to 40 years ago, money flooded through the doors, but now the percentages are much smaller. Last year, we suffered big losses with the recession and because of Southend Council’s City Beach work.”

He also pointed out many amusement arcades currently avoided paying any duty because they were classified as family entertainment centres.

The new tax would impose extra charges on top of amusement arcade annual licence fees, which were increased by the 2005 Gaming Act.

In Southend, five arcades have closed in recent years because of poor trading. Ten more are struggling on.

The Government is consulting arcade traders about the proposals, but has said it hopes to bring in the new duty by early 2013.

Some Southend traders are to meet James Duddridge, Rochford and Southend East’s Tory MP soon.

Mr Duddridge said: “It will be at this meeting they will provide me with the details of the concerns.What I would say at this point is the proposals are still undergoing a public consultation. I urge all interested parties to partake in the consultation to ensure their concerns are considered.”

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I am afraid the echo never seems to get it right “machines that have avoided tax 2 should be machines that are license tax exempt . I have arranged a meeting with our MP with the backing of at least 4 councillors. Lets see what happens

Graham Rawlinson
14/06/2011, 08:45

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