New gambling tax will kill seafront arcades

NEW taxes on gaming machines could kill off the area’s seafront amusement arcades, traders fear.

The Government is considering levying a new machine games duty on the profits of all machines which pay cash prizes.

At the moment, arcades only have to pay duty on machines which pay jackpots of £500 or more.

Arcade owners are warning the new tax would would hit them hard and close many arcades.

Graham Rawlinson, owner of Fantasia Amusements, in Eastern Esplanade, Southend, said: “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.