Rating Manual section 6 part 3: valuation of all property classes

Section 120: bingo halls

This publication is intended for Valuation Officers. It may contain links to internal resources that are not available through this version.

1. Scope

This section covers the valuation of bingo halls.

Background history

The game of bingo became a very popular low priced form of gambling following the liberalisation of the gaming laws in 1960. This liberalisation allowed those people who wished to gamble to do so, whilst continuing to prohibit commercial exploitation.

Cinema premises were found to be particularly suitable for this purpose when the game was introduced and developed across the country. During the mid-1960s many cinemas, which were suffering from poor attendance, converted wholly or partly to bingo. Although the popularity of bingo suffered a decline, a decade or so later major operators responded by embarking on an extensive programme of refurbishment in the mid-1980s to improve the environment in which the game was played in order to attract a wider spectrum and new generation of players.

Also during the mid-1980s the introduction of mechanised cash bingo and the “National Game” helped to increase the potential of bingo clubs. The combination of these new games and refurbishment programmes significantly slowed down the decline in numbers of licensed clubs.

In the early 1990s a move developed towards the building of large purpose built and converted clubs in out-of-town locations. These usually have good access to major roads and extensive parking. To increase the number of participants, occupiers may have to arrange to bus-in players.

2. List description and special category code

Primary description code: LT2
List Description: Bingo Hall and Premises
Scat Code 025 - Suffix S

3. Responsible Teams

This is a specialist class of property, to be valued by Specialists in each Business Unit.

4. Co-ordination

The Class Co-Ordination Team has overall responsibility for the co-ordination of this class.The team is responsible for approach, accuracy and consistency of valuations. The team will deliver Practice Notes describing the valuation basis for revaluation and provide advice as necessary during the life of the rating lists. Caseworkers and referencers have a responsibility to:

*follow the advice given at all times *not depart from the guidance given on appeals or maintenance work without approval from the co-ordination team *seek advice from the co-ordination team before starting any new work

There are three types of licence that bingo halls operators need to possess:

*an operating licence *a personal management licence *and a premises licence

The Gambling Commission issues operating licences and personal licences (under the Gambling Act 2005); premises licences are issued by local licensing authorities (under the Licensing Act 2003).

6. Survey requirements

Bingo halls should be measured to gross internal area (GIA) in accordance with the VOA Code of Measuring Practice for Rating Purposes.

The survey should include the following information:

The type of premises, previous use where known, age, construction, services (including heating and/or air conditioning), whether recently refurbished, number of seats, type extent and quality of ancillary facilities, gaming machines, parking, location, transport links, existing and proposed competition, competing or complementing leisure attractions in the area, etc.

7. Survey capture

Surveys and plans should be stored in the property folder of the Electronic Document Records Management (EDRM) system.

8. Valuation approach

8.1 Rental method

The principal method of valuing bingo halls will be the rental method, as a significant body of rental evidence exists. It will be necessary to adjust inclusive or shell rents in terms of rateable value.

For comparison purposes, rents should be analysed in terms of a percentage of gross receipts. As rental evidence for the new purpose built and newly converted clubs is likely to be significantly higher than for a typical older club in a converted cinema it is important to ensure a like with like comparison is being made.

Rents on new purpose built clubs are typically of a shell unit, with substantial additional sums being spent on fitting out the premises. Full details of fitting out costs, including additional floor space provided, should be sought, with a breakdown between rateable and non- rateable works if possible.

8.2 Receipts and expenditure basis

It is anticipated that for each rating list the analysis of rental information will enable a scheme of valuation to be agreed with the agents who represent the bingo industry. In the absence of such a scheme, and also any direct rental evidence or suitable rented comparables, a receipts and expenditure valuation could be adopted where full accounts are available.

Rental evidence and valuations on the receipts and expenditure basis should be expressed in terms of gross receipts to enable comparison with other similar hereditaments.

Comparison of rental evidence and valuations between similar clubs can also be made in terms of gross internal area and number of seats.

8.3 Sources of income

(i) The main game

Licensed bingo operators are allowed to run certain games, and to obtain their income from several sources. Bingo operators can charge an admission and/or participation fee, which they may retain. All stake money is returned to the players as prize money. The operator is allowed to provide “added prize money” up to a weekly limit. This gives the operator flexibility to increase the prize or to guarantee a certain level, even if the stake does not cover this.

(ii) Linked bingo

This is where a number of clubs link together to aggregate their stakes and play a joint game of bingo. There is a maximum weekly prize to be shared amongst the clubs in the link, which is set and periodically reviewed by the Gambling Commission.

(iii) The national game

This was introduced in 1986 and is run by a company set up specifically for the purpose. Essentially, it allows bingo clubs throughout the country to play a single game of bingo. It is available to all member clubs on payment of a fee, and is played every evening for a very substantial prize at a level which it set and reviewed by the Gambling Commission.

(iv) Mechanised cash bingo

This is an interval game using computerised table-top equipment. There is a limit to the maximum numbers of players.

(v) Gaming machines

In many clubs substantial numbers of gaming machines provide significant net profits

(vi) Catering

The extensively refurbished and modern purpose built clubs in particular have recognised the importance of revenue from food and drink as a part of the total potential profit.

8.4 Valuation considerations

8.4.1 Gross receipts for rating purposes

It is accepted that the stake money does not form part of the gross receipts, as the operator has no interest in it. For analysis and valuation purposes stake money should not therefore be included in gross receipts. Details of the following income streams, exclusive of VAT and Gross Profit Tax/Bingo Duty, should be sought:

a. admissions

b. meals and refreshments

c. car parks

d. gaming machines (excluding prize money)

e. prize and mechanised bingo

f. participation fees

g. all other receipts.

8.4.2 Location and Design

It is important that clubs are in locations accessible to their likely customer base, have reliable bus services and that the area is safe. Car parking should be well lit and nearby, if not part of the hereditament.

Modern clubs in out-of-town locations will benefit from a modern design and facilities and well laid out car parks, but may require the transportation of members where there are inadequate bus services. This may be an added cost to the operator if not recoverable from those using the service. Conversely, an out-of-town location is likely to attract a new, younger customer base that is more likely to be car drivers.

The size of the catchment population and competition is also important, as prize money is dependent on the stake provided by those at the session. The only exception to this is the “National Game” and linked bingo.

A combined heating/cooling system is beneficial to allow a comfortable temperature at all times within the club.

8.4.3 Competition

The nature and extent of local competition is of course a major factor in determining the level of receipts, profitability and value of a bingo club. A new modern, purpose built, out-of-town club is likely to have a major impact on existing clubs, although it is also likely to generate a significant number of people who have not played bingo before.

As well as the direct effect on admissions, the added competition leads to promotions using added prize money to maintain market share. It also restricts the ability to charge the maximum admission fee.

9. Valuation support

All valuations should be entered onto the Non-Bulk Server under the relevant Scat Code.

Other support available:

  • Survaid

  • Class Co-ordination Team

Practice note: 2017 - bingo halls

1. Market appraisal

The Bingo Industry has continued to suffer in the aftermath of the 2007 Smoking Ban and the gaming machine restrictions introduced under the Gambling Act 2005 - effective from later in the same year (September). However a lifeline was thrown to the industry in 2009 when the Gambling Act 2005 (Gaming Machines in Bingo Premises) Order 2009 was introduced increasing the number of machines allowed in bingo clubs. From 2009 to 2014 three amendments were made to the Act increasing the amount of winnings receivable from gaming machines on the premises. According to a 2015 industry report from Mintel, “B3 slots” (jackpot machines) are generating more than three times the gross gambling yield (GGY) that they did five years ago, in fact machines have now surpassed main stage bingo in revenue terms.

A further boost was given to the industry in 2014 when the Bingo Duty (Gross Profit Tax) was cut by the Chancellor from 20% to 10%, this translates to substantial savings for bingo companies. Following the announcement, Mecca, Gala, Castle Bingo and Crown Bingo announced that they would increase investment through refurbishment of sites and job creation. In addition Mecca pledged to open three new sites.

However, it remains to be seen whether this change will have the necessary impact to arrest the ongoing decline, both in terms of revenue and customer visits. While bingo revenues slipped back into decline in 2013 and 2014, Mintel expects the cut in Bingo Duty to offer some relief in the current year. However, continuing problems of declining footfall and lack of money to invest in new promotions and formats remain in the background. While the Bingo Duty cut has had an immediate positive impact on prizes, smaller operators are still finding it difficult to invest in their businesses on a genuinely transformational scale and the stream of closures seen over the past 7 years is expected to continue. The advance of on-line gambling in recent times will inevitably reduce the need for a physical presence.

2. Changes from the last practice note

There have been no changes to the main principles of the 2010 valuation scheme. The valuation scale has been revised to reflect the market knowledge currently available.

3. Ratepayer discussions

Contact has been made with the leading agents for the industry. Discussions will be ongoing in the period prior to compilation with a view to securing agreement on the scheme before that date.

4. Valuation scheme

This scheme should be applied to all 2017 Rating List assessments of bingo halls in England and Wales.

The initial valuation consideration is to determine the Fair Maintainable Trade (FMT) as at the Antecedent Valuation Date (AVD), 1 April 2015. Two valuation scales, by reference to gross turnover and derived from an analysis of the available evidence, have been produced and are set out in Appendix 1.

4.1 Fair Maintainable Trade (FMT)

FMT is an estimate of annual receipts that could be derived by occupying the property and conducting the bingo operation with the skill and expertise that could reasonably be expected from a potential tenant of the hereditament. This figure will represent the gross annual receipts from all sources (exclusive of VAT and Gross Profit Tax) but disregarding both stake money from the game and prize money from gaming machines that is returned to players.

4.2 Rental percentages

The rental percentages to be applied to FMT are set out in Appendix 1

Scale A - applies only to bingo halls in converted cinemas, theatres or concert halls Scale B - applies to purpose built bingo halls, and all others not covered by Scale A

4.3 Promotional activity

In order to maintain or achieve market share, many operators will engage in promotional activities. This can include the buying-in of trade through such methods as additional prize money, bussing in of customers etc. Such expenditure may be incurred in the following circumstances:

  • to defend against competitor activity
  • to promote the re-launch of a club following re-badging or refurbishment
  • to promote the launch of a new club

Where such expenditure can be demonstrated as being considerably in excess of industry norms, adopted fair maintainable AVD receipts may require adjustment to a level which could have been anticipated if that excessive expenditure had not been made. Appendix 1 sets out the bases for adjustment.

4.4 Other factors affecting value

4.4.1 Physical attributes:

For bingo halls in converted cinemas, theatres or concert halls valued on Scale A, the level of FMT adopted and the lower scale reflect the physical factors affecting both income and running costs. The scale reflects the disadvantages of this older type of property and no further end allowances should be made.

A modern purpose built bingo hall will normally be valued at the percentage determined for the level of fair maintainable trade on Scale B. No allowance is warranted for purpose built units constructed post 1990, irrespective of whether ground floor or first floor.

For converted property, valued on Scale B, an allowance may be made to reflect physical disabilities or disadvantages that are not reflected in the adopted gross receipts. Examples of such disadvantages might include a main entrance to the property being at a different floor level to the bingo hall with no escalator access, awkward access, poor ground floor entrance facilities, intrusive pillars, shape, low ceiling height and duplication of entrances at different levels or where there is more than one public entrance to the club necessitating dual staffing. The best modern conversions may not warrant any allowance, but other converted property is expected to attract an allowance in the range of 2.5% - 10%.

A small proportion of bingo halls, whilst not operating in former cinemas, theatres or concert halls, have considerably inferior characteristics compared with modern conversions and a higher end allowance will be appropriate in these cases. Whilst not an exhaustive list, these conversions may be from former bowling alleys, ice rinks, swimming baths, car parks or bus depots. These will suffer from a combination of several of the above factors, and be severely affected by one or more, leading to consideration of a higher level of allowance. In exceptional cases, end allowances of up to 25% may be considered. These are normally expected to apply only to properties that were first converted to bingo use before 1990.

4.4.2 Size relative to turnover

This will only affect properties valued on scale B.

With markedly reduced admissions post the Smoking Ban a situation has arisen where at certain levels of turnover the property is over-sized relative to the income yield. In order to address this in value terms, adjustments to RVs should be applied in accordance with the following:

For halls greater than 2,750 square metres (sqm) GIA where the adjusted FMT is below £2m a maximum of a 5% downward adjustment may be made.

For halls greater than 2,250 sqm up to 2,750 sqm GIA where the adjusted FMT is below £1.5m a maximum of a 5% downward adjustment may also be made.

In both cases the highest adjustments will apply to the lowest in the range of FMTs encountered.

4.4.3 Approach to applying allowances/adjustments

Where appropriate, any allowances/adjustments for the factors outlined above should be made direct to the Rateable Value that would have been derived without any end allowances and not to the adopted fair maintainable trade.

4.4.4 Total effect of allowances/adjustments

Following all justified allowances/adjustments to B scale properties the resultant RV will never be less than the following:

Where the FMT is greater than or equal to £1.25m the RV will never be less than the scale A percentage to RV plus 0.25%.

Where the FMT is less than £1.25m the RV will never be less than the scale A percentage to RV.

4.5 Application of this scheme

Whilst it is intended that this scheme should enable the assessments of all bingo halls to be determined correctly, the opportunity for properties to be valued outside its terms is not precluded where exceptional circumstances would otherwise make its application inappropriate.

Practice note: 2017 - Appendix 1

Scale A

All Bingo Halls in converted cinemas, theatres or concert halls

Fair Maintainable Trade £ Percentage
Below 375,000 3.50 - 4.50
375,000 4.50
625,000 5.0
875,000 5.50
1,750,000 6.0
3,000,000 (and above) 7.25

Interpolate between points

Scale B

All purpose built Bingo Halls and converted Bingo Halls (where Scale A is not appropriate)

Fair Maintainable Trade £ Percentage
625,000 (and below) 5.0
875,000 5.50
1,250,000 6.50
1,875,000 7.5
2,500,000 (and above) 8.0

Interpolate between points

Promotional Expenditure

Background

For 2000 Rating Lists a scale of deductions to be adopted was agreed. For the 2005 Rating Lists the upheaval experienced in the market at 1 April 1998 had settled down by 1 April 2003. Promotional expenditure had reverted back to “normal” levels at AVD and for most properties there was no need to adjust for excessive promotional expenditure. There is no evidence that this situation has changed since then so the 2005 approach should be continued.

The exceptions to generally there being no need for adjustment for promotional expenditure are:

  • where existing units respond to the opening of new units with increased, defensive spend for a time as they seek to maintain turnover. The trading pattern over a longer period should then indicate the maintainable admission and turnover levels to be adopted at the AVD as increased promotional expenditure drops back to “normal” levels

  • a tiny number of operators that, as a matter of course, run their business by spending higher than the normal amounts of promotional expenditure compared with other operators. This needs to be reflected

Promotional expenditure is added prize money, gifts and additional prizes, printing and postage of special promotional flyers, bussing-in/out of customers and live entertainment.

Traditional Conversions (scale A)

Examination of levels of promotional expenditure for traditional conversions throws up a wider range of percentages to gross receipts, especially where independent operators are concerned, and at low levels of annual receipts compared with flat floor units. Levels of 15-25% are evident for some very modest turnover properties, but although these percentages seem high, they are relatively small amounts in absolute terms. At levels of turnover below £375,000 Scale A reflects the lower profitability and levels of expenditure incurred and no further adjustment should be made for excessive promotional expenditure.

To accommodate those properties where higher promotional expenditure is incurred, the following adjustment to gross receipts should be adopted:

Promotional Expenditure as a proportion of Gross Receipts (if greater than £375,000) Percentage of Promotional Expenditure in excess of 13% of Gross Receipts allowable as a deduction from adopted Receipts
Under 13% No adjustment
13% 10%
14% 20%
15% 30%
16% 40%
17% 50%
18% 60%
19% 70%
20% plus 75%

Interpolate between percentage points

Flat floor units (scale B)

Most modern flat floor units appear to have a stable profile of promotional expenditure within a range of up to10%. Where excessive promotional expenditure occurs, an adjustment to gross receipts should be made as set out below:

Promotional Expenditure as a proportion of Gross Receipts

Percentage of Promotional Expenditure in excess of 10% of Gross Receipts allowable as a deduction from adopted Receipts

Promotional Expenditure as a proportion of Gross Receipts Percentage of Promotional Expenditure in excess of 10% of Gross Receipts allowable as a deduction from adopted receipts
11% 10%
12% 20%
13% 30%
14% 40%
15% 50%
16% 55%
17% 60%
18% 65%
19% 70%
20% plus 75%

Interpolate between percentage points

Practice Note 1: 2010 - Bingo Halls

1. Co-ordination arrangements

This is a Specialist Class. Responsibility for implementing the scheme as set out within this practice note lies with the assigned specialist(s) as does responsibility for ensuring effective co-ordination. Co-ordination responsibilities are set out in Rating Manual S6: Pt 1 For R2010 Special category code 025 should be used; as a specialist class the appropriate suffix letter should be S.

2. Background

2.1 Market appraisal between 2005 and 2010 lists

Increasing competition from online bingo sites and falling admissions driven by an ageing customer base did not prevent the bingo market continuing to increase in profitability from 2003 to mid 2007. This was due to increasingly sophisticated methods the operators used to increase spend per head, such as combining clubs for a national high jackpot game; introduction of mobile gaming technology allowing customers to play anywhere in the club and improved quality of non-bingo sales such as food and drink. As a consequence some rents continued to show increases up to and including those set in 2006.

As the implementation of the Smoking Ban approached on 2 April 2007 for Wales and 1 July 2007 for England, operators took various steps, such as more mobile gaming technology and the introduction of smoking shelters, seeking to offset any impact, based on experience of the earlier introduction of the Ban in Scotland. In spite of this the industry seemed for the most part to be caught out by the dramatic effects on its business with the development pipeline continuing to provide new units for some time to come.

In fact, following the implementation of the Smoking Ban admissions were significantly down whilst spend per head also decreased; the combined outcome was a significant fall in net profit. The downward pressure on receipts continued from 1 September 2007 when the gaming machine regulation changes under the Gambling Act 2005 were introduced for bingo clubs, limiting them to four category B3 or B4 machines. There has been a relaxation of this subsequently in early 2009 to allow more category B3 machines.

2.2 Outlook at AVD (1 April 2008) and beyond

The general economic climate at the antecedent valuation date (AVD) was more challenging than was the case in 2003 with a much greater air of uncertainty around the proportion of disposable income that might be directed to leisure pursuits such as bingo.

Since the Smoking Ban there has been little activity in the rental market for bingo halls. Those reviews that have been activated have seen nil increases. In the 2/3 years after AVD landlord/tenant negotiations have focused on restructuring existing leases and on property transfers involving revised terms and different occupiers. A considerable number of clubs have actually closed for good. Significantly lower levels of rental value have been evidenced. That said, it is important that only expectations as foreseeable at AVD are reflected in the basis for rating valuations.

3. Valuation

3.1 Valuation scheme

Following analysis of all relevant information, and discussions with agents representing the leading bingo hall operators and the Bingo Association, the valuation approach for the 2010 rating lists has been agreed. This scheme should be applied to all 2010 rating list assessments of bingo halls in England and Wales.

The initial valuation consideration is to determine the fair maintainable trade (FMT) as at the antecedent valuation date (AVD), 1 April 2008. Given the exceptional circumstances affecting the industry towards the end of 2007 it is appropriate to consider turnovers and trends evidenced in the period to September 2008 when establishing the level of FMT to be applied. Two valuation scales, by reference to gross turnover and derived from an analysis of the available evidence, have been produced and are set out in Appendix A.

3.2 Fair Maintainable Trade (FMT)

FMT is an estimate of annual receipts that could be derived by occupying the property and conducting the bingo operation with the skill and expertise that could reasonably be expected from a potential tenant of the hereditament. This figure will represent the gross annual receipts from all sources (exclusive of VAT and Gross Profit Tax) but disregarding both stake money from the game and prize money from gaming machines that is returned to players.

3.3 Rental percentages

The rental percentages to be applied to FMT are set out in Appendix A.

Scale A - applies only to bingo halls in converted cinemas, theatres or concert halls

Scale B - applies to purpose-built bingo halls, and all others not covered by Scale A

3.4 Promotional activity

In order to maintain or achieve market share, many operators will engage in promotional activities. This can include the buying-in of trade through such methods as additional prize money, bussing in of customers etc. Such expenditure may be incurred in the following circumstances:

  • to defend against competitor activity
  • to promote the re-launch of a club following re-badging or refurbishment
  • to promote the launch of a new club

Where such expenditure can be demonstrated as being considerably in excess of industry norms, adopted fair maintainable AVD receipts may require adjustment to a level which could have been anticipated if that excessive expenditure had not been made. Appendix A sets out the bases for adjustment.

3.5 Other factors affecting value

3.5.1 Physical attributes:

For bingo halls in converted cinemas, theatres or concert halls valued on Scale A, the level of FMT adopted and the lower scale reflect the physical factors affecting both income and running costs. The scale reflects the disadvantages of this older type of property and no further end allowances should be made. A modern purpose-built bingo hall will normally be valued at the percentage determined for the level of fair maintainable trade on Scale B. No allowance is warranted for purpose built units constructed post 1990, irrespective of whether ground floor or first floor.

For converted property, valued on Scale B, an allowance may be made to reflect physical disabilities or disadvantages that are not reflected in the adopted gross receipts. Examples of such disadvantages might include a main entrance to the property being at a different floor level to the bingo hall with no escalator access, awkward access, poor ground floor entrance facilities, intrusive pillars, shape, low ceiling height and duplication of entrances at different levels or where there is more than one public entrance to the club necessitating dual staffing. The best modern conversions may not warrant any allowance, but other converted property is expected to attract an allowance in the range of 2.5% - 10%.

A small proportion of bingo halls, whilst not operating in former cinemas, theatres or concert halls, have considerably inferior characteristics compared with modern conversions and a higher end allowance will be appropriate in these cases. Whilst not an exhaustive list, these conversions may be from former bowling alleys, ice rinks, swimming baths, car parks or bus depots. These will suffer from a combination of several of the above factors, and be severely affected by one or more, leading to consideration of a higher level of allowance. In exceptional cases, end allowances of up to 25% may be considered. These are normally expected to apply only to properties that were first converted to bingo use before 1990.

3.5.2 Size relative to turnover:

This will only affect properties valued on scale B.

With markedly reduced admissions post the Smoking Ban a situation has arisen where at certain levels of turnover the property is over-sized relative to the income yield. In order to address this in value terms, adjustments to RVs should be applied in accordance with the following:

For halls greater than 2,750 square metres (sqm) GIA where the adjusted FMT is below £1.75m a maximum of a 5% downward adjustment may be made.

For halls greater than 2,250 sqm up to 2,750 sqm GIA where the adjusted FMT is below £1.20m a maximum of a 5% downward adjustment may also be made.

In both cases the highest adjustments will apply to the lowest in the range of FMTs encountered.

3.5.3 Approach to applying allowances/adjustments

Where appropriate, any allowances/adjustments for the factors outlined above should be made direct to the Rateable Value that would have been derived without any end allowances and not to the adopted fair maintainable trade.

3.5.4 Total effect of allowances/adjustments

Following all justified allowances/adjustments to B scale properties the resultant RV will never be less than the following:

Where the FMT is greater than or equal to £1m the RV will never be less than the scale A percentage to RV plus 0.25%.

Where the FMT is less than £1m the RV will never be less than the scale A percentage to RV.

This property is valued using the non-bulk server. The manual can be accessed here.

4. Application of this scheme

Whilst it is intended that this guide should enable the assessments of all bingo halls to be determined correctly, the opportunity for properties to be valued outside its terms is not precluded where exceptional circumstances would otherwise make its application inappropriate.

5. IT support

All valuations should be entered onto the Non-Bulk Server under the relevant Scat Code.

Practice note 1: 2010 - appendix A bingo halls

Scale A

All Bingo Halls in converted cinemas, theatres or concert halls

Fair Maintainable Trade £ Percentage
Below 300,000 3.50-4.50
300,000 4.50
500,000 5.0
700,000 5.50
1,400,000 6.0
2,500,000 7.25

Interpolate between points

Scale B

All purpose-built Bingo Halls and converted Bingo Halls (where Scale A is not appropriate)

Fair Maintainable Trade £ Percentage
500,000 5.0
700,000 5.50
1,000,000 6.50
1,500,000 7.5
2,000,000 8.0
3,000,000 8.0
4,000,000 8.0

Interpolate between points

Promotional Expenditure

Background

For 2000 Rating List a scale of deductions to be adopted was agreed outside the Memorandum of Agreement. For the 2005 Rating List the upheaval experienced in the market at 1 April 1998 had settled down by the 1 April 2003. Promotional expenditure had reverted back to “normal” levels at AVD and for most properties there was no need to adjust for excessive promotional expenditure. There is no evidence that this situation has changed so the 2005 approach should be continued.

The exceptions to there generally being no need for adjustment for promotional expenditure are:

  • where existing units respond to the opening of new units with increased, defensive spend for a time as they seek to maintain turnover. The trading pattern over a longer period should then indicate the maintainable admission and turnover levels to be adopted at the AVD as increased promotional expenditure drops back to “normal” levels.

  • a tiny number of operators that, as a matter of course, run their business by spending higher than the normal amounts of promotional expenditure compared with other operators. This needs to be reflected.

Promotional expenditure is added prize money, gifts and additional prizes, printing and postage of special promotional flyers, coaching in/out of customers and live entertainment.

Traditional Conversions (Scale A)

Examination of levels of promotional expenditure for traditional conversions throws up a wider range of percentages to gross receipts, especially where independent operators are concerned, and at low levels of annual receipts compared with flat floor units. Levels of 15-25% are evident for some very modest turnover properties, but although these percentages seem high, they are relatively small amounts in absolute terms. At levels of turnover below £250,000 Scale A reflects the lower profitability and levels of expenditure incurred and no further adjustment should be made for excessive promotional expenditure.

To accommodate those properties where higher promotional expenditure is incurred, the following adjustment to gross receipts should be adopted:

Promotional Expenditure as a proportion of Gross Receipts (if greater than £250,000) Percentage of Promotional Expenditure in excess of 13% of Gross Receipts allowable as a deduction from adopted Receipts
Under 13% No adjustment
13% 10%
14% 20%
15% 30%
16% 40%
17% 50%
18% 60%
19% 70%
20% plus 75%

Interpolate between percentage points

Flat Floor Units (Scale B)

Most modern flat floor units appear to have a stable profile of promotional expenditure within a range of up to10%. Where excessive promotional expenditure occurs, an adjustment to gross receipts should be made as set out below:

Promotional Expenditure as a proportion of Gross Receipts Percentage of Promotional Expenditure in excess of 10% of Gross Receipts allowable as a deduction from adopted Receipts
11% 10%
12% 20%
13% 30%
14% 40%
15% 50%
16% 55%
17% 60%
18% 65%
19% 70%
20% plus 75%

Interpolate between percentage points