The Law of Unintended Consequences
When the smoking ban was first introduced, it was sold as a means for making communities safer as well as improving the general health of the public. In countries such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom, it became the norm for smokers to be pilloried as the plague of our modern society. They were accused of wanton selfishness by letting their own desire for smoke to overcome the general view that smoking should not be undertaken in public places. In any case the smoking ban was introduced and one of the areas that were affected was the Bingo halls that previously served whole communities.
Keeping the Customers Away
Once it had been established that the Bingo halls would no longer allow smoking, the smokers found alternative entertainment. Unfortunately for the Bingo clubs, the majority of their customers turned out to be smokers so the people began to leave the Bingo clubs in their droves. There was no way to bring them back because to fail to impose the smoking ban was to attract government intervention and even possible closure. The smokers started to vote with their feet and quite rightly decided to take their business elsewhere.
At the same time the growth of the internet Bingo business meant that there was even less incentive to go into the Bingo hall. It was far better to simply retain control of your life by playing online than allowing yourself to be subjected to the stringent examinations of those that represented government. In effect people are still playing Bingo but they are playing it in a different venue from the one that was traditionally allocated. Whereas the dynamics of the bingo system have changed, the bingo halls have not been able to catch up and as a result will continue to fail.
The impact on businesses has been devastating. Without customers, there is no way they could hope to make a profit. Moving to other locations was not an option because Bingo halls are by their nature community centers and you cannot transfer a whole community just because you do not like a certain piece of legislation.
Without even the remotest possibility that this legislation can ever be repealed, the businesses will have to find alternative ways of making money. I would suggest that they too join the online business which seems to be booming at an astounding rate. Nowadays there are many successful bingo sites online. Alternatively they could lobby the government to make provisions for a distinction between smoking and non-smoking Bingo halls. Even within the existing premises, they can decide to provide a comfortable outside space where smokers can enjoy smoking breaks without breaking the law.
It was right and proper that governments would seek to prevent the spread of the smoking habit which time and time again had been proved to be a danger to the community. However the unintended consequence was that thriving business set up was permanently endangered. The government did not intend to close down an already established business but their legislation had the unintended consequence of achieving that.