According to a report in the Financial Times bingo operators had suffered the most in Scotland's smoking ban, with Carlton Bingo calling the ban a “brick wall”, adding that it was “solid, with no way round it".
Managing director of Inverness-based Carlton Bingo, Peter Perrins, said in the report: "Players arrive late, depart earlier and take any opportunity to exit the building in pursuit of their nicotine fix,
"This affects everyone throughout the session and at the same time, a whole new community has sprung up outside, congregating around any shelter or door to smoke. How long will our customers put up with this before they start to drift away from bingo altogether?"
"For those who have still to feel the effects of a smoking ban, make no mistake - it is a very big issue for bingo providers," he went on to say. "And short of applying for an outdoor gaming license, if such a thing were available, it's impossible to secure efficient play when half your players are standing outside the door."
The Rank Group has also said that early indications showed that there had been a large fall in the amount of spend per customer as well as a fall in admissions since the ban.