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Closure of another large bingo hall

  • Posted by: Gwen | Date July 4th, 2009
  • Tags: bingo halls

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The news is pouring in. One bingo hall after another is on the path of closure every week. It is now turn of the Gala Bingo St. Stephens Bingo Hall in the St. Stephen shopping centre. The future of 33 staff members, who were informed of the group’s decision, has now been jeopardised. The management will be holding discussions with staff over the closure issue.

According to group’s Communications Manager, Sarah Mercer, the club management is in consultation period with staff regarding closure of the bingo club. She explained that a number of factors including the smoking ban, recession and gaming restrictions on the club’s machines had been working against it since its opening. A hike in gaming tax to 22 percent also added to the club’s woes. The management is trying to relocate staff within the group.

The current economic conditions such as dwindling customer turnout, a hike in taxes and the smoking ban have clearly broken the back of the UK bingo industry.

The St. Stephens bingo hall had the capacity for 1,000 players and is the largest hall of the Gala Bingo group. It has barely run for two years. The group recently closed five of its bingo halls, aiming to economise and cull less profitable bingo halls to improve finances. Online bingo, however, is still thriving.

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