Members of Majestic Bingo clubs around the country can relax, and even rejoice, because their beloved bingo clubs have been saved from closure thanks to a buy out.
As I reported last year, Majestic were forced to enter administration after their financial position became untenable thanks to lockdowns and the cost of living crisis.
That was six months ago, and despite reportedly looking for a buyer it was starting to seem as though all hope was lost – but then the Real Fun Group Ltd stepped in.
It would have been a huge loss to the industry had the bingo halls all closed, especially in Wales which isn’t exactly flush with bingo clubs and which is where 3 of the impacted clubs are located.
Thanks goodness for the Real Fun Group then, and how nice to report some good news on the bingo front.
So Are Majestic Bingo Halls Staying Open?
That would be an emphatic yes!
It seems like the Majestic name may continue as well, since Real Fun Group’s existing two clubs aren’t branded.
The name above the door doesn’t really matter though, because as we all know, what makes a bingo hall special is the people, and this corporate buyout has saved every single job that was at risk.
This means no faces will change, the players will be able to enjoy the company of the same staff as before, and there won’t even be any temporary closures either, so customers can enjoy uninterrupted bingo as the takeover completes.
I’m not surprised they found a buyer, I suspected they might, since Majestic Bingo were not really to blame for their plight, it was just an unfortunate set of circumstances that led to their demise.
The company were an attractive proposition and luckily, Real Fun Group were in the market to expand at just the right time.
“I’m incredibly excited by this opportunity. This was a well-run business that was hit with devastating luck over the last few years, and I can’t wait to work with the team. To sit here today, knowing we’re able to keep so many people in work is an unbelievable feeling.”
The administrators could see the value in the company too by the sounds of it, and were equally pleased with the outcome.
Time Bateson was joint administrator, and he said:
“Having been appointed in July 2023 and traded the business for nearly six months, we are absolutely delighted to have achieved this going concern sale, which not only will see all eight venues continue to trade, but which also both safeguards the employment of 140 people and ensures continuity for the communities which these clubs serve.”
So a quality bingo company is saved, no one loses their jobs, and new investment can be pumped into the bingo clubs – a great end result all round.
Which Clubs are Affected?
All of them.
Well, all of the clubs that are currently open anyway:
- Apollo Caernarfon in Gwynedd
- Apollo Camborne in Cornwall
- Apollo Rhyl in Denbighshire
- The Globe in Donnington
- The Hippodrome in Bishop Auckland
- Judges in Tonypandy
- The Majestic in Worcester
- Roman Bank in Skegness
It’s not clear if the Spalding venue that has been closed since an electrical fire gutted it in 2021 is included in the deal, but nevertheless, an awful lot of bingo is still on the cards thanks to the Real Fun Group.
Who Are the Real Fun Group?
The Real Fun Group are, as of this week, one of the UKs biggest independent bingo operators.
According to their own Linkedin page, they are “putting the fun back into bingo across the country, one club at a time. Backed by experienced entrepreneurs in the retail, leisure, bingo, gaming and hospitality sector, our vision is simple; ensure our colleagues and customers are having a real fun time!”
The company was set up by Kevin McGinnigle, a man with a wealth of experience in bingo and the gaming sector more generally, and also a serial entrepreneur.
He started out with the purchase of Witnall Automatics Ltd, which doesn’t sound like a bingo company does it, but it is. This bagged Real Fun Group 2 thriving bingo halls to get them going.
That was just a month or so before the purchase of Majestic Bingo was announced, so Mr McGinnigle has certainly been busy over Christmas and New Year.
Essentially then, Real Fun Group is an investment company operating in the bingo sector, and at the rate they are going, we may well be hearing a lot more about them soon.