Just yesterday there were at least four news articles about bingo halls closing down. Heartbreaking.
Buzz Bingo, the UKs largest bingo operator has had to take the decision to close nine of its clubs across the UK.
This is huge for the sector as it shows that if the big girls of the industry need to close some of their doors, other smaller operators are potentially going to find themselves in a similar predicament.
Changing Times, Changing Finances
Buzz Bingo are victims of many challenging factors, that, lets face it, is happening to a great number of businesses and livelihoods.
Since the pandemic, trips to the bingo hall simply haven’t returned to the frequency and customer levels seen before COVID came a knocking. Furthermore, we have the treacherous cost of living crisis on our hands which means that everyone is counting their pennies. Luxury spends which include leisure activities and bingo are getting pushed to the bottom of the list. The gas and leccie bills really are sucking up everyone’s money right now.
These increased energy costs are hitting business as well. Light and heat needed to keep the halls open has increased 300%, all contributing to the decision for Buzz Bingo to close 10% of their locations in an attempt to preserve the others left.
The locations planned for closure are:
- Surrey Quays
- Belle Vue
We are not so happy, here at New Bingo Sites, as our local hall has been affected in Bromborough.
Buzz Bingo was the rebrand of Gala Bingo back in 2018. They have biggest presence in the UK bingo scene which also means there will be many job losses. It currently looks like 150 people will face redundancy.
Domonic Mansour, Chief Executive of the club shared in a press release:
These closures will, very sadly, impact a number of our colleagues and so our priority is to support all those affected and to do everything we can to minimise job losses. I personally want to thank them for their commitment and service to Buzz.
Change In Player Habits
The online world of bingo continues to reap its rewards. Buzz has its own bingo website and player numbers continue to rise, although at a slower pace, again due to the cost of living crisis we are in right now.
Players still want to join in bingo games but there are not the associated costs when playing bingo on your mobile phone like there is with travelling to the hall (petrol, bus fare, money for drinks and food). Plus, players have a much wider range of spend options when accessing online bingo. When going to the bingo hall, players are limited to purchasing specific tickets, for example £25 for the session.
Whereas online you choose varying ticket prices from a penny up to £10 and you choose the number – not being forced into buying a book or 30 for example. Players like the ability to adjust their budgets accordingly whereas when playing at bingo halls it is not as flexible.
Buzz Bingo are clearly making these closures and job cuts to preserve the business in the long term. They are going to be holding the microscope on online player habits even more so, to try to build player numbers and profits. Naturally they are providing a vast catalogue of slots for players to access as well as the bingo.