Nine ‘Buzz Bingo’ Clubs to Close their Doors
It was a sad day for 151 of Buzz Bingo’s 2,456 employees, as the company announced the closure of nine out of its 91 clubs in the UK.
Buzz Bingo, which began as Gala Bingo in the 70s until its rebranding in 2018, operates more bingo clubs in the country than any other gaming brand. The sheer overall popularity of Buzz Bingo clubs makes the closing of 10% of the company’s doors a rather surprising move.
One of the UK’s favourite pastimes
Bingo, along with most forms of gambling, is one of the UK’s most common and favourite pastimes. However, it appears that ongoing and challenging operating costs for many casino operators and bookmakers have quelled this tradition slightly.
Locations set to Close
The nine affected clubs in question are reported to include two in Scotland, 3 in the North-West of England, Slough, Surrey Quays in London, one in West Yorkshire and a final one in Lincolnshire.
A Challenging Operating Environment
The move comes as a reaction to changes in customer behaviour following the Corona Virus pandemic, as well as the cost of living the UK is currently facing, rising inflation, and ongoing complications caused by Brexit.
Higher energy prices, which have severely hampered overall operational costs throughout the leisure and hospitality sectors, have resulted in 9 of the clubs becoming no longer financially viable.
Unfortunately for the Buzz Bingo brand, numbers never returned to pre-pandemic levels even after restrictions were lifted, which was highlighted by the CEO of Buzz Bingo.
‘Squeeze on Family Finances’
Dominic Mansour, chief executive of Buzz Bingo, spoke about the closures:
In common with the entire leisure and hospitality sector, Buzz Bingo has failed to see customers return to the high street in the same numbers as before the pandemic. This, coupled with a squeeze on family finances brought about by rising inflation and energy prices alongside a jump in our own operating costs means we have no real option either than to cease trading in nine of our locations.
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.
…no-one wants to make the call to close Clubs. However, it is my belief that it’s these decisions that will allow us to restructure the business for long-term growth and to protect the livelihoods of our colleagues for the long run.
Another Sad Chapter
This closure notice comes just a couple of years after Buzz Bingo closed 26 of its bingo halls, with a loss of 500 jobs due to the outbreak of Covid-19 back in 2020. And just 2 weeks after bingo club rival, Mecca Bingo, closed 7 of its clubs.
The story of these further nine clubs outlines another sad chapter for UK bingo.
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