This interesting article was sent into me, and I’d like to thank Dave for it. It looks in a lot more detail at the great opportunity the Bingo hall operators could exploit when smoke free halls become a reality. According to the piece, Gala could be one to watch going on its experiences in Scotland.
“It is with interest that Gala Bingo have reported strong admissions in Scotland since the smoking ban came in to force, where other bingo operators are reporting declining admissions. Could it be that Gala strategically have got it right where others haven’t.
The smoking ban is due to be implemented in England in Summer 2007, so will this be a negative move for Bingo companies or an opportunity. Government statistics reported that in 2003/04, 26% of adults aged 16 or over in Great Britain smoked cigarettes, which opens the doors to a massive 74% of the population that may be attracted to the idea of smoke free venues. Anyone who suffers with Asthma or any other respiratory condition could for the first time enjoy an afternoon or evening out at a local bingo club. Will everyone stop playing Bingo? Unlikely, the ban will be nation wide, and leisure activities form part of everyone’s social life, unless of course you become a house hermit.
Some may choose to stay at home and play bingo on the internet when smoking bans are in place, and this may be the case for some companies in Scotland currently, although Gala seem to be bucking the trend.
One thing is for sure, most of us tend to look on the negative side to any change, and on the face of it Gala seem to be in a positive mood regarding smoking bans, however they do have their own internet bingo site, and the AVAGO TV channel which they are going to change to Gala TV to fall back on, but for the sake of all us bingo players who enjoy a visit to our local clubs, lets hope that Gala repeat their success in England as they seem to be doing in Scotland when the smoking ban comes in to effect.
There is speculation and It has been reported recently in the times that Gala Group are looking to float sometime in 2007. Not only could it become more healthy visiting their clubs, it could be a healthy investment when they do.”
As I’ve said before, I’m all for smoke free venues, and know there is an audience there waiting to be tapped. In the longterm, it makes sense for all Bingo clubs to concentrate on the health of their players. If they live longer, they spend longer – it makes perfect financial sense really!