Well, have to say I was shocked when I spotted the news over at The Guardian that Gala Bingo are to close five of their Bingo clubs. It’s the first sign of closures from the UK’s biggest Bingo chain, and it comes just a short while after Gala Coral’s CEO Neil Goulden was quoted as saying there would be no closures for Gala Bingo. The five clubs set to close are: Edinburgh, Bedminster in Bristol; Winton in Bournemouth; Lakeside in Essex, and Teesside. So far there are no details on the dates of the closures, but around 130 jobs will be lost.
In a related article, the FT carries a story that could shed a ray of hope on the industry in these troubled times. It reports that a number of ministers are putting pressure on the chancellor to address the taxation issues effecting the industry. Let’s hope he can do something to help the companies out of the current situation – but I fear that moves will need to be made very swiftly if they are to have any impact.
The article also looks into the problems the industry faces with regards to its image and user base, suggesting that tax breaks alone wouldn’t necessarily help the industry out of the corner it’s painted itself into, a message I’ve been repeating for a long time now. Once again, let’s hope they take the steps needed to keep the game and their businesses going.