Well, as Autumn is almost upon us, and the little ones are back at school, I’ve been caught up launching a site in time for Halloween and catching up with work from over the summer holidays. I’ve got some great new content lined up for the site the next couple of weeks, but more about that later. Since the last post there’s been a number of interesting Bingo related news stories on the wires and in the press, all of which I’ve missed due to be engaged elsewhere. Rather than go into depth, here’s a round up of those stories for anyone interested.
First up, I thought I should mention the passing of the National Bingo Game, at Gala Clubs at least. September the 1st saw the chain’s withdrawal from the National Game to concentrate on bringing its enhanced version of the High 5 game to the forefront as its big money prize. Luckily for the National Bingo Game, no one else have followed Gala’s lead and withdrawn from the game. It will be interesting to see how the change does Gala as well, and how Gala’s players like an evening free of the National Game.
Talking of Gala, one of the founders of the company, John Kelly has been having a go at the government’s policies and their disastrous effects on the Bingo industry. He’s in good company, a number of other leisure leaders have been publicly airing their grievances about Labour’s handling of the leisure industry. Amongst them has been Rank chief executive Ian Burke, who’s described the Governments policy making as “myopic and inconsistent”
There’s been a couple of big crime related stories as well. In the most disturbing of the pair a security guard was shot in the leg during a bingo hall robbery at the Gala in Walsgrave, Coventry. The Police have described it as a “extremely serious incident.” Fortunately, the shot guard should make a full recovery. The robbery took place out of club hours, which is just as well, because with this sort of dangerous criminals, there’s no telling the trouble that could have happened. Let’s hope the Police catch these thugs quickly.
The other crime story centred around the theft of £62,000 from a petrol station in Driffield, to fund a Bingo addicts online bingo habit. Sandra Preston stole the money during a two month period last year, and was found guilty and sentenced to six months in prison for her crimes. It’s always sad to hear these stories of addiction spiralling out of control, especially given the bad press they bring the game. Unfortunately there is always a small percentage that will turn to crime rather than seek help for their problems, and Sandra was the latest of these to hit the press.
Bingo halls have had a few stories about them as well. There was a fire at the Cricklewood Beacon Bingo, caused by a suspected electrical fault. The front of the building was damaged, but luckily the main bulk of the hall was okay and should reopen on Monday. A long abandoned hall in Barrhead is set for demolition following a recent arson attack and the discovery of asbestos dust in the building. Finally for the halls bit, in Edinburgh, the hall in Gorgie Road previously owned by Carlton Bingo has found a new lease of life. It’s the latest hall to go from Bingo to religion, and has reopened as a funky new church.
The last little story I thought was worth a mention. It’s quite a trivial thing, but goes to show that you should always make sure your staff know your club’s entry and membership policy. A man with ulcerative colitis was turned away from the club after wanting to use the toilet, told only members were allowed. The story was enough to make the local press, and reminded me of the recent story of the soldier turned away from the hotel. A bit of clarity and common sense from the member of staff at the front of house in both cases would have saved a lot of bad press.