I have to start by saying that I find this story particularly shocking. According to the report in the Daily Mail, pensioner and longtime member of the Mecca Bingo, Rosalyn Clemson has been banned from every single Mecca Bingo in the UK. Her crime was organising a trip for other club members to a rival club some 15 miles away. According to Mecca Bingo this act was in breach of her membership conditions and as a result worthy of an instantaneous nationwide ban.
Now, I don’t know the full story, and I expect the ban was also partially informed by Rosalyn’s behaviour at the club when reprimanded by management, but still it seems particularly harsh and unfair. I really can’t see why it’s an issue, exclusivity is not something bingo halls can put over their members. Ok, I can understand that it’s pretty bad and can be seen as customer poaching in some ways, but it does seem fairly harmless. Had she done this over the phone outside the club it wouldn’t have been an issue. Why Mecca Bingo thinks it’s something it has to guard against in its membership rules I don’t understand.
Back in Cardiff in my bingo work days, many of the members were nomadic, on a Monday they’d play at the Gala in town, on Tuesday’s the Top Rank in Cathays, and on Wednesdays the Castle in Canton. Rosalyn could have actually persuaded members from the rival club to come and try her local. I think Mecca Bingo have been exceedingly heavy handed in this, and like I say, I don’t know the full story, but as it’s reported in the Mail, wow is all I can say – bad call Mecca Bingo.