For bingo halls, like any other business, the initial key is to get people through the doors. Once through the doors, you’ve got to make sure that players stay, and more importantly come back. But for many halls that initial ‘through the door’ scenario can be exceptionally difficult one.
One main problem is the ‘blue rinse’ image that bingo has. With the ageing population not getting any younger, bingo clubs need to shake the image before many of their players are ‘playing bingo in the sky’, leaving the clubs empty.
The Rialto in Coventry is reopening in September with electronic bingo only in an effort to entice young players into the club. No more dabbers, just iPad style devices, and the decor has even been designed with ‘youth’ in mind. Being traditionalists, we’re more for manual bingo, but, it will be very interesting to see how it turns out. More.
But, even if successful, this will be one very small victory in the altering of the public consciousness. Police in Chesterfield are so sure that bingo is for the elderly that they are sending a Safer Neighbourhood Team into Mecca Bingo on Foljambe Road to give advice on crime prevention and safety. Their rationale behind the exercise is that many of the players are elderly, and so it’s the perfect place to educate their target group on protecting themselves from certain types of crime that the elderly may be more susceptible to. More.
Chesterfield Police, we salute you for showing concern for our elderly and more importantly doing something to help them. However, it unfortunately does say something about what bingo is up against in the struggle to drop the ‘bingo wings’, and attract the ‘young guns’ – that all pervasive public perception. But it is through individual actions that history is made, and the Rialto is making one small step that may have a knock-on effect. We hope that they are successful, and if they do attract a younger audience of bingo devotees, we hope that they become so enamored by the great game that they demand books and dabbers as well!
When we find out how the club fares we will let you know, but, in the meantime, what do you think would entice younger players through the doors? Streatham Beacon Bingo tried free food throughout August, and hopefully we’ll be getting back to you on that one as well. But for the moment, if you have any ideas as to what may attract younger adults into a bingo club please let us know by filling in the comments form below. Thank you.