This is the second bingo hall to close since the reduced bingo taxation announcement in the 2014 budget (to our knowledge). Despite the taxation reprieve, business is business, so if a club is not making money, it will close, and, this is particularly pertinent to small chains and independents who do not have the back up of the likes of Gala and Mecca.
The last game played at Seven Bingo Folkstone was on Friday July the 31st leaving the town with no bingo clubs, the two nearest being in Dover and Ashford, Gala Bingo in Dover probably being the easiest alternative to get to.
The club has been running since 2007 although it was previously the Deluxe Club. Owners Mike Barnard and Peter Hargreaves had to make a hard decision, as the club’s lease was up, and so beans had to be counted and forecasts had to be made, the result sadly being that the venture was no longer a feasible business proposition.
The venue had been a bingo hall since 1974, but numbers have been in decline, and the rates were also adding to the financial problems that started for bingo halls around the introduction of the smoking ban, since which attendance figures had dropped by more than half. A relatively small club is one that creates bonds between community members, and this closure more than others may be a crushing blow for some locals especially given the clubs longevity.
Ironically, on the final night of bingo there was a good turnout, and it was noted that if the same amount of people had been turning up regularly the club may not have had to close. The owners are relocating to the northeast, and as bingo doesn’t appear to be losing it popularity in the region we do hope that if they open a new club it will be a success. Original article.