The wheels of the bingo industry recovery vehicle may be moving slowly since the change in bingo taxation, but they are moving surely. The latest news is that there will (hopefully) be a new bingo hall opened in Dudley as part of a gambling facility.
We say hopefully, as planning permission has not yet been approved buy local authorities. The 450 seat bingo hall will be located on the ground floor offering 14 bingo sessions per week. Upstairs will be the casino, named Casino 36. Casino 36 opened a casino in Wolverhampton in 2016 at a cost of over £7 million.
The company does not currently hold a license to operate bingo, and is planning to transfer its casino license from the existing Castle Casino in Castle Hill. The venue is expected to open in 2018. This will mean that there will be two bingo clubs in the area, as there is also a Mecca Bingo hall in Brierley Hill (which may cause problems with application for the new bingo license).
When (and if) the bingo hall opens it will be interesting to see what the layout is, and if there is a well thought out plan to engage the younger generation. As there is no Casino 36 Bingo brand their hands will not be tied to ‘house style’ and it may be a great opportunity to offer punters something new.
General Manger Craig Dobson at 36 Casino Group has noted that the game of bingo does appear to be gaining popularity among the younger generation, and it is his intention to draw this ‘age cohort’ into a land based bingo.
As noted, planning has not been either submitted or approved as yet, but if it does, we will be eagerly awaiting to see exactly how Mr Dobson’s plans manifest themselves, and more importantly we’ll be waiting to see if he succeeds. If he does, we’re sure there will be plenty of other bingo operators paying close attention.