Anorak News | Smoking Ban Hits Bingo: Unlucky For Some

Smoking Ban Hits Bingo: Unlucky For Some

by | 11th, June 2007

070404bingo1.jpgAHEAD of next month’s introduction of the smoking ban, pubs and clubs are steeling themselves for what could be difficult times ahead.

The bingo industry in particular is expecting the ban to have a huge impact, with gambling group Gala Coral admitting that it expects to close around 12 of its bingo clubs if the impact of the ban in England is as severe as it has been in Scotland.

Since the no-smoking law came into effect north of the border, it has been the bingo industry that has suffered the most, with admissions declining sharply and prize money dropping. Additionally, players who would have previously frittered away their cash on the fruit machines during the interval are instead popping outside for a fag.

Gala’s rivals, the Rank Group, has already closed 15 of its 118 clubs since the smoking ban came into effect in Scotland but Gala’s chief executive Neil Goulden is playing a waiting game. Says he: “We will wait for six months and see where we are. We are going to get a drop in spend-per-head. But it is only temporary… Spend-per-head will recover within 12 months.”

However, Goulden, who is also chairman of the Bingo Association, admits that things will get hard for the industry. “We could have 200 clubs closing,” he says, “This could mean an enormous number of job losses and loss of amenity to local communities.”

Unlucky for some…

Posted: 11th, June 2007 | In: Money Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink