And so it begins… again.
Following the financially devastating effect the lockdowns have had upon the land-based UK bingo scene, the closure of popular bingo clubs over the next months may start dominating the bingo news.
Last year, the UK's largest retail bingo operator Buzz Bingo, closed 26 bingo clubs amid an estimated 20% closure of all of the UK's bingo halls in 2020.
Now, with the third national lockdown in its third month and bingo halls slated to open again on May 17th, we can sadly expect more bingo halls to close.
Workers at Beacon Bingo Redcar have apparently, according to reports, been told that the bingo venue could be shuttered for good and never reopen.
Bosses at the once-popular bingo club on the town's Esplanade have started a consultation process with staff regarding its permanent closure.
A spokesperson for Beacon Bingo said:
“We are currently in a consultation process regarding a proposed closure at Beacon Bingo Redcar.”
“The individual consultation process will continue until March 11,”
“This is obviously a very difficult time for our teams.”
The news did not go down well with Beacon Bingo Redcar's loyal customers and staff:
The Beacon Bingo Redcar Facebook page with more than 2000 followers has been very active during the lockdown, posting most recently on Valentine's Day. Their New Year's message gave no hint of closure, saying:
“As 2020 comes to a close we would just like to wish you all a Happy New Year and say a huge thank you for all your support throughout this year.
Stay safe and we can't wait to see you all back in the club in 2021.”
However, as we have seen with the Save Scottish Bingo campaign, bingo halls up and down the country, along with other hospitality venues, have been some of the worst-hit by the different lockdowns and restrictions over the last 12 months and it will be sadly no surprise if we see more bingo clubs close for good.