Whilst the country patiently waits for bingo halls to reopen in May, BingoDaily took the opportunity to meet some of the people behind the scenes from the wonderful UK bingo community. This week, it was the turn of the lovely Laura Bacon, the hugely popular and well-liked Community Manager for Rank Interactive, and one of the persons responsible for helping to dish out the money to winners at Mecca Bingo.
BD – Who are you and what do you do?
I am Laura Bacon, 43 years old (sssh, don’t tell anyone), Married with 2 children. Lived in Sheffield all my life. I am the Community Manager for Rank Interactive
BD – When and where was the first time you played bingo? Do you play still?
Gosh, a long time ago! I remember going to our local club when I was old enough to with my mum and her friend. I play online occasionally, always healthy to check out the competition!
BD – Tell us about your job, what you do, responsibilities, how long you’ve been in the position/with Mecca
I started out as a Chat Host for Mecca Bingo 10 years ago, and my passion for bingo and its players grew from back then.
I became the Community Manager here almost 4 years ago, and was responsible for building our very own in-house chat team and ensuring the team continues to provide excitement & engagement to our players in our chat rooms to this day.
BD – For those that have yet to win big at Mecca, can you explain the process when someone wins a big jackpot?
Everyone at the winners' HUB gets excited when a jackpot is won, but also for those who win large amounts of cash from special bingo games too. When we get
notification of a big win, and it's been verified, we immediately call the customer to congratulate them but to also ensure them the win is real, lots don’t actually believe it until we have confirmed with them! It's not just a call to congratulate them but to talk them through the withdrawal process and to ensure they are aware of all the tools available to them within their account.
BD – What’s the best part of your job? And what’s the worst part of your job?
There is no worst part to my job- I love it all!
BD – In your time at the Winners Hub, how much money do you think you have personally handed out?
Due to COVID19 we haven’t been able to personally visit any of our Jackpot Winners over the last 12 months. We have made winners calls and celebrated with over 100 players that have won life-changing amounts of money, sharing out just under £5million between them.
BD – There have been life-changing amounts won at Mecca, are there any memorable winners or personal stories you can share?
There have been so many and all for different reasons. The lady who won 2 jackpots within days of each other. One lady won and used it to buy a headstone for her father’s grave, which she had been trying to save up for. Another lady won a jackpot and was going to purchase her own home for her and her children.
It's not just jackpot winners either. We recently had 2 sisters reunite in one of our chat rooms, they hadn’t seen or spoken to one another for over 13 years and after chatting for some time in one of our bingo rooms, they realised they were sisters- I think the whole team cried with joy that day!
BD – Finally, from your perspective, what do see happening to the UK bingo scene over the next year?
I see Bingo growing, becoming even more interactive and exciting for our Customers. This year we have launched some amazing new products at Mecca, including our very own Mecca TV. Alongside this, some great campaigns: Catch the Cash & Live from Studio M which focus completely on live player interaction. And we have so much more in the pipeline too.
Big thanks to Laura and all the team at Mecca for the interview.