The bingo association has launched a campaign to keep bingo clubs open. As the Scottish government new five-tier alert system of coronavirus restrictions is expected to be implemented today (Tuesday), UK bingo clubs and the future of bingo are under real threat.
A website – https://bingoismylifeline.co.uk/scotland/ – has been set up by the bingo association, with the aim of lobbying Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish government to keep the bingo halls open under the new lockdown tier system.
Titled ‘Bingo is my lifeline – 48 hours to save Bingo in Scotland', the campaign makes the case:
“With loneliness on the rise, many people need COVID-19 safe spaces to overcome social isolation and connect with others. Indeed, 1 in 10 bingo club members say they can’t imagine life without bingo and 3 in 10 say it is the highlight of their week.
“If you don’t want your local bingo club to close under Level 2 restrictions, please help us by making the case to the Scottish Government that bingo is safe to remain open and is a lifeline for yourself and your fellow bingo players.”
The website helps you contact Nicola Sturgeon explaining why bingo halls are essential to the community. There is also a national campaign where you can write to Robert Jenrick MP, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to protest the contradictory measures which see Liverpool bingo clubs open, but dozens of clubs in the North West close.
“Open This Evening, Closed Again Next Week
Ryann Stisi, owner of the Border Bingo Club in Galashiels, Scotland said:
We're very excited about opening tonight as we've been closed for seven months.
“We've had to cut our capacity from 90 (seats) to 30 to comply with social-distancing, so it's been very difficult. But one of the main reasons for reopening now is to ensure none of our staff are made redundant.
“We also have a duty to our customers; living in a rural area can be quite isolating – there's not a lot to do in the evenings – and this is a chance for them to have a bit of fun and see their friends again.”
“We find ourself in a position where we open up this evening and, with this new tiered system, we could be closed again next week.”
For Ryann and other bingo fans and employees, a lockdown is bitter pill to swallow. The inconsistency of the restrictions would see Border Bingo Club close should the region be placed into Level Two, Meanwhile, the cinema next door, housed in the very same building, would be permitted to stay open.
With the retail bingo industry reeling from lockdowns and fewer visitors, it is time to join the campaign to save our bingo clubs. For information and to join the campaign, visit here.