Without doubt, 2020 has been a challenging year for the UK bingo industry. The coronavirus and subsequent four-month lockdown saw all the UK's bingo halls temporarily close. However, with at least 30 bingo halls, the majority of which owned by Buzz Bingo, closing their doors for good.
Whilst bookmakers reopened in June, a lack of sporting events kept gambling levels in check despite a spike in online gambling activity. Meanwhile, UK casinos just reopened this weekend, with warnings from within the industry of impending job losses.
All-in-all, it is not a healthy picture for the UK gambling industry, with more bookmakers and bingo hall closures expected. Yet, a bit of bingo news reached the BingoDaily desk which sparks a bit of hope.
The William Hill Betting shop in New Quay Road, Whitby was one of the hundreds of betting shops closed by the company last year. Now, William Hill PLC has applied to the Scarborough Council for a change of use for the building to turn it into a bingo hall.
The application states that the building intends to be open from 9am until 11pm seven days a week with the overall use being a bingo hall.
“The clear primary use of the premises would be a bingo hall, however, there are a small number of electronic bingo machines and an even smaller number of slot machines.”
So far, the plans are in the consultation stage. Could we see more ex-betting shops reemerge as bingo halls? watch this space.