Locals have reacted with shock, upset, and anger at the surprise announcement that Mecca Bingo Halifax is to close this summer
John Dyson, operations director at Mecca Bingo, said: “We’re sad to confirm that our Mecca club in Halifax will be closing on 14 August 2022.
“Mecca Halifax has been a part of the local community for many years, and we want to say a huge thank you to every single one of our incredible customers – our Halifax team will miss you very much.”
A company spokesman said it had been a ‘tough decision' to decide to close the venue.
“In relation to why the club is closing – it’s a tough decision to say goodbye.
“Across hospitality, the last few years have been tough, and this has led us to reluctantly make this decision.
“We look forward to welcoming customers at our nearby club in Huddersfield and our online chat room community at meccabingo.com
“Finally, we have a fantastic team of 20 at Mecca Halifax.
“We are currently in consultation with them and hope that many will stay and take on new roles within the wider business.”
An outpouring of Emotions on Social Media
Despite the reassurances of consultation regarding new positions within the company, some staff to social media to tell of the surprise and devastation of the move to close Mecca Bingo Halifax.
One upset staff member wrote on Facebook:
“Hi guys as some of you may have heard mecca bingo in Halifax will be closing its doors for the final time on August the 14th. As devastated as the staff are about losing our jobs and our work family the majority of us will be needing other jobs some of you may like us some may not but none of us deserved this to happen so if anyone knows of any jobs going could you please let us know thankyou xx”
There was an outpouring of anger, surprise and upset at the closure throughout local social media groups and in the local press from staff, customers and members of the Halifax community.
One regular, Liza Edwards, told the local news:
“This is so sad. I had no idea we were losing our beloved bingo. Been going for over 25 years and this is truly awful to hear. Good luck guys and thank you for everything.”
“It's a very popular, happy place so it's going to be missed by the young and old everywhere.”
More Mecca Bingo Closures to Come?
The news that Mecca Bingo Halifax will close its doors for good after decades of being at the heart of the local community comes just a week after Mecca Bingo Rochdale, another popular bingo hall, closed permanently after 20 years.
Located in a historic former cinema that opened in 1938, the Mecca Bingo Halifax venue served as the Halifax Odeon for a number of years before being converted into a mid-sized bingo hall in 1975.
Rank reported lacklustre rebound in numbers since bingo hall doors reopened after the coronavirus pandemic. For the first quarter of the year, revenues from the Mecca Bingo venues were down by 25% to £34.1 million from the same period before the pandemic forced lockdowns. Now, Mecca Bingo is seemingly being forced to tighten its belt.
Just a few weeks ago, Mecca Bingo owner Rank saw its shares plunge after it warned about profits. The warning, the second one in three months was posted due to surging costs and a slower-than-expected recovery in the casino (Grosvenor Casinos) part of the business.
Worryingly for the Rank Group, owners of Mecca Bingo, the digital side of the business in the UK declined in Q1, down 1%. Meanwhile, internationally, its digital business also fell, down 5%.
With the cost of living soaring in the UK and belts being tightened across the board, it will not come as a surprise if the bingo news is filled with more Mecca Bingo hall closures.
Ben has been an massive bingo enthusiast and fan since playing at the seaside as a kid. Dedicated to bringing you the latest and best bingo news from the UK