With all the doom and gloom about in the news regarding the plight of bingo halls it is a breath of fresh air to read a report published today on the Times online website that gives hope to bingo halls around the country of a much brighter future. The article was written by Steve McKenna who as a former managing director of Gala Bingo has the relevant experience of the UK bingo industry needed, to be able to put forward a positive argument.
Ex- Gala bingo boss Mr McKenna states in the article all the background facts to why the industry is struggling, ones which we have covered in our columns many times over the last six months or so, such as the smoking ban, the changes to gaming machines, the recession and taxation and of course the undoubted fact that online bingo has a part to play in the high street bingo hall’s demise. But what Mr McKenna also states is something which for many months has not been previously stated that of a reversal of fortunes being very much possible for the struggling land based bingo halls.
Increase the bingo jackpots?
Mr KcKenna, tapping into all his previous experience with Gala Bingo, states that he believes that it is crucial for bingo halls to get admissions up to allow for ‘top line growth’, which he sees as crucial for their survival and the way he believes bingo halls can do this is by ensuring that bingo players are getting value for money – attractive bingo jackpots are therefore essential – better marketing and by making sure that the product on offer is both innovative and exciting. Clearly this will require investment, but as they say sometimes it is essential to speculate to accumulate. Once players see that the bingo product offers excitement and also the prospect of a good size win and also more importantly that the bingo halls themselves have confidence in their product then the players will return.
Profits may be down but excitement needs to be upped
Bingo halls have every reason to feel downhearted with all the recent catastrophic events which have resulted in – if the Times report is to be believed - operating profits being down 40 per cent and visitor numbers down 20 per cent, however bingo bosses must ensure that they maintain ‘the show must go on mentality’. It is vital for bingo halls up and down the country to put the oomph back into the bingo game to ensure that they keep their rightful place on our high streets.