Gala Bingo seem to be almost constantly in the news recently, if it’s not another Gala Bingo hall closure it is the restructuring of the company debt or the redundancies suffered by the Gala Bingo hall staff and management. Never a day seems to go by without Gala Bingo making the news in some form or another and many reasons are given for the problems that the Gala Coral groups bingo hall are encountering, the varying problems are the reported hikes in taxation, changing player habits and the old chestnut - the smoking ban.
Gala Bingo of course are not alone in setting the cause of problems with diminishing player numbers firmly at the door of the smoking ban. It therefore comes as some surprise to read on the No Bull Bingo blog that Gala Bingo are making it difficult for those that are attempting to give up the dreaded weed to enjoy their bingo games. A bingo player called Norah McConnachie stated at the weekend on the No Bull Bingo site that she is actually banned by Gala Bingo from using a special device to help her quit smoking. The electronic cigarette - although admittedly not without controversy - is completely legal and more importantly harmless to others as it emits no dangerous toxic fumes that can be inhaled. The decision to ban the device by Gala Bingo appears on the surface to be the bingo hall giant playing lawmaker and deciding that they are better placed to protect the health of the user and therefore the e-cigarettes should not be allowed. Why Gala Bingo might feel that an aid to help a bingo player stop smoking should be harmful to the other bingo hall players, remains to be seen.
A recent article published on the Independent Online states that the National Council Against Smoking is attempting to have the electronic smoking devices governed by the same laws as the anti-smoking legislation, but as yet they are still entirely legal. It might be as well in the meantime for Gala Bingo, and certainly given the current crisis that they are suffering, to relax on their holier than thou policies so as not to keep potential bingo players away - Just a thought Mr Goulden!