In addition to their shiny new online site, Mecca Bingo made a live bingo coup last week by inviting Foreign Secretary David Miliband to an exclusive presentation regarding the double taxation crisis that bricks and mortar bingo is facing.
Is double taxation's number finally up?
Speaking after the event, CEO of meccabingo.com Ian Burke said of the unprecedented meeting held in their South Shields club, "I invited Mr Miliband to hear a small presentation about the double charges bingo halls have to pay. At the moment many halls are suffering and have been closed due to numerous factors, including the recession, and the double charges aren't helping. I thought this would be a good opportunity for him to meet with the people from his constituency, and see just how important bingo is to them".
At just 41, it's time for David to have some fun
The meeting is being lauded as a very successful attempt to convince the Foreign Secretary as to why so many bingo clubs are failing at the moment. It is hoped that the time he spent at the hall will also have shown how important the game is the community. After the meeting, Mr Miliband promised to discuss many of the issues raised with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, a meeting which is hoped will have more sway after having been part of the experience himself.
In fact, Mr Miliband became a real part of the live experience and was invited to take part on the floor, and even found himself having a go at calling the numbers during a live game. Speaking of the experience Mr Miliband said to the Shields Gazette he was delighted by the visit and added "I think I'll be sticking to my day job and leaving the calling to the experts".
Sign your name to save a national game
As a valuable addition to their ongoing 'Save our Bingo' campaign, a political coup like this couldn't be bigger or better for Mecca Bingo's Mr Burke who has been highlighting the difficulties faced by the industry for some time. With a special bingo song to raise awareness, and a national petition available at all Mecca Bingo halls, it's clear to see that Mr Burke loves the game as much as we do, and we at the Hideout sincerely hope that having had a minister contribute to the local game will not only boost the numbers in the local hall, but across the country in the long term once the Chancellor has considered Mr Miliband's report.