With Gala bingo shares having risen recently for the first time in a long time, the Gala Bingo company still seem to be reviewing their position on the live bingo stage and their latest shock announcement seems to be a manoeuvring of their stance to reduce outlay without losing their big name.
A surefire sign of how live bingo is currently changing and is about to change irrevocably Gala has announced its intention to withdraw from the national game. This means the game that was launched in 1986 to strengthen the popularity and position of the live game is now weakened by roughly a third of its strength. Gala have stated that in addition to focusing on an extended two-page High 5 game they will now be able to focus further on their own national game which they hope will still bring in sizeable jackpots for their players.
Gala’s intention to replace the national game in its halls with the hugely popular High 5 game may not seem such a big deal until you consider that this game has paid out an enormous £1 billion since it started and has acted as a focal point of the live bingo industry. It’s probably the most unifying and popular game with players until recently. Gala have announced their intention to remain a part of this game until September after which time the national game will still be played across the Mecca Bingo and Castle Bingo clubs as well as the smaller independent clubs currently in play.
Once again, we surmise that this move will have the most impact on the vulnerable, smaller clubs who will lose out directly as a result of the departure of this bingo giant from the national game, with jackpots sure to dwindle in size and players more likely to visit larger clubs to 'follow the money' they did not have to chase before.
While the clubs left will still be upholding this industry staple of the game, they will undoubtedly be considering their position and contemplating a future that could leave live games without a unifying play off and or the feeling of “we're all in it together” it promotes with clubs and players alike. The complete loss of this game could strike the worst blow yet to the struggling industry; let's hope this does not become a reality, as live bingo might never get back up again.