This week we see the bingo rumor mill in full tilt as the company Coral that owns Gala gets in talks about a possible exit from the industry which would leave the UK without one of its biggest names.
It is estimated that Gala Bingo has a 45% share of the UK's bingo sector so we at the Hideout are wondering what on earth could replace such a huge hole in the heart of our favorite industry if they get their wish to sell on their bingo halls? Well a high street empty of Gala bingo halls is indeed a sad image to conjure but we assume whomever can afford to buy this share of Gala's empire would be able to keep those magical places open.
It has been suggested that the reasoning behind the proposed sell off has a lot to do with taxation on these outlets and of the controversy that surrounds fixed odds slots but with those at Coral unwilling to comment on any of these developments we'll just have to keep you posted roomies.
We would love there to be a presence for live bingo in Britain's high streets for a lot longer but we also wonder whether online bingo has superseded the need for bricks and mortar bingo in the same way that Kindles and the internet have meant a decline in loans from local library’s.
We have heard of so many heart warming stories from bingo halls since the Hideout began it seems almost tragic to lose this important social space in an increasingly spartan high street already but considering the strong social aspect of all of the online sites, are bingo halls just a folly a nostalgic reflection of a time when there was no other way to play?
Let us know on our Facebook page what you think and your experiences of live bingo; let's get the debate started!
We should reassure all players that right now Gala is only said to be in talks regarding the future of the company so any changes wont be coming anytime soon.