Buckingham Bingo which owns 12 land-based bingo clubs is in crisis talks with banks yet again, after it has been revealed that pre-tax losses of over £88m have been recorded with Companies House for the last financial year at the same time turnover was down to just over £33m. Full House Holdings Limited – the new parent company which took over last year from Alchemy after losing its stake in the company to Barclays – is still operating but the situation is looking extremely precarious for the group should lenders demand immediate repayment of loans. Barclays however have said that “We remain supportive and will continue to remain supportive.” Barclays wrote of £14m of debt to secure the equity in Full House Holdings.
Full House Holdings Limited has blamed the smoking ban which was introduced in 2007 for the downturn in revenues as well as the current difficult trading conditions. High street bingo halls are suffering from reduced numbers through the doors as well as a reduction of average spend per customer, as opposed to online bingo which is not showing much sign of reversal of fortunes. Buckingham Bingo launched there own online bingo site last year, Bucky Bingo which is doing extremely well and is “making a positive contribution to the business”, it is hoped that the contribution from Bucky Bingo will continue to assist the parent company much further in the future.
The previous year was something of an ‘annus horribilis’ for Buckingham Bingo as in November 2008 the company found themselves in trouble over breaches to Health & Safety laws at the hall located at Ellesmere Retail Park, Walkden. Buckingham Bingo pleaded guilty to the charges of ‘Failing to ensure the Health, Safety and welfare at work of employees’, Buckingham Bingo were fined £10,000 with an additional sum of £2,006.32 in costs.