Whilst the bingo news has its fair share of closure stories, warming the cockles, are stories of new bingo halls springing up or thankfully being saved.
With the “likely” closure of Buzz Bingo Wallsend, LOL Bingo the UK bingo and slots operator, is hoping to step in and meet what it calls the “social demand” for bingo in the Wallsend area.
According to local reports, plans have been submitted to North Tyneside council by LOL Bingo Ltd, to turn a vacant shop into a bingo hall with slots.
The closure of Buzz Bingo Wallsend has been on the cards since May last year. Although no official announcement has been made and amid huge local outcry, Councillors approved plans to convert Wallsend’s Buzz Bingo Hall into a “discount” shop in July 2023.
LOL Bingo Ltd stated that it intends to provide a female-centred social hub and offer a “more immersive” gaming experience than can be found playing bingo online.
Should permission be granted, the Wallsend opening would build upon the branch opened in Manchester in February 2022.
In a letter to North Tyneside Council, the director of LOL Bingo Ltd, Mike Smith wrote:
“Our first lounge was opened in Manchester (Harpurhey) in February 2022, and we are proud of the positive working relationship we formed with both the planning and licensing authorities there, we sincerely hope to form the same with yourselves.”
The Rise of the Independents
A second branch of LOL Bingo would add to the rise of the independent retail bingo operator. With Buzz Bingo being auctioned off and Mecca Bingo closing dozens of long-established bingo venues, the retail bingo industry in the UK appears to be led by the independents.
The acquisition of Majestic Bingo by the Real Fun Group and the head-turning rise of Club 3000 show there is indeed demand for bingo in the UK.
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