Bingo Halls in the UK will Remain Closed Until May 17th
Following UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement early last week regarding the easing of lockdown restrictions, bingo fans have been waiting patiently for clarification as to when Bingo halls will reopen.
April 17th will see retail, outdoor activities, and hairdressers, reopen their doors once more while gyms, casino and bingo halls, and cinemas will open on May 17th.
Bingo and casino halls have had a particularly rough deal with lockdowns despite a set of safety measures in place to protect customers and staff. In March 2020 after the first lockdown was announced, all retail, leisure activities, cinemas, and betting shops all closed their doors resulting in a huge economic impact on businesses. Bingo halls and casinos were some of the last businesses to reopen in Spring 2020, they were again forced to close their doors in November and December last year due to a second lockdown.
January 2021 saw the third lockdown and once again bingo fans will have a long wait until they can get back into their favourite venues once again.
It’s estimated around 20% of the UK’s bingo halls have permanently closed their doors, with Buzz Bingo closing 26 clubs in the UK. And fears more will follow suit after the latest lockdown.
Michael Dugher from the Betting and Gaming Council stated the government must implement a level playing field regarding the reopening of similar businesses. He went on to say, “As the vaccine rollout continues and the country begins to emerge from lockdown, it’s important that businesses are able to plan effectively for reopening. Ministers must be clear from the outset what the next few months will look like and there should be a consistent approach across the sectors.
“Betting shops must be allowed to reopen alongside other non-essential retail. Last Summer, when most betting shops were able to open, they showed that they had best-in-class anti-covid measures compared to any other part of the high street to protect customers and staff. It is vital that ministers allow them to play their part in stimulating the high street, along with other non-essential retailers.”