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Buzz Bingo to close 26 halls and cut hundreds of jobs

A bingo chain has announced the permanent closure of 26 sites, putting 573 jobs at risk.

Nottingham-based Buzz Bingo said it had taken the decision due to an “unsustainable operating environment for the foreseeable future”.

Its remaining 91 halls will continue to trade when they reopen from 6 August.

Chief executive Chris Matthews said a restructure would ensure those clubs were able to adapt to new safety measures and lower customer numbers.

Buzz Bingo closed its sites on 21 March due to the government-mandated lockdown and furloughed the majority of its staff.

‘Ongoing, challenging environment’

The company, which employs about 3,400 people, said it would “take time” for footfall at sites to reach pre-virus levels due to social distancing measures and weaker customer confidence.

Mr Matthews said: “The ongoing pandemic has had far-reaching consequences for the entire leisure and hospitality sector and an immediate and significant impact on our business.”

A restructure of its retail portfolio is planned “to ensure we are well positioned for a return to growth, while adapting to the ongoing, challenging environment as we start to reopen the majority of our clubs”, he added.

Buzz Bingo halls formerly operated as Gala Bingo clubs, while the Gala brand continues to operate online.

The Buzz Bingo online business will continue to trade as usual.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation (BPF), said: “These situations are never easy, particularly now for the retail, hospitality and leisure businesses on our high streets at the sharp end of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Buzz Bingo says the coronavirus pandemic has had "an immediate and significant impact" on business.

Winners Bingo

Situated at Thetford in Norfolk and Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, Winners Bingo Clubs attract members from all over the region every day, not to mention all our guests from much further afield who come along to the Club with family and friends when visiting.

When friends and family visit – bring them along! They can Join & Play on the Day. Special Bingo Buses run from various locations to our Clubs so you don’t even need to drive if you live in those areas – Contact your local Winners Bingo Club for further information and timetables etc.

New members are looked after from the minute they arrive so, if you’re a ‘first-timer’, don’t worry, it’s easy to play and our staff will make sure you and your friends have a relaxed (but exciting) time. Members must be over 18. You can Join & Play ‘On the Day’. Please note: We operate a ‘Think 25’ Policy, which means that we may need to see Proof of Age and ID along with your membership card in order to allow entry to the club. What are you waiting for?

Winners Bingo have Clubs in Thetford and Wisbech attracting members and guests from all over the region every day. ]]>