Opening up Buzz Bingo retail locations will follow all the safety precautions needed to establish a COVID-19 safe environment. The newly appointed COO Dominic Mansour expects the retail visiting demographic to consist of vaccinated customers eager to get out of their homes.
“We’ve got some really exciting stuff in the pipeline later this year… So there’s some plans around simple, local entertainment – whether that’s comedy, music, quiz shows, and so on – in the clubs,” said Mansour.
UK operator Buzz Bingo experienced significant financial hardship during 2020. Like the rest of the UK bingo industry, Buzz Bingo experienced the effect of having to close down retail locations because of the lockdown measures.
“Before COVID kicked in, the business was in a really strong position. It was growing really well. It’s been difficult to trade in retail obviously for the last 12, 13 months. I think in that time period we’d been open for about six weeks,” said Mansour.
Buzz Bingo had to close approximately 25% of its shops due to unsuitable work conditions. Caledonia Investments proceeded with the sale of Buzz Bingo to Intermediate Capital Group.
The pandemic was one of the several challenges faced by UK bingo establishments. The review of the Gambling Act and technology pose challenges Buzz Bingo needs to overcome.
Buzz Bingo, together with the rest of the bingo market, operates in uncertainty while expecting a review of the 2005 UK Gambling Act. Operators will potentially experience further regulatory restrictions, but Mansour says that he believes in the loyalty of Buzz Bingo’s customers and the ability of the company to adapt to any upcoming changes. He recognises that new online bingo websites, popular across a wide demographic, are a market with a lot of potential but hopes that in-person bingo is still capable of attracting a large number of customers to bingo halls.