Nothing in this world is certain, we know that, but when we learned of bingo halls up and down the UK reopening once again, it seemed we were getting back into some sort of normality. Until news hit of bingo hall closures in England that is.
Over the past few weeks, bingo players have been waiting on the news of their clubs reopening and in July, the first lot started to welcome back their customers; from Mecca Bingo to Club 3000, but there was nothing from the Nottingham-based Buzz Bingo brand.
Many started to fear that the major UK bingo chain had got into some sort of difficulty, until an announcement by Chief Executive Chris Matthews came – news on the reopening, but not until August 6th, some 4-weeks after every other bingo brand. As fans reached out to them on Facebook with messages of support and elation, there was more news to come that would turn all that on its head.
Facebook is THE place to be for the latest news, but you wouldn’t expect loyal staff to learn of their redundancy this way, but as one employer (or should that be ex-employer) stated “Sky News knew before we did!” The social media team said: “It’s with a heavy heart we announce that 26 of our clubs will not be reopening and will be closing permanently. We’re really sad to bring you this news as we know this will be a difficult time for our community and our colleagues.”
Closed for Good:
According to Chris Matthews, a restructure of the bingo chain was necessary to be able to adapt to new safety measures. Up until the news of the 26 club closures, Buzz Bingo had employed some 3,400 people, but it is inevitable that 573 of these staff members will lose their jobs.
In an attempt to drown out the angry posts across social media, Chris said: “We are reopening 12 clubs on 6th August and the rest of our clubs will be reopening in the coming weeks, and, of course, our online bingo and slots are open to all at online. I really hope that you will continue to enjoy playing with us.”
Elle Gilbert is just one of the many employees who learned of her fate on Facebook and couldn’t wait to tell everyone how disappointed she was: “I work at Weymouth, sorry I *worked* at Weymouth. We were informed at 8.30am that we are one of the 26 to close.
I’m guessing I will now lose my Diamond account too coz I now won’t have money to play with, don’t even know how I’m going to pay rent. Now going to spend my day job hunting. I’m going to miss my customers and you lovely diamond members so much. Take care all of you. Stay safe.”
Is your club earmarked for closure?
- Derby Foresters
- Edinburgh Westerhailes
- Milton Keynes
- Oxford Kassam
- Southampton Antelope Park
- Stockland Green
- Wigan Robin Park
“Our Buzz Bingo community means the world to us, and we know how disappointing this news will be – especially for those of our customers who are losing their local club, and of course, our colleagues – we know that we are more than just a club, we are part of your community, and for that, I am really sorry.”
Maybe the Buzz Bingo CEO should have made sure those who were about to lose their jobs, were told first instead of rushing out with a statement!
Source: “Buzz Bingo to Close 26 Halls and Cut hundreds of Jobs”. BBC News. July 15, 2020.