Mecca Wants Smokers Back at Bingo Halls

Although land based bingo has made a comeback things are not what they used to be. The smoking ban and excessive taxation have taken their toll and many bingo halls have closed their doors permanently. The smoking ban resulted in an immediate drop in the number of players attending their usual bingo games. For some reason bingo is taxed at a higher rate than other forms of gambling putting further pressure on High Street bingo halls throughout the UK. Even worse many town councils doubled and even tripled their licensing fees for bingo halls. The most damage was done by the smoking ban and a study at the time showed that 63% of all bingo players were smokers.

Bingo halls throughout the nation went out of their way to bring smokers back to their local bingo halls. Some built special outdoor enclosures for smokers. One bingo operator went so far as to offer players bingo cruises held in international waters where the smoking ban did not apply. The cruises were not successful and ended quickly most likely due to the expenses involved in running a cruise ship. Recent news reports indicate that bingo giant Mecca has come up with a way to bring smokers back to their bingo halls. Mecca Bingo in Leith has invested 60,000 pounds to build a new smoking shelter. Mecca obtained permission from Edinburgh’s licensing board to expand the area where gambling can take place.

Not everyone agreed with the plans for expansion. Labour member Eric Barry was one of the opponents of the plan. Barry told reporters “This actually goes against public health by allowing people to spend longer in a smoking area while playing this game.” Scottish anti smoking group Ash Scotland said that Mecca was encouraging players to “gamble with their life.” Rank Group representative who attended the licensing meeting told the board “There will be no public address system or speakers in this area. And as part of these changes, we are creating a noise lobby because internal double doors will be closed, so we are actually reducing the [noise] problem.” Mecca bingo player and smoker Linsay Robertson said “I think it’s a good idea and a bad idea. It will give people the opportunity to smoke, which is what people use to do at bingo halls. But it will also separate the smokers from nonsmokers, and people go to bingo halls to socialise.”

To further accommodate smokers the Mecca bingo hall will be provided with hand held devices so they can continue to play bingo games while they are outside having a smoke. The smoking ban sent thousands flocking to online bingo sites. Players can play online bingo in their own homes while happily puffing away. It will be interesting to see how successful the move by Mecca will be.

Online Bingo Reviews

Subscribe for Newsletter

We respect your email privacy
Read our privacy policy
Protected by Copyscape Original Content Checker
Visit Us On Twitter