Two Bingo Giants and How They Got That Way

In the United Kingdom the two most recognized names in the bingo industry are Gala and Mecca bingo. Both companies operate bingo halls across the UK and have been at it for over fifty years. Despite the troubles experienced by land based bingo operators both companies are still going strong and have added operate online bingo sites to remain profitable. Gala is the UK’s largest land based bingo operator followed by Mecca bingo.

Mecca bingo has a long history and extensive experience in the bingo industry Way back in 1937 the hottest bingo spot in London was Kilburn Mecca Bingo located in the largest movie theatre in the country at that time. In 1961 Mecca Bingo was officially established and operated more than 100 bingo halls across the country with five million members who regularly attended games. In 1986 the National Bingo Game was launched offering players huge jackpots. National Bingo games were part of a network which enabled the operators to offer players substantial jackpots. The national bingo game has created several bingo millionaires in the UK.  Like many land based operators Mecca went online when the national smoking was passed. Mecca’s bingo site made up for the loss of revenue from smokers who stopped attending games after the ban was passed.

Gala bingo is probably the most well known bingo brand in the UK. Gala bingo operates 148 bingo clubs across the UK and has a 24% share of all land based clubs and accounted for almost 40% of all national bingo game sales until Gala withdrew from the game in 2008. Gala has five million members and about 1.2 million are active regular players. In 2007 62 year old pensioner Pauline Clarke became Gala’s first bingo millionaire. Gala is part of the Gala Coral Group Ltd. and operations include their bingo site, betting shops and casinos. A 2005 merger with Eurobet made Gala Coral the third largest bookmaker and the UK’s largest bingo operator.

Both companies were hit hard by the smoking ban and double taxation by the government. Mecca and Gala put their extensive bingo experience to work and launched their individual bingo sites. Both companies have remained competitive through marketing campaigns and extensive television advertising. Both companies receive consistently good online bingo reviews on an online bingo blog. Both sites were well capitalized when they were launched and have remained competitive ever since.

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