There can be no denying that the land-based bingo industry is on a rapid decline. Fully in-line with the growth of remote gambling, more and more bingo halls are slowly but surely closing down their doors. However, in a somewhat unprecedented move, a bingo hall in Liverpool has applied to its local council to extend its opening hours.
The bingo hall in question – which is owned by Mecca and situated on East Prescot Road, has allegedly made the request on the back of customer demand. If the application is subsequently approved by the local council, then it will allow the Mecca bingo hall to remain open until 2am for up to 12 times per year.
In effect, this would allow Mecca Bingo to offer a one-off jackpot game once per month, which in all likelihood will be hosted on either a Friday or Saturday night. With the bingo hall currently licensed to remain open until Midnight, this would give seasoned bingo players the opportunity to play for an extra two hours. In doing so, the East Prescot Road location has vowed to install additional CCTV in the surrounding areas.
However, not everyone is happy with the proposed opening hour extension, with the Liverpool Echo reporting that local communities based in and around the Mecca bingo hall have kicked up a fuss. As per the report, one local resident was quoted as saying “Our concerns are that we as residents are only just managing to maintain the area ourselves, any increased litter, noise pollution and anti social behaviour would make it even more difficult to enjoy living here.”
With that being said, the Mecca bingo hall might struggle to get the green light from local council representatives.
The exception to the rule
Although the Liverpool-based Mecca bingo hall is clearly seeing increased customer demand, it must be noted that this goes completely against the trend. In fact, with land-based attendance figures at an all-time low, it remains to be seen how much longer the traditional bingo scene can survive.
First and foremost, the fact that the bingo hall is required to apply for an additional license to remain open until 2 am says it all. On the contrary, online bingo platforms operate on a 24/7 basis. As the underlying software developers have their games linked at hundreds of individual bingo platforms, this all-but guarantees that players will also be accustomed to heavy playing traffic.
Moreover, when you factor in the international presence that a lot of modern-day bingo sites now have, this further amplifies the ability to get a game around the clock.
This is in stark contrast to the traditional land-based bingo arena, which rarely experiences healthy player attendance levels outside of the evening and weekend hours. As such, the few bingo halls that are still in operation often close their doors during the week, as ultimately, the numbers are just not there.
Ultimately, the final nail in the coffin for land-based bingo halls is that their online counterparts are now creating a social-feel to games. Not only can players communicate in-game via a convenient chat facility, but some websites even allow players to link-up their webcam.
All-in-all, while we hope that the Liverpool-based Mecca bingo hall is successful in having its application approved – not least because it will potentially create additional jobs in the local area. However, the future certainly looks bleaks for the wider bingo hall industry.