Casinos and bingo halls

Casinos and bingo halls in England and Scotland have begun to announce reopenings after the UK’s winter Covid-19 lockdown.

The UK government has confirmed that casinos and bingo halls will be permitted to reopen from next Monday, May 17.

Venues have been closed since December under the UK’s second nationwide Covid-19 lockdown. Those in some areas have been closed for even longer because they were in higher-risk tiers under the former tiered system of Covid-19 restrictions, which was introduced before the nationwide lockdown at the end of the year.

Casinos and bingo halls were first forced to close in March 2020 along with all non-essential businesses following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Venues began reopening in July but with strict curfews in place.

A target date of May 17 for casinos, bingo halls and adult gaming centres in England was announced by the government back February, but that was to remain dependent on progress in terms of a reduction in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Casinos in Scotland looked likely to have to wait longer, a decision that was criticised by the Betting and Gaming Council, but it now appears that casinos in Scotland will be able to reopen at the same time as those south of the border.

Betting shops reopened on April 12 in England and on April 26 in Scotland.

Mecca Bingo confirms date for reopening of all venues
Rank Group’s Mecca Bingo has announced that it will reopen all of its venues in England, Wales and Scotland on May 17. The group is planning to celebrate the diamond anniversary since the fist Mecca Bingo venue in London opened in 1961.

Mecca said that it expects to see a wider and younger demographic at its bingo clubs following reopening as it believes people are looking for new ways to spend leisure time.

John Dyson, national operations director at Mecca Bingo, said: “We’re expecting this to be the year of bingo, and we’re coming back in style. People are going to expect a lot more from their leisure spend and are keen to find new social experiences that are value for money and packed with entertainment.

“Bingo ticks every box and we expect to see high demand from a new audience who want to have some fun in a safe, spacious and welcoming environment. As such we’ve really ramped up plans to evolve the bingo experience in ways that will appeal to a new audience.”

Mecca Bingo said it has introduced new session times throughout the day to reduce the number of people in venues at any one time, with new hourly bingo adding increased flexibility.

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