Buzz Bingo set to close 10% of UK clubs

Buzz Bingo is to put a company voluntary arrangement to creditors next month.
Buzz Bingo is to put a company voluntary arrangement to creditors next month.

The operator intends to close nine land-based venues due to increased costs and falling customer numbers.

UK.- The UK bingo operator Buzz Bingo has announced that it plans to close nine of its 91 land-based bingo halls. It says the move is necessary to control rising costs combined with a drop in business. Some 151 of the company’s 2,456 employees could be affected – that’s 6.1 per cent of all staff.

The company said changing customer behaviour meant that footfall had not recovered to pre-pandemic numbers. Meanwhile, the impact of inflation with rising operational and energy costs meant that the nine clubs were not financially viable.

Buzz Bingo CEO Dominic Mansour said: “In common with the entire leisure and hospitality sector, Buzz Bingo has failed to see customers return to the high street in the same numbers as before the pandemic.

“This, coupled with a squeeze on family finances brought about by rising inflation and energy prices, alongside a jump in our own operating costs, means we have no real option other than to cease trading in nine of our locations.

“Believe me, no-one wants to make the call to close clubs. However, it is my belief that it’s these decisions that will allow us to restructure the business for long-term growth and to protect the livelihoods of our colleagues for the long run.”

Mansour replaced Chris Matthews as Buzz Bingo CEO in November. He was previously chief operating officer. The majority owner of Buzz Bingo, formerly Gala Bingo, is the asset management firm Intermediate Capital Group, which bought its majority stake from Caledonia Investments for a nominal amount in 2021.

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