Bingo Association Steps Up Call for Industry Help
As we wrote last week, the Bingo Association were successful in their call for funding for Scottish bingo clubs from the Scottish government in the wake of the pandemic. So far, no such equivalent scheme in England has come to fruition. The organisation that originated that campaign and its leader, Miles Baron, are now doubling down on their English campaign too.
Mr. Baron of the Bingo Association has written an opinion piece in the i Newspaper highlighting why bingo clubs should receive the same attention and help that other cultural institutions in the UK have received.
The pandemic has decimated practically all indoor culture pastimes, including cinema, museums and the theatre. And all of these sectors have received loans and funding through Treasury schemes to save UK culture. Baron points to the £1.57 billion fund specifically for these sorts of institutions.
Bingo clubs will also be able to re-open on 17th May but will have received nothing like the same support apart from the furlough scheme to help play employee wages.
Mr. Baron says that bingo clubs should be treated more like the arts because bingo is a “great working-class tradition enjoyed across 300 bingo clubs in England.”
To highlight the plight of the bingo club, he cites that over 10% of these venues have had to close permanently over the course of the crisis. He estimates that almost £300 million of revenue has been lost due to the pandemic in this industry. He also notes, as we did earlier this month, that Scottish bingo clubs will each receive up to £50,000 to help keep them afloat. So why doesn’t England’s bingo clubs deserve the same?
In the spirited plea for the merit of bingo clubs in society, Mr. Baron wrote:
“Bingo clubs are a real part of our communities and social fabric. Since the 1960s they have been a safe environment to entertain and provide close companionship to a largely female demographic.”
The “bingo is my lifeline” campaign has now been extended to petition the UK government for support in England. The petition has so far gained over 8,000 signatures.
If you want to lend your voice to the petition then visit the Bingo is my Lifeline website.