Some of the regular bingo players at Mecca Bingo in Exeter are set to protest outside the club on Tuesday due to apparently being banned from attending that evening. Mecca Bingo will be closed for a private student event, disrupting routine for many of the club’s regulars.
Mecca Bingo has been a part of Exeter for about 40 years, with many players heading down weekly to enjoy an evening game. But on Tuesday they’ll be there with placards instead of bingo cards.
One anonymous player said: “There are hundreds of us in total and all of us are members of the club and have been going regularly for around the last 40 years. We go pretty much every Tuesday evening to the Bingo. But we have been told that we couldn’t go next Tuesday as they were closing the club to all members.”
She added that the club would only be open to students, and accused the club of ageism: “We are very angry about this and we shouldn’t be stopped from going, and the way that it was put to us was that they want to get the oldies out and get the youngsters in. But we are the ones that have kept it going for the past 40 years. The room fills about 600 people, but the students won’t fill the room, and we have been told that we are not allowed to go. If they wanted to, they could section off several tables and keep us all separate from the students, but we shouldn’t be banned.”
A protest will be held outside the club from 5:30pm on Tuesday.
“We are so angry and upset about this and we will be protesting with banners outside next Tuesday and have planned a protest next Tuesday. There are around 200-300 of us that go regularly on a Tuesday and all of a sudden we have been stopped from going next Tuesday.”
A spokesman for Mecca Bingo could only confirm that the club would be closed for a private function.
“As a one-off event, we will be closed on Tuesday, May 30, in the evening for a private function. We chose Tuesday, our quietest night, to inconvenience as few of our regular customers as possible.We’re very sorry to hear some of our customers are upset, we have given them six weeks’ notice of the event and a voucher which is redeemable at any of our other sessions to compensate them. We are open every day except Christmas Day so it is very unusual for us to hold a private event, we hope customers will come and play at one of the other 13 sessions we will be hosting next week.”
Information and Image Source: Devon Live