An iconic feature of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk is no longer gracing its streets, after it was revealed that the decline in people going out to play bingo was behind the club’s demise after 20 years of operation.
Winners Bingo on Hatters Street was one of three in the region, but financial pressure has led to the closure of the Bury branch, which shut its doors for the last time on September 21st.
It is believed that the smoking ban and online bingo are the main reasons behind the fall in popularity of attending the bingo club.
A spokesman from Winners Bingo said: “it is with great regret that this decision has been taken after 20 years of operating in the town, but there are a number of important factors that have contributed to the closure.
The number of bingo clubs in the UK has declined rapidly in the recent past. This has been due to two main factors, firstly falling admissions since the smoking ban and secondly, the dramatic rise in popularity of online bingo.”
The branches in Thetford and Wisbech continue to trade normally, and remain very popular with loyal support from customers. At the request of customers, Winners Bingo will operate coaches to the Thetford club.
Not everything can be salvaged however, as 22 members of staff have been made redundant, with some being offered places in the Thetford branch.
Some more positive news is that Tony Jones, owner of the neighbouring Abbeygate Cinema has confirmed his interest in the venue.
“I am not interested in bingo, but it was very big on the last night. I don’t think it will affect our business, but it would not be good to have a derelict building next door. It is a fantastic building, it has been kept immaculately and had a lot of money put into it.”