With the release of the Gambling Commission’s Industry Statistics to September 2016 the ‘rise of the machines’ for the sector continues.
For the bingo sector, which saw an overall GGY of £682.3m, down 9 percent on the previous period, the ‘rise of the machines’ continues. It is, however, a smaller rise than in previous years, with machine GGY still contributing approximately 45 percent, or £310.65m, of the total figure. This is down slightly from the last recorded time-frame, with each machine category seeing a marginal drop on its respective GGY. Machine numbers of Cat B4 and Cat D fell to reflect this decrease, however the bingo sector grew Cat B3 and Cat C machine numbers by 3 percent and 1 percent respectively.
In the period March 2016 – March 2017, there were a total of 583 recorded bingo venues, with Gala operating 131, Mecca operating 87, and the remaining 365 operated by ‘other’ companies. Compared to the previous 12 months, Gala added one venue, Mecca lost four, leaving 32 lost by ‘other’ operators, comprising a 6 percent overall drop in bingo halls in the UK.
Employee numbers in bingo halls fell marginally, leaving the sectors employing 12,733 people across the UK.