Kelly returns to retail bingo for Gala Leisure rebrand

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To assist in the rebranding of its clubs to Buzz Bingo,Gala Leisure has appointed industry veteran John Kelly as non-executive chairman.

Kelly, who founded the Gala Coral Group,has been recruited into the post after serving as chairman of Ladbrokes Coral until it was bought by online rival GVC.

He joins the company as it presses ahead with a £40m overhaul,which not only includes an extensive rebrand,but also a push online under its new banner.

Chris Matthews,the chief executive of Gala Leisure,said Kelly had a “deep understanding”of gaming and bingo.

“As we begin our new strategy and look towards online in the future,we are delighted to bring John back to where he started,having founded the Gala operations,” Matthews said.“He shares my vision for the potential of Buzz Bingo and his deep knowledge of the sector is unparalleled.”

The operator plans to utilise Kelly’s expertise to help guide it through the rebranding of its 124 bingo sites,which serve 1.1m customers.

“I believe we have a strong strategic plan and a strong team,led by Chris Matthews,and that he will lead this company to suc- cess in the future,”said Kelly.

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