This month, it has been revealed that Gala Coral are considering selling off their bingo clubs. However, potential buyers may well be put off by the price tag due to concerns over profitability. The tax burden placed on bingo halls has strangled the industry - and perhaps new directions are needed to help save them... perhaps Specsavers has the answer?
Above is the latest Specsavers advert showing a fitness instructor mistakenly leading a class of bingo players in a workout. The OAPs are good sports in doing their exercises to Sexy And I Know It by LMFAO. It's a fun ad and has some great music - but perhaps there's method in the madness.
Keep fit classes can take place anywhere - so why not at bingo? Clubs could put dedicated rooms aside for keep fit classes and offer discounts to bingo players. "Fit & Bingo", "Bingo Zumba" and "Bingo Boxercise" could be ideal bed fellows for the big money jackpots and social fun that's already on offer. Throw in a nice strapline like "Lose pounds and win pounds" and who knows...
Of course just adding exercise classes won't make bingo clubs become better social venues of the future. A lot more needs to be done at these places to generate increased interest from the local community - good food, coffee shops, fitness, comedy clubs - but this will only happen if the investment is worth doing. Sadly that's not going to happen until the VAT issues are resolved (The FT). Investors in the leisure sector will want one where investment in infrastructure is 20% more than other options, such as pubs and restaurants.
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