Major bingo chain to permanently close 26 venues

By Hayley Grammer

UK gaming chain Buzz Bingo will permanently close 26 venues across the country due to financial pressures as a result of COVID-19.

Putting 573 jobs at risk, the Nottingham-based bingo company said in a statement that it had decided to go ahead with the closures due to an “unsustainable operating environment for the foreseeable future”.

Its remaining 91 halls will continue trading from 6 August, per government’s phased reopening of the economy, with the Buzz Bingo online business continuing to trade as normal.

According to Buzz Bingo CEO Chris Matthews, the planned restructuring will ensure that the remaining clubs can effectively adapt to new health and safety protocols, as well as the forecasted decrease in customer volume.

“Following a thorough review of our options, the proposed Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) will restructure our retail portfolio to ensure we are well positioned for a return to growth, while adapting to the ongoing, challenging environment as we start to reopen the majority of our clubs,” said Matthews.

The announcement forms part of several conditions undertaken with creditors as part of its CVA in an effort to secure long-term operations.

Buzz Bingo, which employs approximately 3,400 people, closed all its sites on 21 March due to the government-mandated lockdown, and furloughed the majority of its staff.


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