Monday, February 19, 2007

Al fresco bingo

Britain's biggest bingo firm have a new trick to stop smokers leaving halls in droves - handheld consoles. The gadgets allow punters to keep on playing even when they nip out for a cig.

Bingo halls in Scotland suffered when the smoking ban came into force last March, although takings have recovered. But venues in England are bracing themselves for a drop in revenues when the ban starts there here July.

Gala Coral say they will try to tackle any fall in sales with new measures designed to keep player numbers up.

They dreamt up the idea of hand-held gizmos after realising they could allow players outside to play on. The company will put up to 120 of the machines in their 170 halls.

They'll also apply for gaming licences to allow punters to play in outside areas.

Chief executive Neil Goulden: "The hand-helds will give the opportunity for smokers to keep playing and they will also modernise the whole process of bingo."

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