Bingo hall closure a blow for shops


THE NUMBERS are down as businesses struggle to cope with the closure of Islington’s only bingo hall.

Mecca Bingo Club in Essex Road, Islington, shut a month ago (March 25) because its bosses Rank feared July’s smoking ban in public places would cause a drop in takings.

But for shops nearby this has dealt a devastating blow.

Bipin Patel, owner of Turnbull’s Chemist, in Essex Road, said: “For us it’s had a massive drop. A lot of elderly people who used to come to the bingo used to come to us with their prescriptions.

“There were about 600 people going in there every day and about 10 per cent of those would come into the shop. It’s a huge drop. There was no contingency plan, we couldn’t have because there was only a month’s notice.”

He added: “We have seen some people come back but they have indicated that it’s too far and I can understand that.

“When we go and see patients in the evening they want to hold on to us and talk to us. They have lost a chance to see friends now the bingo has closed.”

Alishah Nomee, who works in Happy Stores newsagents, next door, said: “We have lost around £150 a day since they closed it. They used to buy pens, drinks, chocolates, everything. We used to be very busy after 7pm and now it’s empty.”

Terry Edwards, who works at the flower stall near the bingo hall in Essex Road, said: “They used to buy flowers and things, especially if it was someone’s birthday.”

From Bingo Online /

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