It’s a bold move, to say the least as the owners of the Gala Bingo Clubs, Gala Leisure is to rebrand the iconic Gala Bingo to Buzz Bingo. Their aim is to appeal to younger audiences with the new brand and the price tag for the rebrand isn’t cheap either.
They will look to make a £40m investment in their clubs over the next two years but the initial rebrand will be for four clubs to start with, before rolling out the change across the rest of the UK.
The four clubs that are currently operating under the Buzz Bingo brand are Clacton on Sea, Enfield, Peterborough & Falkirk.
Their online offering will also feature in the rebrand. As you may already know Gala currently uses Playtech to power their online bingo presence and its announced that Buzz Bingo will also be powered by the legendary software provider.
Why Call It Buzz Bingo?
According to the research carried out by Gala Leisure, there is a trend with younger audiences attending their bingo halls more often so the rebranding exercise is to draw in more younger players.
Commercially if someone is playing bingo more frequently then they are spending more in your high street bingo halls, so the value of these players is significantly more than the traditional bingo hall player.
In the press release, Gala Leisure states that they “hope the re-launch will re-energise local communities and reignite the allure of bingo and the ‘buzz’ of playing, as well as attract new audiences into bingo halls across the UK.”
CEO of Gala Leisure Chris Matthews said in their press release:
“When I joined this company, I was struck by the special relationships that our customers and teams have. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my career. It’s that feeling we want to bring to a wider audience through the launch of Buzz Bingo. Keeping this spirit of community, our customers love, is very important to us as we expand in the future, into the online space and attract a new generation of players.”
A Bold Step Just To Attract New Players?
The rebrand isn’t just about new players, there is a lot of confusion around the Gala Brand and this is because of the former connections with the Labrokes Coral Group.
Back in 2015 Gala and Coral sat under the Gala Coral Group until a merger took place between Ladbrokes and Coral. This created the largest UK bookmaker as the merger enabled them to take top slot from William Hill. The Ladbrokes Coral Group was formed as part of the merger.
The merger didn’t include the high street bingo halls which in effect leaves the Gala high street bingo halls, operating under a separate entity to Gala Bingo Online. Caledonia Investments in December of that year took over the running of the high street bingo halls as a separate entity.
GVC Holdings Buys Ladbrokes Coral Group
In March 2018, GVC Holdings purchased the Ladbrokes Coral Group, this included the rights to the name galabingo.com. Ladbrokes continues to operate under its original name and they retain the rights to use the galabingo.com name.
This effectively means that Caledonia Investments and Gala Leisure do not own the rights to use the name Gala Bingo online.
It’s a very confusing situation and it leaves Gala Bingo physical halls unable to promote their brand online and this is as much to do with the rebrand as it is them wanting to appeal to a younger audience.
This is something I can understand as the online bingo market is worth billions of pounds and Gala Leisure at the present time has no access to this market.
We will keep you posted and no doubt once to rebrand is complete we’ll head over to one of the two clubs and experience it first hand!