Bingo Magic

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Bingo Magic's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Bingo Magic is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.bingomagicgroup.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
42 | BINGO MAGIC
Managing Director
AlanHumphries
Modern designed
bingo halls
Bingo Magic began as a single bingo club in Lisburn,
Northern Ireland, and have since expanded to become the
largest operator in the country. They are committed to
innovation and attracting the next generation of bingo players
and were the first operator to introduce electronic bingo
tablets. By encouraging the social side of the game, and the
mental stimulation it can provide, they aim to bind their local
community together. Managing Director Alan Humphries, who
is also a published author, having released a book detailing
his journey to become the first person from Ireland to reach
the North Pole by foot, discusses how they have achieved their
expansion and what is next for bingo.
In 1992, I opened my first bingo club in my home town of Lisburn, Northern
Ireland. I named it Top Hat Bingo, after an old ballroom that used to be in the area,
and since then I have expanded to become the largest bingo operator in Northern
Ireland, with seven sites across the country. I currently employ 90 members of staff,
most of whom have been with me for ten years or more.
Bingo as a social activity
Although classified as an entertainment-based company, it could be argued that we
are in fact a social company that provides entertainment. It is no secret that Northern
Ireland has a troubled history and that in the past there have been great divides within
our communities, but we have always strived to keep our bingo clubs non-divisive.
FACTS ABOUT
BINGO MAGIC
»Managing Director:
AlanHumphries
»Established in 1992
»Based in Lisburn, Northern
Ireland
»Services: Gaming and
entertainment
»No. of employees: 90
Bingo Magic
43BINGO MAGIC |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Creating a cross-community safe
haven for all has held us in great stead
and allowed the business to go from
strength to strength.
As well as the obvious social aspect to
getting out of the house and mixing
with other bingo players, there are
many other, perhaps less obvious,
benefits to playing bingo, such as
mental stimulation and overall more
positive mental wellbeing as a result
of socialising and keeping the mind
active. There is no doubt in my mind
that bingo is a great form of escapism
and an enjoyable night out for all who
frequent our clubs, both young and
old. As a company, we make every
effort to uphold the social side of
playing bingo in our clubs and truly
believe in creating memorable and
personal experiences for our members.
For example, we organise birthday
parties for our players where we supply
everything from the cake and drinks
to the banners and balloons, and the
birthday boy or girl gets to play for
free. We also provide a free Christmas
dinner for all customers on set nights
every December.
As part of our ethos, I place the
utmost importance on our weekly
charity events and warmly invite our
customers to hold a fundraiser on
these nights for whichever charity
they choose, be it a large national or
a smaller local cause. These charity
nights are a tremendous platform to
spread goodwill and an awareness of
fantastic causes in need throughout
the community. One fundraiser that
comes to mind was for a young girl
who needed an electric wheelchair
but could not be supplied with one
due to welfare cuts. Within her area,
her plight was not widely known,
but when the community were made
aware of it, via our charity night, they
truly rallied to help and support her.
Witnessing many instances such as this
is truly humbling and reaffirming of the
fact that what we do is veryimportant.
Encouraging the younger
generation
For decades, bingo was perceived as
an activity that was enjoyed only by
pensioners; nowadays, this couldn’t be
further from the truth. Working closely
alongside my management team, I
have tirelessly strived to dispel this
myth. Attracting younger clientele to
come to our clubs to play bingo was,
and still is, a rather large challenge. In
the cyber age in which we live, bingo is
available online at the click of a button,
via many websites and apps. The
temptation to forego getting up from
your comfortable sofa to actually leave
your house to play bingo in a club has
made our aim of coaxing people into
our clubs no mean feat.
Video poker room
Casino-inspired gaming
area
There is no
doubt in my
mind that
bingo is a
great form of
escapism and
an enjoyable
night out
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
42 | BINGO MAGIC
Managing Director
AlanHumphries
Modern designed
bingo halls
Bingo Magic began as a single bingo club in Lisburn,
Northern Ireland, and have since expanded to become the
largest operator in the country. They are committed to
innovation and attracting the next generation of bingo players
and were the first operator to introduce electronic bingo
tablets. By encouraging the social side of the game, and the
mental stimulation it can provide, they aim to bind their local
community together. Managing Director Alan Humphries, who
is also a published author, having released a book detailing
his journey to become the first person from Ireland to reach
the North Pole by foot, discusses how they have achieved their
expansion and what is next for bingo.
In 1992, I opened my first bingo club in my home town of Lisburn, Northern
Ireland. I named it Top Hat Bingo, after an old ballroom that used to be in the area,
and since then I have expanded to become the largest bingo operator in Northern
Ireland, with seven sites across the country. I currently employ 90 members of staff,
most of whom have been with me for ten years or more.
Bingo as a social activity
Although classified as an entertainment-based company, it could be argued that we
are in fact a social company that provides entertainment. It is no secret that Northern
Ireland has a troubled history and that in the past there have been great divides within
our communities, but we have always strived to keep our bingo clubs non-divisive.
FACTS ABOUT
BINGO MAGIC
»Managing Director:
AlanHumphries
»Established in 1992
»Based in Lisburn, Northern
Ireland
»Services: Gaming and
entertainment
»No. of employees: 90
Bingo Magic
43BINGO MAGIC |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Creating a cross-community safe
haven for all has held us in great stead
and allowed the business to go from
strength to strength.
As well as the obvious social aspect to
getting out of the house and mixing
with other bingo players, there are
many other, perhaps less obvious,
benefits to playing bingo, such as
mental stimulation and overall more
positive mental wellbeing as a result
of socialising and keeping the mind
active. There is no doubt in my mind
that bingo is a great form of escapism
and an enjoyable night out for all who
frequent our clubs, both young and
old. As a company, we make every
effort to uphold the social side of
playing bingo in our clubs and truly
believe in creating memorable and
personal experiences for our members.
For example, we organise birthday
parties for our players where we supply
everything from the cake and drinks
to the banners and balloons, and the
birthday boy or girl gets to play for
free. We also provide a free Christmas
dinner for all customers on set nights
every December.
As part of our ethos, I place the
utmost importance on our weekly
charity events and warmly invite our
customers to hold a fundraiser on
these nights for whichever charity
they choose, be it a large national or
a smaller local cause. These charity
nights are a tremendous platform to
spread goodwill and an awareness of
fantastic causes in need throughout
the community. One fundraiser that
comes to mind was for a young girl
who needed an electric wheelchair
but could not be supplied with one
due to welfare cuts. Within her area,
her plight was not widely known,
but when the community were made
aware of it, via our charity night, they
truly rallied to help and support her.
Witnessing many instances such as this
is truly humbling and reaffirming of the
fact that what we do is veryimportant.
Encouraging the younger
generation
For decades, bingo was perceived as
an activity that was enjoyed only by
pensioners; nowadays, this couldn’t be
further from the truth. Working closely
alongside my management team, I
have tirelessly strived to dispel this
myth. Attracting younger clientele to
come to our clubs to play bingo was,
and still is, a rather large challenge. In
the cyber age in which we live, bingo is
available online at the click of a button,
via many websites and apps. The
temptation to forego getting up from
your comfortable sofa to actually leave
your house to play bingo in a club has
made our aim of coaxing people into
our clubs no mean feat.
Video poker room
Casino-inspired gaming
area
There is no
doubt in my
mind that
bingo is a
great form of
escapism and
an enjoyable
night out
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | BINGO MAGIC
Unlike our counterparts on the UK
mainland, we in Northern Ireland are
not permitted to have on-site bar
facilities or an alcohol licence, so this
social draw is not in our armoury when
trying to encourage young people to
opt for bingo as an alternative night
out. Despite this, with a lot of effort,
hard work and time, we have definitely
begun to appeal to a younger
audience, and the pay-off from this
has enabled us to sustain our business.
Ten or so years ago, the two or three
young adults we may have seen in
our bingo clubs had generally been
dragged there begrudgingly by their
grandmothers. Nowadays, however, I
am delighted to report that attitudes
seem to have changed, and some 35
per cent of our regular customer base
is below the age of 40.
The key to this, I believe, has been
revamping bingo and keeping it fresh to
appeal to the younger customer while
adhering to the fundamental aesthetics
of the game so as not to alter the
experience of the “old school” players.
The most dramatic change we made
in this area was in 2003, when we
introduced electronic bingo. Essentially,
a tablet with bingo books was
introduced, which could be played side
by side with paper books. Wewere
the pioneers in using electronic bingo
in the whole of the UK and, in fact,
anywhere in the world outside of
the USA, something of which we
are immensely proud. Adopting the
American invention of these bingo
tablets was a game-changer in so
many ways. Perhaps the most notable
of these was the fact that for the
first time, people with disabilities,
learning difficulties or conditions such
as arthritis were able to play bingo, as
the implementation of touch-screen
devices negated the need to hold and
use apen.
I feel that the foresight to take the leap
with electronic bingo all those years
ago paved the way for other larger
corporate bingo companies to follow
suit. To this day, I continue to strive
to make my business as successful
and user-friendly as possible, always
putting the needs and experience of
my customers first. In this day and age,
where such emphasis and importance
are placed upon our mental health and
the need for social stimulus, I hope
that the bingo industry will continue
to bloom and grow and that people
will see it as a wonderful outlet and
opportunity to have some fun. To this
end, I endeavour to bring only the very
best of bingo to my clubs, keeping up
to date with all the latest technology
while upholding the fundamentals of
this much-loved game.
Revamping
bingo and
keeping it
fresh to
appeal to the
younger
customer
Dinner club-style bingo
hall
45UNIVERSAL ATTRACTIONS |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Founder Norman Wallis
Family-friendly experiences
are tourism’s lifeblood
Norman Wallis is an international tourism expert who
specialises in creating family-focused entertainment.
From dynamic theme parks and immersive experiences
to educational and inspirational visitor attractions worldwide,
he has spent the last 11 years regenerating a derelict and
abandoned seaside amusement park. It has returned to
profitability and is now an acknowledged attraction that draws
more than half a million visitors a year to the coastal town of
Southport. Norman tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
My vision is not limited to the town of Southport, the borough or even the region.
Through our work we have helped demonstrate that seaside resort entertainment
can thrive, proving that it’s just a question of understanding your customers
and pushing the envelope to put an end to seasonality. I am planning a series of
heavyweight improvements to make the Southport theme park a year-round, must-
visit attraction that will boost the region’s economy.
Investing in Britain
The next 12 months will be a pivotal period for tourism in the UK. Now is the time
to make sure we capitalise on what we have – and go a step further. Whatever
changes are incoming, thanks to a different relationship with Europe, the tourism
industry is well placed to capitalise on them. The UK is unique and British influence
has always made a global impact. Not only did we absorb elements of other
countries’ culture, from cotton and silk to plants and cuisine, but we also left traces
of our own.
FACTS ABOUT
UNIVERSAL ATTRACTIONS
»Founder: Norman Wallis
»Founded Southport
Pleasureland family
amusement park in 2007
»Based in northwest England
»Services: Family-focused
entertainment and attractions
»Universal Attractions has 30
years’ experience in tourism
consultancy and management
»southportpleasureland.com
Universal Attractions

www.bingomagicgroup.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Bingo Magic. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster