Club 3000

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Club 3000'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 Club 3000 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
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

1CLUB 3000 |
Co-founder Brian Fraser
We now operate across 14
sites all over the country
Brian Fraser founded Club 3000 in 2004 and has overseen
their expansion from opening their first club to now having
14 sites across the country. Although bingo is classified
as a gaming activity, Brian argues that its long history of social
interaction, especially among the elderly, sets it apart from the
rest of the industry. Brian discusses new safeguarding measures
being trialled by The Bingo Association and what the future has
in store.
The company was incorporated in 2004 with the opening of our first club, and we
have since grown to 14 sites across the country. Historically, bingo clubs operated
in converted cinemas, but our goal was to use new purpose-built flat-floor sites
that provided a greater experience for customers. Overall, there are 348 bingo
clubs in the industry. Our two founding shareholders continue to manage our 500
staff, and we have grown to be ranked third in the industry.
Bingo: gaming activity?
Bingo is classified as a gaming activity. However, unlike most gambling activities,
which are conducted on an individual basis, bingo has a long history of social
interaction. All of our establishments are inclusive of dining, bars and parking, and
clients tend to arrive in numbers rather than as individuals. Being locally based,
we cater for regular clients who enjoy the social aspect that we provide in a safe
environment. Our afternoon sessions are attended by a large percentage of elderly
people, who spend two to three hours in the company of each other and enjoy
CLUB 3000
»Founder: Brian Fraser
»Established in 2004
»Based in Liverpool
»Services: Gaming activities
»No. of employees: Roughly
Club 3000
Highlighting best practice
2| CLUB 3000
the security. Some have made pacts
with their families or neighbours to
pool their resources and share their
winnings. Indeed, this happened
recently with two neighbours who
had a considerable win at one of our
establishments. There is evidence that
playing games has a positive effect
on the retentive capabilities of our
older customers, and we endeavour to
look out for them. This is one of the
major benefits that land-based venues
have over online competitors, as we
know our customers and provide a
service that is both fair and safe. In
short, we like to think that we provide
value to the local communities where
Because of our status as a gaming
activity, we are heavily regulated
and taxed by the government. We
pay gross profit tax and machines
gaming duties, alongside the operating
fees that we pay to the Gaming
Commission, the body responsible for
the sector’s regulatory framework.
Bingo gaming sites now pay ten
per cent of their earnings in tax,
and overall gaming duties netted
the government £2.7 billion during
2016/17. The 2005 Gaming Act paved
the way for huge additional gaming
facilities in the high street, including
fixed-odds betting terminals, and
online gaming has only increased
this competition further. Whereas
bingo was previously viewed as
“soft gambling”, concern has
recently risen. This is because of
the number of people becoming
addicted to gambling, largely caused
by to the proliferation of FOBTs and
Developing new safeguarding
The Bingo Association, which
represents the bingo industry, has a
code of conduct that is compulsory
for members to adopt if they wish
to join. One of the requirements of
the code is to ensure that employees
understand and are aware of social
responsibility commitments through
training and intervention programmes.
As part of this, a machine messaging
pilot programme was launched in
February 2019. This enabled prompted
awareness to be incorporated into
machines; if successful, there is
scope for a national rollout of the
Dining area where
members can enjoy a
meal and drinks
Champagne bar for
members to enjoy
Our members
are not
customers to
us, we view
them as family
3CLUB 3000 |
There is also an investigation into
time and limit settings on machines,
a project that is still in its early stages.
Initial studies have shown that upon
receiving the alert, ten per cent of
players ended the session immediately,
and 50 per cent inserted no further
money. Finally, across the industry,
bookmakers have been trialling an
anonymous player awareness system
on gaming machines in Glasgow,
Birmingham and Kent. This system
uses an algorithm to detect “markers
of harm”, leading to an alert being
sent to staff on the premises. We
shall watch the outcome of this trial
We, and the wider industry as a
whole, regularly engage with both
political and charitable events. During
the last quarter of 2018, this was
centred around events including
the Labour Party conference on 24
September and the Conservative
Party conference on 31 September.
We were also represented at the
responsible gambling drop-in during
that week. The key point of issue
for the 12 MPs who dropped in was
the delay in the implementation of
the £2 stake on FOBTs. The date
of implementation has now been
determined. Alongside these other
commitments, we also held The Bingo
Association charity celebration evening
on 20 November. This was attended
by 23 MPs, 18 school beneficiaries, 23
charity champions, 32 players, nine
charity representatives and 45 industry
representatives. The event was held in
the House of Commons, and a total of
150 attended.
Although gaming is seen as a
lucrative industry, bingo clubs require
major capital investment, have
high overheads and face increasing
competition from online operators.
Conversely, online operators have
small property overheads and low
taxes. This provides them with a
competitive advantage and is reflected
in the reducing number of traditional
bingo clubs across the country. The
Bingo Association reported that 2018
ended with 391 retail bingo clubs in
membership, and nine had closed
during the year. Overall, year-on-
year admissions have been declining,
but we have reversed the trend
by continuing to make substantial
investments in our clubs and plan to
open two more venues in the next
year. The government were hoping
for increased investment when they
reduced gross profit tax from 20 per
cent to ten per cent, and we feel we
have played our part.
members are
and require
high standard
Auditorium for members
to play bingo

This article was sponsored by Club 3000. 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