The UK gambling sector has come in for its share of criticism in recent months, but one corner of the industry is gaining some welcome positive publicity for its community work.
Bingo operator Mecca Bingo, which operates bingo venues all over the UK, has made car parking spaces at its venue in Hayes open to all NHS workers. The offer to NHS staff is possible through a partnership between online parking company YourParkingSpace and Mecca.
According to Mecca, they have 2,000 parking spaces on offer across the UK, including at their Hayes bingo hall. Bingo facilities have been shut down across the UK, along with all retail betting premises, as part of the national shut down to prevent the spread of covid-19, leaving these parking spaces empty for the foreseeable future. At the same time, the NHS is under intense strain, with the pre-existing car parking shortage adding pressure to the hard-pressed frontline medical staff.
To secure a car-parking space, NHS employees can visit the site and enter their personal staff email address. They will then receive a parking code, free of charge, which can be added to their accounts and automatically applied at each parking checkout.
Speaking about the offer for staff, the general manager of Mecca Bingo in Hayes, Tim Perry, emphasised that they were happy to make a contribution:
“NHS workers are doing a phenomenal job and we want to show our gratitude to them.”
Mecca is not the only UK bingo operator to have stepped up during the pandemic shut down. Earlier this month, rival firm Gala announced that they were helping to alleviate some of the isolation that many of their over-65 customers feel during the lockdown. They are offering free online bingo games for customers in that age bracket, including the ability to have online conversations with other bingo players.