A popular Bolton bingo hall has been slammed by the local council for flouting COVID-19 lockdown rules relating to the opening of its bar for visitors.
Mecca Bingo, which is situated on Ormrod Street, is said to have broken local rules that stated all hospitality venues in the area may only serve drinks and food via takeaway.
While the club is allowed to welcome players for bingo games, local councillors say that it is not allowed to serve drinks or food for consumption within the venue.
However, the club recently advertised that its bar would be open to all customers.
The announcement prompted Bolton’s licensing team to visit the premises and inform the manager that they were breaking the local restrictions. Another council officer got in touch with Mecca Bingo’s head office who confirmed that food and drink were no longer being sold.
Since making the club aware of the need to follow the town’s local rules, the council and local police have made other visits to hospitality venues across Bolton to check that they are also conforming.
While most companies have followed the advice, the Greater Manchester Police and Bolton Council’s joint taskforce have had to issue four fines to local takeaways who were in breach of the local regulations which dictate that they must close between 10 PM and 5 AM.
When approached for comment about breaking Bolton’s lockdown rules, a spokesperson for Mecca Bingo said that the company “firmly rejects any suggestion that we have acted irresponsibly”. They added that guidance from the DCMS states that due to the “specific licensing regulations of bingo venues”, the Bolton club was allowed to offer drinks and food to its customers” which it, therefore, did “in good faith”.
However, after being told by the local authorities that the club was breaching the rules, Mecca says that it has respectfully complied with the council’s decision.