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Bingo beats smoke laws

PUBLISHED: 15:12 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:24 03 July 2010

THE smoking ban may have hit the custom of many pubs and clubs but not Mecca Bingo in Great Yarmouth's Regent Road.

Manager Sandy Chell, said: “Many of our members don't just come to our club for a game of cash bingo, they like a natter and catch up with their friends, we're very much at the heart of the community for many people.

THE smoking ban may have hit the custom of many pubs and clubs but not Mecca Bingo in Great Yarmouth's Regent Road.

Manager Sandy Chell, said: “Many of our members don't just come to our club for a game of cash bingo, they like a natter and catch up with their friends, we're very much at the heart of the community for many people. We wanted to give something back to the local residents who come down to the club all year round and make it such a fantastic and fun place to work.”

On July 4, keeping in with the theme of American Independence Day, the staff donned Uncle Sam gear but kept the number calling strictly English.

The club has regular players who may not hit the jackpot but enjoy their frequent meetings and enjoy the company.

Pete Reeve and wife Linda from Scratby have been going twice a week for more than four years and reckon they have been reasonably lucky but always enjoy the afternoon out.

Lillian Wilson, 75, from Great Yarmouth goes five times a week. She said: “I've been reasonably lucky but I've yet to hit the big one. But I'll keep trying!”

Jean Crowe a sprightly 82 year-old from Caister has been luckier and says she won £200 on one occasion and it is a fun way to meet people who like the same game.

Freda Bates at 76 says she has been coming to the club since it opened in 1980. She says it has become part of her social life and she has made so many friends. All have their eyes in winning the mega-bucks in the national game but occasionally it's nice to go home with a few extra pounds.

Sandy said: “Many people come along to the daytime sessions after they've done their shopping. It's not uncommon for some people to come in with their shopping bags!”

There have been some winners from East Anglia in the national game which pays the biggest amount and it could be £25,000.

Sandy says: “Someone has to win it, and you will never know unless you try. Our own jackpot this week goes up with each session if nobody wins, but eventually someone's numbers will come up.”

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