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Local Bingo Hall Back on the Cards in Canvey Island

Local Bingo Hall Back on the Cards in Canvey Island

Canvey Island’s bingo hall was once the heart of community entertainment, with stories of its past famous amongst locals. Because the bingo hall served generations of players, when it closed, it hit the town hard. 

But residents are on the edge of their bingo seats, daubers aloft, as a potential comeback is on the cards thanks to businessman Jamie Collison of Almek FMS Ltd partnering and Seven Entertainment who are looking to restore the hall to its former glory and reintroduce live bingo to Canvey

A Bingo Hall Steeped in History 

The building’s history on Furtherwick Road goes back to the 1930s when it served as a cinema, screening films nearly every day. During World War II, even when air raid sirens blared, the reels kept turning and the audience stayed. It was a unique chapter in the hall’s past. Surviving the North Sea Flood that hit the area in 1953, the building transitioned into a social club named the Canvey Leisure Centre in 1976. 

Thanks to the Gaming Act the decade before, the space embraced live bingo, which marked the beginning of a bingo legacy. In 1998 the owners sold to Majestic Bingo, before the site was closed for good in 2023. 

Renovations and Reopenings

Jamie Collison, the driving force behind the social space’s revival, is optimistic about bringing live bingo back to Canvey Island. Noting the significance bingo has for the locals, especially older folk, he says:

“We looked into what can be done with the building, but we knew that bingo is what is being missed by the locals and the older generation. All the contracts have been edited, and checked by solicitors, so now we are waiting on the landlord to set a signing date. It is going to be challenging and hard work but if the community is happy, we will be happy.”

Renovation plans include moving the bar area (a staple in any bingo hall!) and replacing what’s been ripped out, to the tune of an estimated £12,000.

The Anticipation for Live Bingo 

Canvey residents should be excited about the news; bingo was always part of the community’s fabric and live bingo is a game that transcends generations, making it accessible to anyone. But this isn’t the first time a bingo return was expected. It follows a promising previous attempt from AJs Bingo, which, despite hope, fell through. Former Canvey councillor Ray Howard MBE shows his support for the efforts. He says:

“I know that there were a lot of disappointed people when it closed. So, if there is a new application, and hope, that is super. It was vital at the time. I welcome it and I would do anything I can to try and help and get it re-opened.”

As Canvey anticipates the potential return of its bingo hall, this does feel like a new chapter in the hall’s journey. If all goes to plan, we might finally see the revival of a local icon, bringing bingo calls, jackpots, and prizes back to Canvey.

Better change
Esther Barnett Rubin


Esther Rubin With a career spanning TV production to writing taglines for pet food, Esther now finds time to write about online bingo and mobile gaming between school runs, crime documentaries, and spotting clever copy in ad campaigns. She works hard to ensure the bingo community is a fair and safe space that supports happy bingo experiences.

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